Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leather vs Microfiber

Leather vs Microfiber - I can't decide.....

This is a question that often gets asked.  Both these materials come with major benefits but which is the best decision.  Here are some points of interest that may make the process easier:

  • Leather requires maintenance...that's the bottom line.  You can get a protected leather but reality is that it is a natural product and will require far more care and treatment than a synthetic material.
  • Leather gets better and better with age.  The nature of leather is that the more it absorbs the environment that it is in, the better it becomes to manage, and looks.  It needs to breath, and with careful use will look better 10 years later than any microfiber product.
  • Leather is generally a better choice when you don't have small children or pets on the furniture.  The reasons are obvious.  Spilling a glass of water can stain an unprotected leather and leave marks on protected leathers.  Leather is extremely absorbent and the hide acts like a sponge to almost any and all liquids.
  • One can wash almost anything off a protected microfiber.  The benefit of microfiber is it's 'washability'. 
  • There are now many leather look a likes that are in fact microfiber.  They are hard if not impossible to tell the difference.  So if you want the look of leather then consider a microfiber that looks and feels like leather and you cannot go wrong.
  • Bonded leather is not leather.  No matter how hard it is to tell the difference bonded leather is vinyl with leather offcuts glued to the back or unseen portion.  This gives the bonded leather the look and feel of real leather. See the video below for a detailed description of bonded leather.
  • Not all microfibers have the same level of protection.  Some are protected to resist staining more than others.  It's often worth spending the few extra dollars to get the extra protection and save yourself the hassle of your first wine spill.

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