How To Care For Your Leather Furniture
Leather furniture is a great investment; that gorgeous leather sectional in just that right shade of brown will look beautiful for years to come, with one caveat — you must care for your leather. Getting leather furniture is a bit like getting a very low maintenance pet; no, you don’t have to walk your recliner every day, but for the best results, you do need to give it continual attention.
When it comes to leather furniture care, there are three basic rules— purchasing good quality leather, cleaning your furniture regularly with the right products, and keeping the leather properly conditioned.
Start by Purchasing Good Quality Leather
Here’s the truth: not all leather furniture is created equally. No matter how well you care for your leather, if you don’t start with a high-quality product, it’s not going to hold up over time. The very best leather furniture is buttery, soft, and gets better with age. Low-quality leather squeaks and cracks when you sit on it.
When shopping for pieces, look for aniline or semi-aniline leather, which are considered the highest quality leathers. Aniline is soaked in an aniline dye but does not have finishes or pigments, so this leather will be the softest and most delicate option. Semi-aniline, or protected aniline, has a small amount of pigment, which protects this type of leather from stains and fading. Semi-aniline may be a better choice if you have kids or pets — or if you're one of those brave souls who have both!
On the other end of the spectrum, avoid low-quality leather like split grain, bonded, or bi-cast. As opposed to top grain leather, split grain is taken from the inner surfaces of the hide and is a weaker leather. Bonded leather is a polyurethane material that only contains a small amount of leather scraps on an inner layer. Bi-cast is similar to bonded in that it is sealed with a top layer of polyurethane but contains a thin layer of split grain leather.
Tips for Cleaning and Regular Care
Now that you’ve invested in good quality leather, for goodness sake, keep it clean! Regularly cleaning your leather furniture is easy as long as you use the right cleaning products. Dust your leather furniture weekly with a dry cloth, or vacuum using a soft brush attachment. Keeping the leather dust-free will prevent dirt build up that may damage the furniture.
Only clean your leather furniture with products specifically made to clean leather, using a soft cloth that will not scratch the material. Other household cleaners, even natural cleaners, will stain that prized Mid-Century mod leather love seat. Plan to spot clean as needed and do a good wipe down with a leather cleaner every month.
Keep Your Leather Conditioned
Just like a baseball player with his beloved mitt, you need to condition your leather furniture regularly to keep it soft and supple. Conditioning helps leather maintain its natural oils. Look for a cream leather conditioner that does not contain silicone or wax, which can make your leather sticky to the touch. If your leather furniture is near a heat source, like a fireplace, or if you live in a dry climate, condition your furniture three to four times a year. For furniture exposed to direct sunlight, you want to look for a leather conditioner that contains sunscreen.
Take the Leather Leap
There is a reason leather furniture is so popular; it adds a rich, classic look to any room, and with the right care, is built to stand the test of time. Start by buying good quality leather, keep it regularly cleaned and dusted with the right products, and condition your leather at least once a year with a cream conditioner. Whether it’s a comfortable reclining sofa or an Italian leather modern accent chair, leather furniture is worth the investment. Stop by Jerome's today to browse all of our leather furniture and find a piece that speaks to you.