Leather Furniture Terms You Need to Know

Aug 25, 2021

Furniture 411

Women sitting on top grain leather sofa

Not all leather is created equally, and if you don’t understand the terminology, you may end up getting something different than you expected. In today’s blog, the interior design experts at Star Furniture discuss some common leather furniture terms and what they mean, so you’ll have all the information you need to make a smart purchase.

What is Full Grain Leather?

Full grain leather refers to the top layer of a cowhide that is left unchanged except for the removal of hair. While full grain leather is tanned and finished, it retains its natural markings and is the strongest and most durable type of leather on the market.

What is Top Grain Leather?

Top grain leather refers to the top cut of cowhide with the outermost layer of skin either sanded, buffed, or shaved off to remove blemishes. Top grain leather retains much of the strength and durability of full grain leather and is the most popular type of leather used in furniture today.

What is Genuine Leather?

Genuine leather refers to leather that is created from the part of the hide left once the top layer has been separated or split from the hide. Genuine leather is often referred to as split leather and is less durable than top grain and full grain leather. That said, it still maintains its beautiful leather appearance, making it a great option for people looking for a more affordable leather furniture option. 

What is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather refers to a mixture of leather and non-leather materials that is often treated to look like actual leather. Because most bonded leather contains only a small percentage of genuine leather, it doesn’t offer the same benefits of leather furniture, though it does look similar in appearance. Like split leather, bonded leather can be a good alternative for people looking for more affordable furniture options.

What is Leather Everywhere the Body Touches

Sometimes referred to as “leather match,” this refers to a mixture of leather and non-leather materials on an upholstered item. All stress areas (areas sat on and touched) are Top Grain leather. The outside of the frame and non-stress areas are either vinyl or polyurethane match. Like split leather, Leather Everywhere the Body Touches can be a good alternative for people looking for more affordable furniture options.

Now that you know these leather furniture terms, it’s time to start shopping! Visit a Star Furniture store near you to browse our huge selection of leather sofas, sectionals, loveseats, recliners, and ottomans. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog, where we discuss everything from the best kid-friendly sofas for sale to how to clean different couch upholsteries.