With varying types of leathers and the incremental price differences it is often hard to tell what you are paying for. Upholstery leather is classified in 2 main categories Genuine (natural cut leathers without human made compounds) and Polyurethane (leather like materials made from left overs of genuine leather and plastic like chemicals). Genuine leather’s and polyurethane’s can also be broken down into a multitude of sub categories, however as a consumer it is important to factor in the variable of longevity (abrasion data) before other less significant factors such as cut, color, texture etc.
Both genuine and polyurethane can be the right choice for your home, it really depends on your plan for your living space.
If you are planning to keep a sofa in the living space for up to 15-20 years it may be better to invest in a genuine leather sofa.
If however you fancy on changing the look of your living space every 5-6 years, it may be beneficial to pay less for the polyurethane.
Both options gave or take meet the same budget after an extended period of 20 years, but the right option for you as you read above depends on your goals for the living space.
Although fabrics can be quite viotile in pricing just like leathers, they are much easier to categorize. Upholstery fabric’s include chenielle, microfibe, cotton, woven, velvet, linen. Mostly all of these fabrics will last and will spoil only when some serious damage is done such as spills and stuff. The 3 things you want to keep in mind with fabrics are double rubs, grades, and synthetic vs naural fibres.
for designers, it’s called abrasion data. It is extremely important when you are selecting your fabric for upholstered pieces that are going to be subjected to high traffic (ie. the family room).
What it means is quite simple – double-rub is a testing method that uses a special machine that passes a testing pad back and forth over the fabric until it is worn out. Each back-and-forth pass is known as a double-rub. Domestic fabrics are usually rated at 25,000 double-rubs, so if you are purchasing one that is over 50,000 – you are good to go! Commercial-grade fabrics usually wear out after 100,000 to 250,000 double-rubs. You can’t visually tell how well fabric will hold up until it has been tested.