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By Marsha Brick

Many years my mother wrote a column on leather and explaining the difference; I am going to also

write about the different kinds of leathers in the market place. A question that I get asked is what is

bonded leather? It can be described as similar to what pressboard is to wood or dryer lint is to fabric. Also, a product can be called “ bonded leather” if it contains as little as17% leather. It is made by grinding up leather scraps, then laying them out in a long thin layer and finally adhering that layer to a thicker layer of polyurethane.

Another leather term in the market place is split leather. A “split” is 100% real leather. Because leather is often the thickness of shoe leather, it has to be split horizontally to be used on furniture. Split leather is the leather below the top grain, and the texture of both the top and bottom resemble suede. So the top is coated with products to make it resemble top grain. These coated leathers do not breathe which is why they can be hot and sticky.

Top Grain Leather is the most supple and it makes the best leather furniture

you can buy. A natural product, it breathes, and acclimates quickly to your body

temperature. Aniline leather is the most natural and has no protective coatings or treatments to alter its natural feel. It is dyed exclusively with soluble dyes without covering the surface with a topcoat paint. While it is the softest, it is also susceptible to stains if unprotected. Semi-Aniline is processed the same way, but with a thin protective top coat. Pull-up aniline has the addition of oil or wax applied to give it a distressed look.

Our manufacturers Barrymore, Brentwood Classics, Century and Hancock & Moore all use Top Grain Leather. I have some pieces in the store so that you can feel how luxurious it is and how it acclimates to your body temperature.

Reminder that I am taking special order for the Weiman furniturecream. It will be coming in April;

please call or email and let know how many bottles you want.

Marsha Brick

Owns Marsha Brick's Fine Furniture



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