If we’re talking about furniture, the very mention of Italian leather lounges conjures up images of opulence, refinement, and exorbitant costs. In fact, until recently, Italian leather lounges could cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, but they’re often regarded as an investment that will last for many years.
Nowadays, everywhere you look, Italian leather lounges and chairs are marketed for less than $2000.
But there is a caveat: not all Italian leather lounges are created equal. In fact, some of them aren’t even made of leather.
There are a number of people who have purchased “leather” couches that have turned out to be more plastic than animal, while others have had their furniture peel and fracture in a way that genuine leather should not. There is no national standard for leather labelling in Australia, thus it is difficult to tell exactly what you’re getting if you see the word “leather” on a label.
In this article, we look into what you get for your money when you buy Italian leather lounges.
What exactly is leather?
Leather is defined as an animal’s hide or skin that has retained most of its original fibrous structure but has been tanned to make it impenetrable. It sometimes has the hair or fur removed, but not always.
The genuine nature of Italian leather lounges is determined by the amount of surface coating that is used. Coating should be less than 0.15mm thick on genuine Italian leather lounges.
Using the entire grain of the animal’s hide means that no part of the hide has been cut off or removed. There are only a few types of this type of leather, and they’re extremely rare and pricey.
Grain on the top: Buffed and polished to a high sheen, top grain leather is the outermost layer of an animal hide.
Split: Split leather is the cheapest and most delicate sort of leather since it comes from the bottom of the hide.
The term “corrected-grain” can apply to any of the aforementioned leathers that has had an artificial grain put to it. Stain and dye are applied to cover any defects or sanded away, and an artificial grain is imprinted into the surface.
If you’re looking for Italian leather lounges, you may find phrases like ‘cow hide leather’, ‘genuine leather’, ‘100 percent leather’, or even ‘bonded leather’ instead of the definitions above.
This leather’s name doesn’t actually tell you anything about the type of leather it is, if it is leather at all. Despite the term, bonded leather is actually a synthetic material and not leather at all.
Certification in Australia
Leather certification and testing is available in the UK, but not so in Australia, where consumers are on their own when purchasing a couch. We came across some couches described as leather, but the tiny print revealed that only the contact areas were leather, and with other sellers there was little to no information regarding what the various components were made of.
While a couch may appear to be constructed entirely of leather, it may actually be comprised of a variety of different leathers, which can have an impact on its quality.
Some manufacturers and retailers in Australia adopt international certification processes voluntarily, and the furniture that has been tested will have a swing tag indicating the certification.
What you should know before you go shopping
Before you buy a new couch, ask a few questions like what kind of leather was used, whether it was used everywhere and what the warranty is.
To avoid any misunderstandings in the future, make sure you have all of your queries answered in writing.