Flexsteel vs. Lane vs. Natuzzi leather sectionals

tuckerlrMarch 5, 2007

I'm pretty confused and hoping for some solid comparisons of the above brands. Afer researching on this site, it seems that Natuzzi isn't as great as I had thought it would be, especially for the price. Flexsteel also has some knocks on this forum. How does Natuzzi compare with Flexsteel as far as quality? We have a fabric loveseat and chair from Flexsteel that we like very much, but I had thought that Natuzzi was the way to go with leather. When I spoke to a salesperson in NC, he told me he'd pay ME to take a Natuzzi off his hands and said I should look into other brands, like Lane. I thought Lane was lower quality? If you had to purchase a leather reclining sectional, what you you buy - Natuzzi, Flexsteel, or Lane?


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I have a Natuzzi leather sofa and recliner I bought about 9 years ago that still looks brand new. I love the set so much. It is so comfortable for adults that are petite like me or tall like some of my friends are. It is not too soft and not too firm and I love the pillow arms. Ine is a color called taupe that looks like a beige taupe and is very neutral.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 7:00PM
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I don't want to hijack your post but I just posted a related question regarding American Leather and Jaymar sectionals. You may want to compare Natuzzi to them. I asked a salesperson if they were A B or C in quality and she indicated American Leather was a B+. I wonder if you could ask another salesperson how Natuzzi stacks up to those brands? I was also told that American Leather has prices on their website but I was not able to locate them. You could compare price, although price doesn't always equal quality it might give you some idea. I agree with you in thinking that Lane is a lower end brand. I have heard that Natuzzi is so-so quality leather but with nice styles and colors (or that is what I think from seeing the advertisments).

It will be interesting to hear other posters?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 8:44PM
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What a tough question! This all depends on your budget?!

NONE of the brands you are looking at are particularly good units. However, they will render medium duty service with so-so comfort levels having mediocre factory support after the sale should problems occur. On the other hand, they don't cost near as much as a premium brand.

Here's my take on this, as someone who has been 22 years owning a furniture store (And I sell Flexsteel):

A reclining sofa in leather is probably the most highly used piece in a room. Because its a motion piece, it is also subject to additional stress points on the frame and mechanisms.

A $ 2,000 recliner leather sofa might go 10 years before it breaks. A $ 4,000 one will go 30 years, and come with all the parts replaceable over time under warranty. Which is the better buy? From a performance over time position, the more expensive, premium unit cost LESS per month of ownership than the cheaper unit, because it holds up. I see that time and time again. Plus the premium units look better and feel better, so there is that aspect as well.

The only way to tell if one brand is better than the other is to get educated on construction, mechanisms, and leather. You're not going to get that from the average salesperson because they don't know! Go in the store, ask for the catalog and read through it.Most every make has an exploded piece in their master dealer catalogs. Look at the way its made and get educated on it. THen you're ready to buy.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 1:08AM
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It really depends on what type of leather they use: full-grain or top-grain. Also how long you want it to last and if you have children or pets.

Full-Grain leather, made from the finest raw material, are clean natural hides which have not been sanded to remove imperfections. Only the hair has been removed. The grain remains in its natural state which will allow the best fiber strength, resulting in greater durability. The natural grain also has natural breathability, resulting in greater comfort for clothing. The natural Full-Grain surface will wear better than other leather. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a natural 'Patina' and grow more beautiful over time. The finest leather furniture and footwear are made from Full-Grain leather. Full grain leathers can mainly be bought as two finish types: aniline and semi-aniline.


Corrected-Grain leather, also known as Top-Grain leather, is fuzzy on one side and smooth on the other. The smooth side is the side where the hair and natural grain used to be. The hides, which are made from inferior quality raw materials, have all of the natural grain sanded off and an artificial grain applied. Top grain leather generally must be heavily painted to cover up the sanding and stamping operation. Corrected grain leathers can mainly be bought as two finish types: semi-aniline and pigmented.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leather

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 1:50PM
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Not exactly correct in those definitions, thats the trouble with quoting off Wikipedia, the information is not written by experts, but by people contributing to a free resource forum. The error rate is rather high there, I'm afraid.

"Full Grain" or "Full Top Grain" is indeed the the best, its 100% natural grain, and will also be the most expensive.

"Top Grain" is altered lightly with light sanding from "Full Top Grain" and is barely noticeable. This is still a premium hide and not made of "inferior raw materials".

