Choosing between Fabric or Leather for your Living room Furniture

Posted by Manhattan Home Design on Jan 21st 2019

The right textile choice for your furniture is something that many people overlook when they're putting together a new interior design layout. There has to be some discrimination, as different fabrics have different properties and textures, and this influences the functional part of the design. Choosing between fabrics is a paramount requirement if you want to achieve the comfort you're looking for: not everyone enjoys the same stuff.

Today we're going to discuss the differences between leather and fabric per se. Leather is a fabric, but its texture is so particular and unique that it tends to the separated from other types of fabrics, and belongs to its own category. Its counterpart (for this article) will mostly be wool, one of the most popular living rooms fabrics and a favorite leather substitute in our catalog. To make this blog post much more approachable and easy to understand, we'll just divide list the pros and cons in two parts:

Fabrics (Specifically wool) 

Each two of these elements has their own negative and positive aspects and connotations. Fabric is believed to be much more comfortable than leather, especially wool, which is extremely flexible. Synthetic fabrics are even more flexible, providing that 'sinking' feel you get whenever you place your whole weight into the seat of your couch, lounge chairs, etcetera. The padding is also important, as you can't really 'sink' on a dining chair upholstered in wool (or leather), but you will always feel a particular softness with these kinds of fabrics.

Some other fabrics are not as flexible as wool, and have a firm layer (of various materials) beneath the actual surface. This makes them as hard as leather in many cases, but they'll usually have a very soft and sometimes furry exterior, which is the actual upholstered, like velvet, for example. The durability of a certain fabric (just like leather) depends on the quality. But most fabrics will indeed be a little less durable than actual leather. Another good feature of fabrics, however, is that they won't scratch as easily as a leather surface, and you are able to find them in a much wider variety of colors and patterns. 


One thing that many people don't really take into consideration when it comes to leather is the fact that it can help your allergies. They tend to be easier to clean and don't hold as much dust as other fabrics. However, some people are allergic to leather itself, and can get rashes from direct contact. If you're not one of those people, you might also benefit from the fact that leather is much more solid and easy to clean and maintain. The best leather does get scratches and markings, but these fade over time and (in some types of leather) they end up becoming part of the upholstered, giving it a beautiful natural look.

Now, let’s talk aesthetics. Even though our economies and factories have advanced a lot, and most people have access to both leather and other fabrics equally, leather still remains king when it comes to elegance. There is a historical notion to see leather as a luxurious type of fabric, meant for high-end spaces, and that still remains today. For a lot of people, leather equals money, even if it’s cheaper than other contemporary fabrics. This doesn’t mean that wool is for poor people; common fabrics are just considered homelier and familiar while leather is a marker of status.

As a final note, you should always consider what you want your house to convey in a visual sense. As we mentioned before, leather has a much more limited roster of colors and patterns, but you can still find leather upholsteries in vibrant colors like blue, red, and even yellow. Choosing this type of leather might give you an aesthetic edge, but you will have to dig a little deeper to find it.


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Our specialized team will start handcrafting it for you and deliver it in just 2-12 weeks. The lead time should show on the page next to the Pre-Order option, feel free to chat with us to confirm it. The standard in the furniture industry is over 20 weeks.
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