Another Leather Sofa Question

cjs1985November 17, 2011

Before posting let me say that I searched through the archived threads and I did learn a lot from previous posts such as the difference between full top grain and full grain leather. It also seems that the consensus is that Leathercraft and Hancock Moore are the brands with the best reputation and that people have said less then desirable things about brands such as Natuzzi and Flex-steel. I appreciate that in order to purchase a quality leather sofa I am going to have to be willing to spend upwards of $2,500 and I am willing to do so, I'm just not willing to spend the $7,000+ that a Leathercraft would probably cost me. I also have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for (a more casual sofa made of dark leather with pillow arms and overstuffed cushions) So my question is this...if Leathercraft is a Mercedes and La-Z-Boy is a Pinto, what brand would be a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord?

Bottom line I'm looking for a quality, albeit not top of the line leather sofa that is more reasonably priced then the premier leather sofas.

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Its good that you have done some research before making a investment, because that is what someone does when they purchase leather furniture. But im afraid your approaching this from a perspective that most furniture buyers do and that is talking brand name first. Buying furniture is not as simple as buying a car. First you should determine exactly what type of leather fits your needs. Do you want clean-ability over comfort or vise versa. Leather needs to breath to be comfortable, but needs to have a protective finish to be able to clean, sorry but you cant have it both ways. A semi-aniline finish is about as close as you can get. Also aniline dyed leather with no finish is the most comfortable and will age showing a patina over time. Pigmented leather is very easy to clean and has lower maintenance but doesnt breath very well so more colder feeling in winter and sticky feeling in the summer. And of course the look or style your going after.
Best to first determine the leather you want from the above and by looking at swatches and sitting in different types of leather, and bear in mind that the pure aniline dyed leather is more expensive than pigmented leathers sometimes 50% or more.
Work with a local dealer(s) to find manufacturers that builds quality frames, springs and cushions that offer the leather you have chosen. Their are more than 50 different quality leather upholstery manufacturers out their.
Unless you are comfortable purchasing online, where the better deals are to be found, but requires more due diligence on your end.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Our two leather sectionals (one in the LR and one in the FR) are semi-aniline leather from W.Schillig. They were made in China but the "skins" (leather) are supposed to have come from Europe, and the factories are supposedly run/managed by Germans (from their headquarters in Germany).

So far we are very happy with both of our sectionals. They look great (both styles/models work well with our decor), and were priced well. Quality is quite good (our first one had some issues on delivery which were rectified early on). Top-stitching on both is perfectly even and straight.

We purchased one locally, and the other in NC during a "retirement" sale/promotion, and spent much less than $7000 for each.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 2:39PM
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THere are many other quality brands out there. I liked the Smith Brothers leathers, I had a King Hickory that lasted many, many years. I just sold it and the chair for 600.00 it still looked very new and the leather didn't show any wear. I haven't priced this brand for awhile, but try either of the above. I believe both are made in the USA

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 5:21PM
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You may want to look at Bradington Young. Be wary of upholstery made in China. There have been issues with the silicone they put in the cushions to keep dry during transport. These are the same type silicone they put in the little packets in purses & shoes, ect. It seems that the Chinese are putting the loose stuff in the cushioning & when sat upon warmth builds up & causes burns to the skin.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 2:08PM
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We've sat on our leather sectional (manuf in China for W.Schillig)in shorts or even just underwear and haven't burned ourselves on it yet! Our sectional is a few years old at this point, so we've had plenty of opportunities for warmth to "build-up."

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 11:42PM
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elite - I echo the "be wary" of Chinese manufactured hides/furniture. There is just issue after issue with their products not being safe since they don't have the same regulations. If you are investing a lot of money into a piece, I think you can have more confidence in the safety/quality if built from a known manufacturer in the states.

With that said, I hope they have resolved that particular issue mentioned by elite. It was a couple years ago, caused many injuries and even death, and they pinpointed the cause of the issue. They also pinpointed which particular manufacturers. I surely hope they stopped that practice at this point.

Also, FYI, this issue was not from silica gel or silica packets. Those packets do not cause reactions and are non-toxic with normal usage (it's used in cat litter, even).... The Chinese issue was from a toxic agent that was similarly used as a fungicide; Very bad stuff that they shouldn't have put inside of their furniture and that people shouldn't be exposed to.

"Dimethyl fumarate, in the form of a fine, white crystalline powder, was found in sachets embedded in the furniture sourced to China. It is believed the body heat generated from sitting on a contaminated couch causes a toxic vapour to seep out."

Sorry to the OP for the tangent... I'll try to answer your question now.... We just received a sectional/ottoman from a NC manufacturer (sold by Casco Bay Furniture) and are thrilled with it.. quality and price were excellent. I just posted my review on another thread on here, so I won't repeat, but I would recommend them.

While searching for our pieces, I came across some other US manufacturers/companies that I considered ordering from...

The Comfortable Couch is one that also seemed to offer a great product and a good price (manufactured in NC, I believe.)

"Couch" of Seattle, again, seemed like a quality option (they use a manufacturer in LA.) The Seattle one specialized more in upholstery than leather, though.

Another (long time) forum member here recommended Wellington's Leather Furniture to me. She said she had ordered from them a number of times and was very happy. They carry Bradington Young and a variety of other manufacturers.... so you might look over their options and then find out more about a particular sofa if you like one. I talked to one of their reps on the phone who was very nice and helpful.

I can try to think of others that stood out if the OP is still looking. :) Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 12:49PM
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The quality of leather can vary widely. If you plan on spending that amount of money on a new sofa, it is essential that you take steps to protect it from premature aging, cracking, discoloration, and other issues. I keep my leather furniture, and leather jacket for that matter, coated with Tantex. This simple step will add years of life to your leather and keep it looking brand new. Check it out at Tantex on Amazon

Your best bet is to stay away from cheap Chinese made leather furniture. Leather produced in the USA is always vastly superior to the Chinese stuff. If you take care of it properly, it will last a lifetime and someday be passed down to your grandchildren. Again, the key is proper care and maintenance on a regular basis.

This post was edited by ledbetter on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 13:14

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Sadly, while I would like to say that "Made in America" is just fantastic, that is not always the case. "Made in China" is not good either. You have to do the research on how quality furniture is made and then buy. Also read warranties first. Ask sales associate what they will do for you after the sale and get it in writing. Fact is, made in China or USA, it is buyer beware.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 12:27PM
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LEATHERCRAFT is no where near a MERCEDES made a KIA!!!! If you want a good real leather sofa, loveseat, chair, etc go to Hancock and Moore or Classic Leather they make the best furniture around. If you want to do fabric Wesley Hall is by far the best!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 5:00PM
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