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RE: Flexsteel vs. Lane vs. Natuzzi leather sectionals (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: dcollie on 01.30.2008 at 02:37 pm in Furniture Forum

Not exactly correct in those definitions, thats the trouble with quoting off Wikipedia, the information is not written by experts, but by people contributing to a free resource forum. The error rate is rather high there, I'm afraid.

"Full Grain" or "Full Top Grain" is indeed the the best, its 100% natural grain, and will also be the most expensive.

"Top Grain" is altered lightly with light sanding from "Full Top Grain" and is barely noticeable. This is still a premium hide and not made of "inferior raw materials".

"Corrected & Embossed Grain" has been thoroughly sanded, then embossed with a natural looking uniform grain pattern.

"Split and Embossed Grain" is the second layer of hide, split from a full grain hide. Its heavily pigmented (painted if you will) and the embossed grain pattern is less natural looking.

OK, so now that we have the basics down lets look at some numbers.

Only 5% of leathers worldwide can qualify as Full Grain.

10% made it to Full Top Grain.

18% are suitable for Corrected / Embossed.

The remaining 67% of hides are not used in the leather upholstery business and become shoes, handbags, belts, clothing, and automotive leathers.

Full anilines dyes are used on the 5% of full grain leather.

Aniline Plus is still drum dyed (as pure aniline) but gets a thin matching topcoat of color to even out the hide surface. They retain most the softness of a Full Aniline because the natural top grain is still intact.

Corrected grain leathers have imperfections which are sanded out, then embossed to restore a grain pattern and finally colored/topcoated. These are also called FINISHED leathers. This becomes the least expensive and most durable of the upholstery leathers, but some softness and suppleness is lost in the tanning / finishing process.

Splits are not used in the furniture industry because the lower sections of the hide are weaker from the elongated cell structure, and tend to stretch too much over time. A good example of a 'split' is an automotive chamois used to dry the car after a wash.

Theres a little leather primer for you, and don't even get me started on Bicasts (i.e., Costco 'leather' sofas, its not even real leather)

Duane Collie


clipped on: 02.07.2014 at 01:40 pm    last updated on: 02.07.2014 at 01:40 pm

RE: Flexsteel vs. Lane vs. Natuzzi leather sectionals (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: dcollie on 03.06.2007 at 01:08 am in Furniture Forum

What a tough question! This all depends on your budget?!

NONE of the brands you are looking at are particularly good units. However, they will render medium duty service with so-so comfort levels having mediocre factory support after the sale should problems occur. On the other hand, they don't cost near as much as a premium brand.

Here's my take on this, as someone who has been 22 years owning a furniture store (And I sell Flexsteel):

A reclining sofa in leather is probably the most highly used piece in a room. Because its a motion piece, it is also subject to additional stress points on the frame and mechanisms.

A $ 2,000 recliner leather sofa might go 10 years before it breaks. A $ 4,000 one will go 30 years, and come with all the parts replaceable over time under warranty. Which is the better buy? From a performance over time position, the more expensive, premium unit cost LESS per month of ownership than the cheaper unit, because it holds up. I see that time and time again. Plus the premium units look better and feel better, so there is that aspect as well.

The only way to tell if one brand is better than the other is to get educated on construction, mechanisms, and leather. You're not going to get that from the average salesperson because they don't know! Go in the store, ask for the catalog and read through it.Most every make has an exploded piece in their master dealer catalogs. Look at the way its made and get educated on it. THen you're ready to buy.

Good luck!


clipped on: 02.07.2014 at 01:39 pm    last updated on: 02.07.2014 at 01:39 pm