People have been using leather for centuries. But the ways we use and process leather have changed dramatically throughout the years. Today, the leather industry relies on science to create superior leather products that meet the needs of modern life and style.
Many leather terms are used in the furniture industry. Some are difficult to understand or just aren’t relevant to the average customer. The following terms will help you talk about Urban Barn’s leather collections.
Top-grain leather comes from the top layer of the hide, which is the thickest and most durable. Generally, top-grain hides are minimally processed to provide a softer hand and display a more natural character.
Split leathers are created by splitting the hide to separate the top layer, or the “top grain”, from the second layer, or the “split”. When splits are used on Urban Barn furniture, they’re placed on the outside arm, front seat rail, and back panels. Using mixed leather materials saves cost without affecting quality and durability, as the contact surfaces (like seat and back cushions) remain top quality, top grain leather.
Leathers with a character finish show varied colour tones and natural markings. Each piece is unique, and these variations (from scratches to actual branding marks) are a sign the leather is genuine.
A uniform finish disguises most natural markings to create consistent colouring. These leathers have a unique contemporary quality.
Performance leather has been treated with a protective finish to make the surface more durable, stain-repellant and easy to wipe clean. Leathers that are simply dyed and left untreated without this finish require specialized care and maintenance. Leather is never 100% stain proof, as it’s a naturally porous material, but a protective finish makes staining much less likely. The applied finish may have some sheen or be matte, giving the desirable appearance of natural leather with a more practical finish.