Today, leather finds use for many different purposes. It is an amazing material to work with, especially for any kind of upholstery. The history of this material is rich, and humans have been using leather materials for thousands of years. The leather we are familiar with today is the result of much chemical treatment. But back in the days, early man would hunt animals to obtain the hides to make clothes and garments.
Evidence points to the fact that leather existed from ancient times. Egyptians and Greeks made sandals, whips, clothes, and even gloves using leather. The Greeks are given the credit of inventing certain tanning techniques and formulas to preserve leather for a long time. Another great example of leather usage is found in Rome. Early Romans made sandals, flasks, and even amours and clothes using leather.
As time progressed, leather was also made into seats and furniture covers. This is where leather started to become popular for upholstery. Caravans and other transportation means were furnished with leather seats due to their comfort. Saddles and even tacks required the use of leather.
With technologies becoming more modern and innovative, new techniques emerged to cure and treat leather, and as a result, the scope for using leather also increased. Nowadays, leather is a dominant material in the textile industry. Originating from as early as the Stone Age, leather has come a long way. Today, leather products like bags, belts, shoes, sandals, or even accessories are very common. However, leather also continues to be a great choice for upholsterers.
How is Leather Upholstery Made?
The process of obtaining leather involves several stages. Leather is mostly obtained from the hide of a cow, but other animal hides can be used as well. Leather is usually a by-product of the meat industry as well as the dairy industry as these animals get reared not for the leather but for the meat and dairy.
To get the leather, the hide is first removed from the animal. After this, the flesh gets removed from the hide by hand or by using a fleshing machine. Following this, the hide gets salted or treated with brine. This is done to stop decomposition.
The hide then gets stored in cool conditions. If there is any hair still left on the hide, this gets removed using chemicals. This process can take a few days. Once the soaking and chemical treatments get over it, the hide will expand in size due to moisture. This is when the hide gets cut into two halves or two layers.
The top layer is of higher quality. After this, the hide gets tanned and gets turned into the leather we know. There can be another layer of tanning if needed. Dyeing is also optional and is commonplace for a range of leather goods. After this, it can be sorted by grade and used for making leather upholstery applications.
There is a solid reason why leather is a popular choice in upholstery. Leather upholstery is something that is not new. Even in the past, wealthy families furnished their homes with leather upholstery. With the innovation of so many new techniques, leather upholstery is becoming even more popular these days. There are so many amazing benefits of using leather in upholstery.
One of the main reasons to consider leather upholstery is the quality that it brings. Leather is often synonymous with luxury and high-quality products. As such, if you make covers for sofas, chairs, or beds with leather, it is surely going to feel premium and lavish. Moreover, high-quality leather is going to take longer to start cracking, sagging, or peeling.
Leather upholstery also provides much comfort while still looking classy. Leather feels good and soft to the touch. Leather also breathes well, which means it does not retain heat, and therefore, it is also comfortable and cool.
Leather upholstery can last four times longer than other fabrics. Even though leather is tough, it is also incredibly durable. Some leather sofas and chairs have been around since the 70’s!
Professional leather cleaning is important to keep it clean and to prolong its life. Leather will get micro-tears and scratches over time and the dirt can fill these in so they are harder to see. Proper cleaning and care can keep your leather lounge or chairs looking great for a very long time.
Leather upholstery is very common and popular in a number of different places. For starters, it's a common sight in houses. People who love leather and leather products tend to keep leather upholstery at home, such as in their sofas, lounges, or even dining chairs.
It's also an amazing choice for office furniture or even for seats in restaurants. Another popular use of leather upholstery is in automobile seats, and many cars will come with leather seats.
Leather is timeless and looks amazing in a variety of different settings. Be sure to consider it for your next piece of furniture and you will enjoy it for many years to come.