While there are many durable and fashionable fabrics available for furniture at many price ranges, I want to focus on leather as an option and a choice for your furniture. In addition, there are environmentally-friendly options for leather furniture as there are for fabrics, such as hemp and flax (linen).

Leather is made from animal skins, most usually cow hides, so it is already environmentally-friendly in that it is the byproduct of the feeding of our population. People have been making leather for millennia, for clothing, for shelter, for tools, for binding, for furniture, and for protection, along with many other uses.

Versatile and durable, leather is ideal for furniture. It is resistant to cracking and tearing and will retain its shape over an extended period of time. It is supple and “breathes” in any climate so the comfort remains no matter what the season.

Leather furniture is available in a variety of treatments and finishes which have an impact on its look and its durability. The best leather grades are “top grain” which is the outer layer of the hide where the greatest natural beauty is evident. “Range marks” (healed scars, insect bites, etc.) may be present, and the natural variations of creases and folds are also indicative of top grain, top quality leather.

“Splits” are the underside of the skin and as such are rather plain, so embossing, pigmenting, and sealants are typically applied to increase the look and value of splits. This process is called “correcting” the hide.

Leather for furniture can be dyed, stained, waxed, sanded, embossed, and pigmented by hand to achieve the look and finish that the tanner desires. Each process and how it is done will determine the final look, feel and durability of the leather. The finest hides are aniline dyed in a vat so that the dye penetrates the hides completely and offers better color consistency. Fine leathers are often “micropigmented” by adding a light layer of pigment to the surface to make the color even more uniform without affecting the “hand” or feel of the leather.

Leather is appropriate for both traditional and contemporary furniture designs. With traditional furniture designs, leather provides an elegance and luxury. Paired with brass and gold accessories, any dark leather exudes a regal look to the room. When used in contemporary settings, more vibrant colors of leather, suede (nubuck) and high sheen finishes will provide that impact that the modern design calls for.

Regardless of the style, the unique nature and individuality of each hide and each piece of furniture made from it will add beauty, value, comfort, and pride of ownership to your leather sofa or chair.

Our company, EcoSelect Furniture, sells custom leather furniture, made with eco-friendly leather and hemp fabrics. Our green living room furniture of sofas, loveseats and chairs are high quality for the price of ordinary brand name products.

Author's Bio: 

Ken Fonville is the president of EcoSelect Furniture, which sells eco-friendly custom leather furniture , made with eco-friendly leather and hemp fabrics. Our green living room furniture collections are made of quality leather. http://www.ecoselectfurniture.com/