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Faux Leathers ARRGGHH!!!!

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Any retailer selling all of the top leather lines from North America and Italy will physically cringe at the mention of “faux leathers” or worse “pleather”.
When the customer is looking to purchase a lifetime piece of furniture such as a sumptuous leather sectional for their family room or formal living room, they are looking for the top grain of the hides, with or without some protection and dying.  The “hand” of the leather – literally how it feels in your hand – generally becomes better in direct relation to the amount charged for the hide.  In other words, you get what you pay for.As durable as leather is – it is a skin after all – there is some maintenance required.  It needs to have a conditioner applied about every 5 years to retain the moisture, and any stains or scuff marks should be addressed immediately.

One of the selling features of leather is the ability to repair almost any problem encountered along the life of the piece.  Tears can be glued so perfectly the untrained eye cannot see it – stains, transfers, or any kind of fading can be “redyed” by a leather expert.  A 20-year old sofa can be made to look close to brand new.  All of these attributes help justify the price to a customer purchasing fine leather.In the last 5 years though, there has been a resurgence of the so called faux leathers and all of us leather “snobs” have had to take notice.  The “hand” is excellent, the colors are true, and the cost is hard to argue with.

Many manufacturers are using these products on furniture where it doesn’t really matter—headboards and rails on a bed, kitchen chairs and in some cases dining chairs.  Different vendors call them different names—the Italians call it “Skay”, others call it “technohyde” and for those not trying to confuse the consumer we have heard the very simple “faux leather”.To avoid confusion (and to make sure that you get exactly what you want and need), when shopping make sure you find a retailer who has trained Designers able to answer your questions intelligently and direct you to the correct product.  This is especially important when you are doing research online –make sure you are comparing oranges to oranges and not oranges to apples!

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Sklar Furnishings