"Corrected & Embossed Grain" has been thoroughly sanded, then embossed with a natural looking uniform grain pattern.

"Split and Embossed Grain" is the second layer of hide, split from a full grain hide. Its heavily pigmented (painted if you will) and the embossed grain pattern is less natural looking.

OK, so now that we have the basics down lets look at some numbers.

Only 5% of leathers worldwide can qualify as Full Grain.

10% made it to Full Top Grain.

18% are suitable for Corrected / Embossed.

The remaining 67% of hides are not used in the leather upholstery business and become shoes, handbags, belts, clothing, and automotive leathers.

Full anilines dyes are used on the 5% of full grain leather.

Aniline Plus is still drum dyed (as pure aniline) but gets a thin matching topcoat of color to even out the hide surface. They retain most the softness of a Full Aniline because the natural top grain is still intact.

Corrected grain leathers have imperfections which are sanded out, then embossed to restore a grain pattern and finally colored/topcoated. These are also called FINISHED leathers. This becomes the least expensive and most durable of the upholstery leathers, but some softness and suppleness is lost in the tanning / finishing process.

Splits are not used in the furniture industry because the lower sections of the hide are weaker from the elongated cell structure, and tend to stretch too much over time. A good example of a 'split' is an automotive chamois used to dry the car after a wash.

Theres a little leather primer for you, and don't even get me started on Bicasts (i.e., Costco 'leather' sofas, its not even real leather)

Duane Collie

1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 2:37PM
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Thats an excellent narrative on leather grades - thank you. i am looking for a good quality leather sectional and saw a Natuzzi that looked great but I sit on the couch many hours and worry about the leather and the cushioning and consequently I am now thinking of breaking open the piggy bank and getting an "Elite" leather sectional, they only use top grain leather and the cusions are made with coils so they should retain their form for a long time. Plus the company gives a lifetime guarantee. You have any opinion on Elite. Thanks for the leather education


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Hi Elliot,

I'm not familiar with "Elite" products as they're a California maker and we don't get much from out West shipped to the East. Looking at their web site however, I like what I see.

If a high-quality piece of leather furniture is purchased, it normally will give you a lifetime of use provided that you don't expose it to direct sun (fading) and clean it periodically (2x a year is a good schedule).

I'm a firm believer in spending a little more up front and buying better grades of furniture as its service life is so much better.

Good luck!
Duane Collie

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:15PM
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In your opinion what are the premier companies that you prefer. i am in NYC and have seen a few of the Elite sectionals at Bloomingdales and Macy's and liked them alot but before I buy I like to do a little research

thanks - Elliot

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 11:24PM
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I was close to ordering a Natuzzi sectional sofa when I read this thread which had be rethink my decision. I've since spent many hours researching both the quality and the actual availability of the product. I talked to several knowledgeable sales people who have dealt with Natuzzi for years, and I wanted to share what I learned.

First, regarding quality: apparently there are 3 distinct product lines within Natuzzi, of varying grade. The "premier" line is still made in Italy, and the middle and lowest-quality lines are manufactured off-shore, with at least some made in China. I don't know how these lines are differentiated, but my understanding is the lowest-line is oriented toward commercial use with harder, shallower seats, etc. The resellers I consulted carry only the top-of-the-line.

Natuzzi offers several grades of leather, including full grain, top grain, and split. (Thank you for the lesson on leather grades!) These leathers are all available in each of their lines. They don't offer the same colors in all grades; so if you choose a color, you are also selecting a grade or vice versa. Supposedly they do not offer the lighter shades in the full grain leather because it is more apt to stain from body oils.

As for delivery: since early last fall, all merchants have quoted me a delivery time of 4-6 months. So any sales person that promised a 3 month delivery either has special arrangements or is off-base. Natuzzi has spent the past many months (6-9, I believe) converting from one IT system to another, and apparently that process was rough. It caused massive delays in shipping products, among a host of other woes. A saleswoman read a letter to me from Natuzzi that she received within the past 2 weeks in which they explained their problems of the recent past, and said the computer conversion was now complete and the problems causing delays were behind them.

That doesn't mean the quoted delivery time is still anything less than 16-18 weeks, but it does mean that there's some assurance the product will arrive on time, or even earlier.

