Leather Care

Belgica offer a vast selection of different styles of leather sofas and chairs but it is important to choose a leather covering that suits your needs. Leather hides are available in variety of qualities (or grades). These grades can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and it can be difficult to know what the most suitable leather is for you. For example, leathers that are less expensive potentially might not wear well in a family environment. However, this can also be true of certain expensive leathers, so it is important to have an awareness of the different types of leathers available and what is best for you.

Characteristics of Real Leather
Real leather has variations in its colour, grain, scarring and markings often found on the surface that should not considered faults or defects as they are natural characteristics that confirm the authenticity of real leather. During an animal’s life it will have been exposed to normal daily knocks and scrapes, so it’s perfectly normal for leather to invert these also. Scarring caused by cuts causes lines that are commonly found in hides. These can be pronounced when healed, however they do not weaken the leather nor is it possible to order a leather suite without such markings. Variations in the grain of leather can also appear where some areas on the hide will be plain, and others be heavily grained. Customers should take all the above into consideration when ordering leather furniture as it is not possible to order a suite with a totally plain graining or be free from any natural scarring etc.

Aniline leather

This is type of leather could be considered the closest to a pure and natural hide. It is suitable for the those seeking a leather showing all markings that a hide has to offer, with an unaltered full top grain surface and with a remarkable skin-like feeling. Aniline leather is not the type of hide that offers high protection – Because it is a very porous leather, it can easily take on stains from liquids and therefore requires extra care & maintenance. Transparent aniline dyes are used to tan and colour the leather. The benefit of this process is that it helps show the rich colour hues unique to each hide as well as show off each hide’s one-of-a-kind grain pattern. It is possible for rough patches in the hide to absorb more colour in the process giving areas on the hide will be darker than others, which is a common feature of this type of leather.

Pigmented Leather
This type of hide offers a higher level of protection, is easy to clean and perfectly suited to the busiest areas of your home with children and pets. Pigmented leathers undergo a process which makes them a lot more resistant to liquids, sunlight and general every day wear. The colour in pigmented leather is more consistent and the process can also give a more consistent grain pattern.

Semi Aniline

The surface of semi aniline leathers retains the natural characteristics of the hide whilst containing a proportion of pigment. The leather still shows scarring, lines and natural markings within the hide but provides a degree of protection and are suitable for everyday use.

Old Saddle Leather (Pull-Up Hide)

This leather is soft and supple intentionally designed to have an old, worn and lined look. Old Saddle is a very natural, beautifully aged leather and part of its appeal is that it will take on day-to-day scuffs and scratches which all add to the character of the hide. Panels of hide used in Old Saddle can differ in colour and much like Aniline leather, rough patches in the grain will not take the stain applied in the finishing process which is perfectly normal. Because of all these characteristics, it is not suitable for those seeking a more consistent looking leather.

Nubuck

This type of leather could not be generally recommend for everyday upholstery use, which is difficult to maintain. It is a speciality leather that couldn’t be considered suitable for busy rooms with children and pets as it can be susceptible to finger marks making it almost impractical for upholstery without regular specialist maintenance.

Creasing & Stretching

Leather is a natural material and will crease, soften and stretch (like items of leather clothing, such as shoes) when you begin to use it. This characteristic will be especially noticeable on the seats of sofas and chairs, which can make the leather appear wrinkled. This is part of the look of a real leather suite and is not a fault.

Dye Transfer & Spills
Please refer to the upholstery section about dyes and colour transfer. Much like fabrics, dye transfer is more obvious on lighter shades but it can occur on any leather. Additionally, any liquids dropped onto a leather surface can cause loss of colour – It is advisable to not rub the surface in one place as this is likely to leave a light patch on the leather. If in doubt, seek the assistance of a specialist upholstery cleaning company or Staingard if you opted for this at the point of sale when purchasing your sofa or chair.

Samples

Leather swatch samples used in our showroom will not be from the same batch of hide as the upholstery that you have ordered. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect a level of variation in colour and texture. If matching exact colours is a concern, please make us aware of this at the time of the order.

LEATHER DO’s and DON’Ts

DO apply a protective leather cream where appropriate when first delivered and after cleaning as this will help maintain the good looks of your sofa or chair.

DO clean your leather with a suitable high-quality solution at least 2-4 times annually.

DO use a soft cloth or soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove dust particles.


DON’T situate your furniture in direct sunlight as leather and fabrics will fade if they are exposed to sunlight over a period.

DON’T place your sofa or chair too close to any radiators as the heat can cause leathers to dry out leading to damage to the hide, such as cracking.