Leather comes in many different forms and textures. All the different types have a class specification and each is used for specific purposes in the upholstery industry.
Full Grain – this type of leather has not been sanded down or buffed to remove imperfections and flaws. It may not be the most attractive finish for a couch but it will last a long time because it has not been tampered with or altered.
Top Grain – this is one of the high end ranges of rawhide products you can find. This material is more manageable and it is easy to shape for couches and sofas. Top grain has been sanded and has had a coat applied for the protection of the material. Spills and messes will not stain top grain leather plus it has a smoother finish.
Corrected Grain – this is also known as bonded leather. Corrected grain is leather that has had many forms of artificial substances added. It is also stained and dyed to make it look as similar to real leather as possible. It is often made from scraps of unused leather that have been made into a pulp and then mixed with polyurethane.
Split Leather – this material is created from the fibrous part of the hide that has been separated during the top grain extraction process. It is also known as the drop split. This separated hide can also be split if the skin is thicker and harder to shape. This kind of leather is also used to create suede.
There are also less common leathers that can be used in upholstery and clothing industries.
Buckskin Leather – this is the process of tanning deer or buck hides. Some buckskin leather is also made from sheep hide, then dyed and tanned so that it can resembble that of a deer or buck.
Patent Leather – this material has been coated for a glossy appearance. This material is often used on shoes and handbags to give it a glossy or shiny effect but still retain its quality and strength.
Nowadays, leather is mostly being made from cattle skin as it is easier to find and cheaper to produce as leather without wasting any part of the animal. Furniture upholsterers try to find the best solution to make a couch or sofa so that the end product will not cost so much for the client. They will also make sure that the leather has been properly repaired to fit your specifications.