As for customer service, Natuzzi, like most furniture manufacturers, is not set up to deal with individual purchasers. The store is your liaison with Natuzzi, so it's up to them to represent you appropriately.

I'm not defending the company, only relaying what I was told.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 4:02PM
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Despite the negative things I'd heard we bought a Natuzzi sofa. I should have been more suspicious. I should have been suspicious of the fact that the department store had them in stock, but only one colour. And not a neutral colour that would be easy to sell. I'm still wondering about that.
But getting a gorgeous looking oh so comfortable sofa at a sale price straight from the retailer's warehouse without a long wait, we couldn't resist.
The first thing I noticed was the strangely rough cheap looking wooden feet. Should have noticed that in the store but we were more concerned with having a thorough bounce around on the seats and deciding whether the colour would look too out of place with our decor. When the sofa was delivered the feet were separate and I had to attach them. Oh well, the feet are probably outsourced I thought, but otherwise the sofa was as beautiful and comfortable as the one in the store. But there was a smell and whenever the weather was humid the smell came back, even two years later, which didn't seem right. Once new furniture has aired out it shouldn't smell. The store had no answers. I eventually did some research and decided for my family's health to throw the sofa out. I have since spoken to a salesman who explained that Natuzzi's cheaper and sale lines are made in China. I think the customers who haven't had their Natuzzi orders delivered are lucky!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 4:30AM
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I just purchased a Natuzzi leather sectional with recliners today (sunday) and it will be delivered on Tuesday. The sales rep told me that you can tell if the sofa was made in China or not by where the recliner switch is placed. The older Italian made switch was on the side of the sofa and the now Chinese made is a pull cord between the arm rest and the cushions.

On my sales receipt, the model number is listed as A367, but I am not able to find this model number on Natuzzi web site. Anyone has any idea about this?


    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 7:02PM
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Just got my sofa today. Manufactured 10/2008, made in Italy. The switch for the dual recliners are pull cords, so I don't know about the pull cords and made in China connection.

In regard to the comfort and quality, It is very well made and very comfortable. good support all around.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 5:28PM
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I wouldn't buy Flexsteel. I bought a black leather couch & chair from the Latitudes Collection. The black color on the leather is rubbing or wearing off!!!! I spent $3300 on this!!! I am completely dismayed!!! I thought I was going to have some nice furniture for the first time in my life. NOT SO!!! The leather is only warrantied for one year and I know why!!!!! A leather expert came out & told me the problem was due to a flaw in the tanning process. Flexsteel & my local retailer (Donnas Interiors in Arroyo Grande Ca) won't take the furniture back because it's been almost 2 years! I should have filed a complaint sooner!!!! Flexsteel says, "if you love your furniture now, wait a few years!" If you wait more than a year, YOU'LL BE IN TEARS!!!I WOULD NOT BUY FLEXSTEEL...unless you have money to throw away...which I don't!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 11:30PM
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I purchased a Flexsteel all leather recliner from another furniture store in Santa Maria, CA in 1985. I love it and would never want another recliner. I have had to get the mechanism replaced which Flexsteel warranties for a lifetime, I called Donna's Interiors in Arroyo Grande, since they are the closest furniture store and they asked me to get information off the bottom of the chair and then ordered me a new mechanism. The delivey men picked up my chair and returned it in the same week for a minimal $45 fee. I have since been back to Donna's Interiors to purchase other Flexsteel pieces and the quality of furniture is still first-rate.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 3:33PM
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About 4 years ago we bought 2 Natuzzi sofas from Bloomingdale's. We loved them so much that when we needed a new sofa for our den we decided to go back and buy (what we thought)was the same sofa again. We looked at it in the store, sat on it and loved it. When it was delivered we noticed that the cushions were not as deep and the leather was not as soft. When I questioned Bloomingdale's about it they said that Natuzzi was using a different manufacturer probably in China. We kept the sofa even though the quality was not the same as before.

About 4 months after having the sofa the middle cushion (which is rarely sat on) began to have whitish streaks on it. Then the ottoman, and then the bottom.

Bloomingdale's sent a rep who was arrogant and nasty....he cleaned it up and it looked better, but still not great. It began to show the white stuff about 1 week after that. I called Bloomingdale's and they said the best they could do was to give us a discount. I really just wanted them to take the sofa back. No such luck. Since then I have heard horror stories about Natuzzi leather. DO NOT BUY!!!!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 1:58AM
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I'm currently shopping for a cloth sofa. I do not know anything about Natuzzi, and am leaning toward FlexSteel.

