How To Buy Leather Goods Like A Pro
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Published by TOP4 Team
It’s one of the more luxurious items you could own. Whether you wear it or have it around your home, i.e., furniture, leather goods lend an elegant and sophisticated look. And since real leather doesn’t exactly come cheap, you will want to get the best value for your money.
Here are basic tips to buying exquisite leather goods, from home furnishings to wearable products to travel gear.
Get to know the different types of leather.
It pays to know about the material you intend to buy. Otherwise, you will simply rely on the information provided by some sales person looking to push more products on you.
Leather is generally classified into the following:
· Aniline – it’s the most natural-looking leather; it’s coloured only with dye but a light surface coating may be added to highlight the appearance and provide extra protection against spills and soiling.
· Semi-aniline – also natural-looking but more durable than aniline; it contains a small amount of pigment, which delivers stain resistance and colour consistency.
· Pigmented – it’s the most durable of all, and used mostly for upholstery in cars and on furniture. It comes with polymer surface coating and pigments.
Ask about the leather grades.
Leather grades refer to the various price groups and the corresponding quality. Genuine leather is the lowest quality of all, and includes bonded leather and split grain leather; both do not stand up to the test of time as good leather should do.
Full grain leather is considered the most durable, and highest-quality grade; it develops a rich patina over time, making it more attractive. It’s used for heavy-duty items like weapon holsters, utility belts, work boots, briefcases, and the like.
Top-grain leather is the second best grade. It doesn’t ages as well as full grain but it will remain durable as long as you take good care of it.
Look, touch, and smell the leather.
While online shopping is convenient, you may want to pick a store that has a physical shop you can visit. You can check out the inventory online and make a note of the items you like. Then head to the store and get a feel for the leather product.
Experts say that if it smells like leather, it’s leather. You’ll also want to look at the creases, the grain pattern, the imperfections (in the case of full grain leather), and just get a feel for the product in your hand. How the leather feels in your hand will indicate its quality; heavily pigmented leather will feel almost like plastic and real aniline leather will feel light and flexible.