Leather Vs Leatherette Vs Wooden - A Sofa Comparison
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Leather Vs Leatherette Vs Wooden - A Sofa Comparison

The sofa is the most important piece of the puzzle in the living room design jigsaw. It is an essential piece of furniture as it is the first thing that you will use when you get home. The couch is also the one that gets noticed most in your living room and hence should match the decor without any sacrifice in comfort. If you are on the market, many sofa set designs are appealing. If you have not made up your mind on the style, design, and fabric, then check out Wakefit as they have many options for you which are high quality and affordable. However, if you are still confused on whether to buy leather, leatherette, or wooden, here is a comparison of the three.

Leather v/s Leatherette

What is leather?

Leather is a material that is obtained from animal skins and hides. Cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, etc are some of the animals' hides used. The leather that is used in furniture falls into three types:

● Aniline leather: It is the most natural-looking leather and retains a unique surface. It is soft to touch and comfortable to be seated. The major disadvantage is that it gets stained easily.

● Semi-Aniline leather: It is tougher than the aniline and the surface is coated with a pigment and hence more stain-resistant. It is more durable and offers a more consistent colour. It does not have the appeal of aniline leather.

● Pigmented leather: It is the most common type of leather used in furniture. It has a polymer surface coating making it the toughest and most durable material. The major disadvantage is that it does not look natural.

What is Leatherette?
Leatherette is artificial leather that looks like real leather but is synthetically made. It was produced in the early 1990s and has since become more popular. It is called by several names like fake leather, PU leather, and pleather. It is an alternative to the more expensive natural leather that is used in furniture. There have been many changes in the way leatherette is manufactured and high-quality ones are seen on par with natural leather.

How to Differentiate between Leather and Leatherette?
Due to the high quality of engineering, leatherette these days looks similar to natural leather. So distinguishing one over the other is a challenge. However, trained eyes can easily differentiate them.

● Real leather has pores on the surface that are inconsistent whereas fake leather has perfect even pores.

● Real leather has a soft and buttery feel and leatherette has a plastic feel.

● Real leather has a distinct smell and the leatherette has a synthetic odour.

Comparison of Leather and Leatherette Sofas
Now that you know what the leather and the leatherette sofa are and how to distinguish one from the other, here is a comparison of the differences. That will help you determine whether you should buy leather or a leatherette sofa.

● Material: Leather is made from the hide of the animals and treated chemically to produce the end product. Leatherette is made from PVC or polyurethane.

● Durability: Leather is highly durable and lasts many years. It is rugged but will fade in the sun and degrade as it ages. Leatherette is comparatively less durable, but ages better and is waterproof.

● Maintenance: Leather needs less maintenance but it is not washable. Accidental spills prove costly as it gets easily absorbed. Leatherette too is not washable but it is easy to clean using a damp cloth. It is waterproof and spills don’t get absorbed.

● Breathable: Leather is highly breathable and hence cosy during summers. But the leatherette is not and hence people sitting on the sofa during summer feel hotter.

● Colours: Leather comes in only a few shades like brown, black or white. Leatherette can be dyed so it comes in many colours.

● Cost: Leather is expensive whereas leatherette comes at half the price of leather.

Your lifestyle and budget are largely going to decide whether you should choose leather or leatherette. If you live in a warm environment then leather is more breathable and is a better choice. Moreover, it ages better but is difficult to clean.
But a leatherette is a better choice if you are environmentally conscious, want easy cleaning, less expensive, and want the latest sofa design.

Choosing between Leatherette/Leather and Wooden Sofa
Leather and leatherette have more or less the same look and feel. Now let’s look at the other popular option, the wooden or the fabric sofa:

● Temperature neutral: Leather and leatherette both absorb the temperature of the surroundings and hence become cold during winter and hot during summer. So it will either make you sweaty or cold. The fabric, however, is highly breathable and allows air to circulate, and is temperature-neutral. Ensure you choose the right fabric like cotton or microfiber for better temperature control.

● Softer: Fabric is softer compared to leather and leatherette. It does not need to be ‘broken-in’ like the leather.

● Easy to maintain: Proper maintenance of the sofa ensures it lasts long. Fabric sofas made from good quality upholstery are easy to maintain and are durable. They are waterproof and stain-resistant. It can be cleaned easily to remove stains from any accidental spills. Also, it can withstand more wear and tear from jumping kids or the sharp claws of your pets.

● The leather or leatherette are easily scratched and are not a great option for families with pets or kids.

● Colour options: Fabric has more colour, texture, and pattern options than leather. It gives you a chance to show your style and match it with your decor. You can choose a fun and bright colour or a sober neutral colour to complement the other decorative elements of your living room. However leather and leatherette age better and do not fade as quickly as fabric.

● Cost: The cost of a fabric sofa varies depending on the fabric and the quality. It comes in various price ranges which suits all types of users. Even the L shape sofa design is not expensive when compared to leather or leatherette which is more expensive.

If you want a clean, stylish, elegant, and sophisticated look with colour durability, hypoallergenic properties, and fewer budget constraints, a leather sofa is an ideal choice. Leatherette also shares the same attributes but is less expensive. However, if you want more options in terms of colour, texture, and pattern, need easy maintenance, and looking at affordable pricing, fabric sofas are the right choice.

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