All About Leather
Understanding the Leathercraft process.
- aniline (an-a-lin) dyed:
- the process of coloring leathers throughout with transparent dyes.
- the light application of one color over another, (usually a darker color over a lighter color) to create highlights.
- corrected grain leather:
- leather whose natural surface texture has been altered.
- a dyeing process in which leather is immersed in dye and tumbled in a rotating drum, allowing maximum dye penetration.
- the application of color, either by spraying, hand-rubbing or immersion.
- a process in which design is added to leathers surface by pressure to alter or enhance the surface, resulting in uniform imitation grain or unique patterns.
- any post tanning treatment, such as: dyeing, rolling, pressing, spraying, lacquering, antiquing, waxing, buffing, embossing, glazing, waterproofing or flameproofing.
- full grain:
- a term which indicates that leather possesses its original, natural grain; leather which has not been altered.
- the distinctive pore and wrinkle pattern of a hide; may be either natural or embossed.
- a term used to describe the softness or feel of a leather.
- skins of animals, usually cattle, sheep or water buffalo.
- a generic term for all hides and skins which have been tanned and finished.
- patina (pa-tee-na):
- a lustre that develops with time and use.
- premium select:
- a term describing hides with very few scars or blemishes, usually less than 5% of all hides.
- refers to the removal of grain, scars and blemishes from a hide's surface.
- semi-aniline (an-a-lin):
- leathers which have been aniline dyed then top coated with matching pigments to even out the color (also called "aniline plus").
- underlying layers of leather, usually used for suedes, not top grain.
- cutting a hide into two or more layers.
- treating raw hides to reduce their perishability.
- top grain:
- the top surface of the hide.
- a process in which hides are tumbled in a rotating drum to soften the hand or enhance the grain.
Leather Questions and Answers
Is the Leather Top Grain?
Top grain is the natural top surface of the hide with a denser cell structure, creating the leather's tensile strength.
Split leather which is the slice taken from the back of the hide is not as durable and makes a poor surface for the colored top coat. The color tends to break or crack.
Are The Pieces Covered Entirely in Leather?
Many items are sold as leather match or leather plus, which are leather and vinyl combinations.
All Leathercraft furniture is manufactured with 100% top grain leather.
How is the Leather Surface Protected?
All Leathercraft leather patterms are protected by a clear top coat, which seals the surface, or a "scotchguard type" product is applied that penetrates the hide and encapsulates the leather fibers.
Other leather manufacturers Do not protect their leathers.
What is the Internal Construction of the Piece and How Will This Lengthen the Useful Life of the Upholstered Furniture?
Leathercraft, for structural frame components, utilizes northern maple which is kiln dried to reduce expansion and contraction.
Leathercraft employs steel coil springs supported by crossed steel webbing.
Leathercraft uses 2.0 lb./cu.ft. density or higher pure polyurethane which encapsulates coil springs. Remember, the higher the density of the polyurethane, the longer the life of the cushion.
Down, feather and fiber cushions are also available, affording a deep, plush, "sit-in" experience.
What Guarantees are Applicable to the Furniture?
Leathercraft guarantees the frame, seat spring, and workmanship for the life of the piece to its original purchaser.
Why Are There Different Grades or Costs of Leather?
Leather is a natural commodity and is graded much like a diamond. The fewer imperfections on the hide, the rarer it is to acquire. Therefore, there is less supply and a higher cost.
The cooler climates of Northern Europe, in conjunction with the animals being raised in pens or pastures, produce hides with the least amount of imperfections.
The hotter climate, with the greatest extremes, in conjunction with the animals being raised on an open range, produce hides that are more weathered and contain scars and insect bites that must be mechanically sanded or buffed off before color can be sprayed on.
There is a greater quantity of cattle produced on the open ranges of the world, creating a greater supply. Therefore, these hides are less costly.
In order, Northern European hides are considered premium select with the least imperfection.
United States domestic hides are selected in the mid-range.
Southern American, Southeast Asian, Australian and North African hides contain the greatest number of imperfections and are the least costly.
The cost of leather is determined by the origin of the animal and by supply and demand; Not by Where the hides are tanned. i.e.: the majority of tanneries use South American hides.
What Determines Seating Comfort?
Frame Stability: Leathercraft uses kiln dried northern hardwoods with the joints corner-blocked and double-doweled and fastened with wood screws.
Coil Spring Height: The seat springs are 9" coils which provide deep, plush seating and ensure resilient performance year after year.
Cushion Quality: Premium grade seat cushions of polyurethane contain coil innersprings engineered specifically for seating comfort, long wear, and plushness.
Loose seat and back cushions can be adjusted for comfort as opposed to attached seat and back surfaces.
Loose cushions also afford the opportunity of easy replacement if damage should occur to the surface of the leather; i.e.: scratches, cuts and abrasions. Leathercraft also offers an ultraplush down leather and fiber seating system for the ultimate "sit-in" experience.