How to tell a high-quality or low-quality leather sofa?

Leather sofas have been around for a long time. Over the years, we have seen variations in designs and styles which has widened your options, but it’s a blessing in disguise. The biggest worry now among many buyers of leather sofa is the genuineness of the product. 

For those with basic knowledge about this subject, it may be easy to distinguish a quality leather sofa and a low or fake quality one. There are different elements one needs to look for to tell the difference in addition to the basic ones. 

First, you need to understand the different types of leathers and finishes as well as the bonded leather. But with technological advancement, it is tough to tell real from fake. 

But if you are keen enough, you can distinguish high quality from low quality because even the most modern machine cannot mimic quality. 

Here are things to help you distinguish between a high-quality leather sofa from a low-quality leather sofa.

  1. Price 

Price is the first thing that always gives away the quality of a product. Making a high-quality leather sofa involves quality materials, top skills, tools, time, and so on. All these are passed down to the price of the product. Thus, a real leather sofa will cost thousands of dollars, whereas low-quality one can be haggled down. 

  1. Smell 

Real leather has a particular smell that cannot be faked. The smell is mostly from the tanning process of a genuine hide. Low-quality leather is never processed so that it will have different scents. 

  1. Weight 

A top-notch quality leather sofa is typically heavy due to the sturdy support frame. On the other hand, a low-quality leather sofa is usually much lighter, thanks to the lightweight support frame. This also means quality leather sofa lasts longer compared to low quality leather sofa. 

  1. Frames 

The quality of the frame inside also translates to the overall quality of the sofa. The base of the chair needs to be sturdy and robust to hold the solid padding. Typically, a quality sofa will have a durable hardwood frame, but a low-quality one would have a poorly constructed structure like laminated wood or plywood. 

  1. Texture 

Quality leather tends to have a smooth texture compared to low-quality leather, which would have a laminated surface. Try moving your hands over the surface of the leather. If you feel the fullness of manifold layers of quality leather, then it is a real deal. 

  1. Trims 

Another way to distinguish a high-quality leather sofa from a low-quality one is to check the trims. As you may already have guessed, a high-quality sofa will equally have high-quality trims like nailheads, studs, or rivets. Low-quality sofas, on the other hand, will have standard trims. 

  1. Sit on it 

If you are at the store, you can as well try the sofa out and see how it feels. High-quality leather sofas will never make a squeaking sound when you sit on them. This is a quality of the poorly shaped sofa. 

  1. Check the backside of the leather. 

If it is possible, reverse the leather’s surface and observe the quality. High-quality leather will have a coarse and untanned backside surface with jagged fibers, whereas low-quality leather will have a smooth and homogenous feeling at the back. Also, if the leather is too thick, it means it will last long and bear the scuff, while thin leather means it won’t last you and will require frequent repairs.

Types of leathers used for a high-quality sofa? 

There are several types of leather used for sofas. Here are some of them: 

Pigmented leather 

This is arguably the most durable leather used in most sofa upholstery. It is usually lined with a polymer coating on the surface, which has pigments, thus why it lasts long. The layer also makes the sofa resilient to scuffing, soiling, and fading. 

Aniline leather 

This type of leather tends to have the most natural look of all leathers used in sofas. Pure aniline leather contains an only dye and no coating on the surface. However, a light coat, which is non-pigment, may be applied to boost its appearance. 

Aniline leather usually has some natural marks and variations of shade on its surface. 

The downside of this leather is that it is affected by direct sunlight, absorbs liquids too quickly, and high maintenance. 

Semi-aniline leather 

Unlike aniline leather, semi-aniline is applied with coating on its surface, which makes it durable and it also retains the natural-looking appearance.