About Upholstery Leather

Luxure Nappa Leather

Upholstery Leather – The word 'leather' by definition is processed animal hide. Bovine leather is a by-product of the meat and dairy industry. About 80% of the global production of leather is consumed by the shoe and small leather goods industry. Sofa makers have a much smaller share.

Artificial leather is a somewhat misleading term as this is essentially a plastic derivative like PVC, and is not leather. Real leather is among the most durable upholstery coverings known to man. Millions of years of evolution have made leather hard to replace with artificial materials that can offer the same benefits.

Luxury leather that is supple and not heavily corrected or pigmented will adjust to ambient temperature quickly. Correction is a process to increase the cutting yield where the surface of hides is buffed to remove surface damages, and synthetic filling agents are used. This is an important point to note because all leather is not processed the same way. Heavily corrected upholstery leather will not feel luxurious to the user. So a soft and supple feel is generally an indication of better quality.

Upholstery leather that is processed with the objective to enhance the feel and, therefore, which is less corrected is able to maintain the equilibrium between body temperature and surface temperature. This translates to a luxurious feel. However, hides that are not heavily corrected reduce the cutting yield of the hides and increases costs for the sofa maker.  This is why a majority of the large volume sofa factories globally use a heavily corrected upholstery leather and the feel is compromised.

Karlsson imports European bovine upholstery leather processed & fully finished in Italy to a matte or glossy look. It is imported in the form of fully finished uncut hides.  No refinishing of this upholstery leather takes place at our end, as we merely cut and sew. All our leather is tested in Italy by vendors to meet necessary European upholstery standards prior to shipment.

It’s good to keep in mind that Nappa is a generic term used for any soft leather with a smooth finish. There tends to be confusion as some vendors in the car seat cover business sell leather with a hard feel & a hair cell flat print and call it Nappa.


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