Characteristics of Leather


With so many beautiful leather sofas to choose from, it can seem like a tough choice getting the balance of style and suitability spot on. For many, the choice over a new sofa being fabulous or functional can be one decision too far.

Rest assured though - while there are lots out there to choose from, this guide to the characteristics of leather will help you choose the right one. Read on for all the information you need to make that all important choice...

Which leather works best for me?

Cows have feelings too (and marks and scars!). has it right when they say ‘you'd be surprised the first time you see a full hide. Not only are they much larger than you think, they vary much more than you'd expect too. Leather from different parts of the animal varies in its characteristics, and this has to be taken into account when using leather in products’.

Real leather is a natural product and will often display traces of its past, good or bad, such as brand marks, scars and stretch marks. These marks should in no way detract from how lovely the leather is and certainly shouldn’t put you off purchasing one of our genuine leather products. In fact through normal use the leather will only enhance its inherent natural beauty.

leather damage

Saddle Leather

If you’re looking for a very natural appearance and want to embrace the history of your leather then Saddle is the one for you. Saddle leather is a high quality semi-aniline pull up hide (which basically means the surface is not buffed or corrected) and when stretched the top coat moves to reveal the lighter base cloth underneath. No two hides are identical and the top surface coat can appear different depending on how it is upholstered. This is the most natural leather in appearance and all natural markings are clearly visible.

It may be worth noting that as beautiful as semi-aniline leather is, it does mark easily and so may not be the best option for a busy family or a home with pets that like to join their owners on the sofa to watch TV.scala

If Saddle leather sounds right for you have a look at our Mezzo range. With its clean lines and moulded foam seat cushions this is a sturdy 100% leather sofa that will give you years of enjoyment.


Softgrain Leather

If the thought of marks and scratches scare you then fear not as here at sofasofa we have something for everyone. Softgrain leather is finished with a pigmented top coat, embossed with an artificial grain pattern. Virtually all natural markings and characteristics are hidden and this type of leather offers a high resistance to staining and is more easily cleaned.

This option may be best for busy families (with real monkeys or otherwise) as it offers excellent durability and will stand up to more robust use.


For inspiration have a look at the 100% leather Scala range. With its slightly curved arms and panelled front border, this elegant sofa will blend in with family life beautifully.


Antique Leather

For a more traditional room set you may want to consider an Antique leather. This type of look is achieved from a corrected grain leather and by this we mean a leather where part of the top coat is rubbed off by hand to expose the contrast colour beneath.

As a result the overall appearance will change more than with other types of leather with the top coat designed to wear away during use to give the attractive antique effect.


Try out this traditional Chesterfield, fully upholstered in superior Antiqued leather, carefully rubbed back to highlight the appearance of ageing.


Vintage Leather

Vintage is all the rage at the moment and we adore this on trend Vintage leather offering. If you love the look of a well-worn sofa but need the style and comfort of a new piece then Vintage is the leather for you.

The hides have all the natural characteristics that make the leather so special and unique and as it’s a cracked wax leather it has a wonderfully distressed appearance ageing it beautifully and lets it appear as though it’s always belonged in your room. It’s lovely and soft too so you can always give it a stroke in the absence of a cat…


For a marriage made in heaven the Lexington could be the sofa of your dreams. With a Vintage leather body and luxurious patterned chenille seat and back cushions, it really is the best of both worlds.


Miro Leather

Our latest leather offering to our range is Miro. This is a corrected, heavy grain pigmented leather and is robust whilst also possessing a soft waxy feel. There is no colour variation and it offers great resistance to light fastness and staining, and it’s easily maintained. You can find this on our style savvy new models Oxford and Virginia.


A leather version of our very popular Florence model, this Virginia two-seater in Miro Cream would be a delightful addition to any room.



Once you’ve decided on the best type of leather for your needs it won’t take you long to have a look at our ranges on offer and choose something fabulous and stylish.
We hope our guide to leather has inspired you but if you’d like to get all touchy feely please get in touch and we’ll happily pop some samples in the post for you to have a look at. We’re also on hand to answer any questions you may have (just in case we haven’t covered it above).

Posted in Fabric, Leather Sofas, Sofas on 3rd Dec 2015


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