From reading above, it sounds like the two brands have the same problem, but I think it is easier to resolve with FlexSteel. Some of their products are from China.

FlexSteel has a line called Latitudes. It is mainly leather pieces, and has very bad reviews everywhere I look (including here). What I have found in looking around is their US made products are very durable, but may not have quite the fit-n-finish has the high end lines (that doesn't bother me). I am only concerned with durability with three small children.

My advice is make sure what ever you are buying is not from China. If you can't be certain, then don't buy it. I'm not saying this to be "pro-America", though I wouldn't mind... It is because I only see complaints on the pieces made in China, and I only see positive comments on pieces from the USA. For Natuzzi, I would assume the ones from Italy would also be great, just not the ones from China.

I'm currently looking to get a Flexsteel Carlsbad Sofa/Loveseat and a Serenity Recliner. I just need to decide on cusioning and fabric. Sales person's stated delivery time is 4-6 weeks.

Again, for any furniture that you want to last. Just be certain that it is not made in China.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 9:01PM
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Now I'm really scared!!!! I've just bought a Natuzzi sofa and recliner chair from Sears. Delivery date stated to be in 21 days. (Sears says) as they are shipped from out of town. The set I sat in at the store was great. The price was right. I've got two dogs and a cat! Please tell me this will be okay. If not, I have 21 days - well maybe less- to cancel the order. Sorry, I have no idea what Flexsteel is!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 3:04AM
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Thanks so much for all the information. We are too deep in the "making a decision" process. All of your comments have helped sooo much. I was about to go by Flexsteel sofa from the Latitudes, but I think I will reconsider now. I was hoping the price would protect us from bad stuff. Now I know that is not so. Thank you Duane for your help. Wish your store was in Knoxville,TN I would come there!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 9:31AM
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    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 9:26AM
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I am about to purchase two Triton Flexsteel loveseats for approximately 7000.00. I decided to go with the more expensive because I learned my lesson when I bought a couple pieces from Ashley. I was most impressed with the warranty of the Flexsteel, something about lifetime and not costing me a dime for the warranty says something about how they feel about their product.

Does anyone have any warnings about the Triton line?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 7:51PM
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WEll the Triton has been a great set for a real long time. It is made here in the US and can be ordered in many diferent fabrics and leathers. They price you are paying for 2 loveseats seems really high to me. I have the sectional on the floor of my store for $3000.00. Unless you have choosen high grade leather or fabric. As far as the warranty it will cost you for the labor after the 1st year is up. Flexsteel only pays for the parts not the labor. Be sure to check with the store you are purchasing from.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 11:48AM
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We just took delivery of Natuzzi couch and chair. Being a custom shoe builder I'm confident in my judgment of leather. This set is made of good quality leather. However the feet are made of some wood I'm unfamiliar with although the finish looks good.
We bought them and took delivery one week later only to get a call saying delivery would be delays 2 weeks. Not a deal breaker but my wife was upset. However, now that we have them they are beautiful pieces. A nice latigo color very nice!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 4:51PM
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Duane,I would like to know the location of your store,I am around 350 lbs. and would like to know if you carry any thing that will last.I have horror stories about Berkline power motion sofas.I almost ordered two Natuzzi stationary sofas last night.I am so glad we did not.HELP

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 11:05AM
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I have had my natuzzi sofa 19 years. Still looks great! Raised 3 kids on it.
I upgraded my leather to a 40. Which has to do with thickness of leather.
This leather is so thick you could not stick a ball point pen through it.
Have you ever seen a rip in leather sofa? That is because the leather is thin or 20. Make sure the leather is at least 30. Also wiggle around on the sofa and make sure the cushions don't slide around. My sister has a leather sofa in which the cushions have to be readjusted several times during a movie or you will be on the floor! Natuzzi sofas don't do this.
My only negative is that it is lasting too long and I want to redecorate!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 10:34AM
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I am looking for another recliner chair. For years I swore up and down by LaZBoy but NO MORE! Less than 3 years and the fabric if frayed and 'worn' in spots. I had a Lane and I hated the button release. The handle is much easier to use. So I called my brother and he said they had the same problem but now have 2 leather Flexsteel and like them :) So I'm going to take the plunge.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 6:17AM
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Hi I'm new to this site. We are looking for a reclining leather sectional, possibly powered by electric... not a handle, & as top of line as possible(want it to last for many years). Saw a sectional by Southern Motion. It was in fabric but was told we could order it in top grain leather. Does anyone know anything about this manufacturer?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Hey guys I have been selling furniture now for the last 9 years. I was actually working from home for many years and because I have no overhead I sell for much less. Incase you guys were wondering I am in Long Island NY, I have a small showroom here.
For sofas I deal with many brands such as Palliser, Flexsteel, Bradington Young, Coaster, Elran, Leather Living and they each have their little isues here and there. Flexsteel US line is well made, the Chinese goods are potential issues.
I also have a Canadian line called Campio, Legacy-Leather, Divani this stuff is unreal. Comparable with Hancock and Moore ... you could customize etc etc I would highly recommend their product and service.

