A short list of the best U.S. leather furniture makers would include:
For more information about high end leather furniture check out Leather Buying Guide. For specific questions, there is also a highly informative forum/blog specializing in high end leather MyFurnitureForum.com
Over the past two decades, many high end U.S. furniture factories have closed down, eliminating jobs for hundreds of highly skilled upholsterers. Many of these master artisans opened their own small shops doing custom upholstery and reupholstery work for local customers and interior designers.
- Many of these artisans can provide exquisite craftsmanship at surprisingly affordable prices.
- It can be difficult tracking down these independent upholsterers since they rarely advertise or have easy to find websites.
- Experienced interior designers are often the best source for locating these furniture artists who may spend days or weeks to produce a single one-of-a -kind sofa to your exact specifications.
Leather is a complex and confusing subject. It is still possible to buy high quality leather furniture that will last 20 years and more. It is also possible to spend several thousand dollars on leather furniture that will fall apart within 5 years or less.
The highest quality leather for furniture is “full grain” natural leather. For most residential furniture professionals full grain refers to a leather that has not been “split.” The top grain has not been separated from the lower grains.
There are exceptions to this definition. For example many interior design professionals refer to any natural grain leather as full grain. A natural grain leather is one that has retailed the grain pattern from the animal hides.
Many top and full grain hides are sanded down to remove scratches, bug bites, brands and other flaws. The sanding removes the natural grain along with the flaws. That grain must be artificially replaced by embossing an artificial pattern onto the hide.
The best quality leathers will have the natural grain patterns intact. Hides that have been sanded down and artificially embossed are known as “corrected leather.” There are multiple other terms that are used instead of “corrected,” including “pigmented” and “protected.”
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