Good luck to all of you out there.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:02PM
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I recently purshcased a Natuzze leather recling couch, I love the way it looks, but when we get up from the recliner, the seat doesn't close immediately. We are now pushing it with our feet after we get up to close it. I had someone come down, thinking it was a problem of my particular couch only to find out that because the foot rest goes in, it is impossible to close as you put the foot rest down from a seated position. Whatever couch you purchase, please keep this in mind, since it is annoying. As far as the mechanism and leather of my couch go I think they are very good quality. I have a middle grade leather.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Flexsteel has the worst customer service I have ever encountered. They hide behind an email address. They have no phone numbers. They claim they have reps that will take care of any issues. But no one ever calls.
We had problems right from the start with poor craftsmanship (the piping that ran down the back of the sofa was diagonal over 2 inches instead of vertical, cushion jackets that wouldn't stay in place, and fabric that unravelled)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:07PM
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I am also in the market for a sofa and have been looking at natuzzi. Just a sofa, not a sleeper sofa. My main question their leather category... they offer 10,15,20,25... price between 10 and 25 varies by around $300-400 but no one can actually tell me whats the differnce is. One salesman said it's cause some leather is more grainy and other has a shine to it... I am mostly concerned with thickness as I want something on the thicker side that will last me. If anyone has any insight, I would appriciate it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:13PM
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I have a Lane and a Lazyboy recliners in navy Leather. Both get a lot of "sitting in" time. Both are about 6 years old and look good as new. I also bought a Natuzzi navy leather loveseat about 4 years ago. The space between the two cushions stretched and sunk...in fact all the leather stretched....not comfortable at all.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 1:59PM
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As with any fabric or leather, you will find good, better, and best. I bought a Natuzzi recliner sofa 3 years ago and bought the thicker leather (#25) just because that is what we preferred. It was about $350 more than the cheaper leather that I am assuming being built in China. The set I ordered came from Italy and we had a 18 week wait but good things come to those that wait! This sofa is in our family room and is used for several hours a day. Not to mention, we have 7 grandkids that visit frequently and we have 2 dogs that live in the house (but they do not get on the sofa) but we chose leather mostly because of the durability and ease of care because of the dogs. Having fabric furniture with grandkids and dogs is high maintenance. Our sofa is holding up perfect and looks just like it did the day it was delivered... we are very happy with it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 12:43PM
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All of these products are well made but they all are made with plywood frames a 5/4 hardwood frame is preferable.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:44AM
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Deb Zabel

We have owned our Natuzzi leather couch and custom recliner for over 20 yrs. Through our 2 children and their many friends, dogs, cats etc the leather has some changes to the color over the years but no rips, tears etc. It is vacuumed every couple of weeks and washed with a gentle soap and water with a sponge and dried with a towel twice a yr. The cushioning has held up as well. The couch is still in use today and the recliner is in the basement until I have time to find a repairman who knows how to fix the recliner components. Overall - It was well worth the money we paid. Interesting to note that in our less used room we have had 2 complete sets of couches/chairs- brand name and that room is currently empty because the fabric one ( both fabric and construction) wore out long ago and the leather where you sit ones split and were given away. The manufactured leather recliners in our greatroom we purchased 3 yrs ago and are already showing signs of wear from a construction standpoint with no children jumping on them. If looking at leather in the Northeast states - Natuzzi is still the way to go for longlasting comfort and durability

    Bookmark   on Tuesday at 10:31PM
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