It’s All About Comfort
If you had to choose between style and comfort, what would you opt for? It is a difficult choice. In this fast-paced world that we live in, a world that is becoming increasingly frenzied, relaxation and comfort are highly prized possessions. We all yearn to return to our own pocket of comfort – our home – after a stressful day.
What about style? The need for comfort vies strongly with the desire to be stylish and chic, even in the privacy of our own homes. A shabby chic décor, with muted colours, natural materials and antique furnishings; or contemporary interiors, defined by simplicity, subtle sophistication and clean lines.
The answer to this dilemma is leather – the classic blend of comfort and style. This unassuming material that adorns many a modern home was one of mankind’s earliest discoveries. Abundant use of leather has been noted as far back as 10,000 BC. Initially used for clothing and storage purposes, leather soon made its way into the world of furniture.
The journey of leather furniture began in Egypt around 3100 BC. At that time, leather was a symbol of power and prestige, a luxury reserved for the nobles and royalty. With industrialization and improved leather-making processes, the use of leather furniture became a global phenomenon.
There are many reasons why leather furniture is still so popular to this day.
- Durability – Unlike other upholstery materials, leather is very durable and can beautify your home for several years.
- Premium furniture – Leather furniture is synonymous with luxury and style. A perfect fit with every type of décor, leather furniture never goes out of style.
- Easy maintenance – Leather furniture is easier to maintain than other types of furniture, thus making it a popular choice both in living spaces and workplaces.
Leather furniture has evolved over the years, not only in form, but also in style. In the past, leather furniture was usually oversized, with traditional styling, bold colours and a glazed finish. With time, muted colours and finer textures have changed the very appearance of leather furniture. ‘Leather furniture’ is a deceptively simple term, which does not describe the different types of leather or the vast array of furniture that one can choose from. Before we delve further into the range of leather that is used for furniture nowadays, do you know how to distinguish between genuine leather furniture and the not-so-genuine fakes?
Just like with almost everything else in today’s ‘life made easy’ world, genuine leather furniture is facing stiff competition from expertly made, hard to distinguish faux leather furniture. A simple checklist will make it easier to determine whether the leather furniture you are planning to purchase is genuine or a close substitute.
- Smell – Real leather furniture has a natural, musty smell while faux leather furniture smells like plastic. This is due to the synthetic fibres used to create faux leather furniture. If you are brave enough to burn a part of your sofa, burnt real leather will smell like singed hair, while burnt fake leather will smell like burning plastic.
- Texture – Pure leather furniture has a wrinkly, slightly uneven texture, since it is made from animal skin. Fake leather furniture, on the other hand, feels cold, smooth and ‘too perfect’.
- Appearance – Genuine leather furniture can be distinguished by its uneven pores and natural, rough edges. Faux leather furniture has an even pattern of pores and smooth, clean-cut edges.
Different Types of Leather Furniture
Leather is a highly durable material made from the skin of animals, usually cattle. Depending on one’s preferences, there are a variety of leather types to choose from.
Goat Leather Furniture
The image of a goat, standing proud with fierce-looking horns, is in sharp contrast to the leather we get from that animal. Goatskin leather – one of the most resilient types of leather – is known for its soft and supple texture, strength and lightweight. Goat leather is of two types – traditional goatskin and the softer kidskin.
Goat leather furniture is the third most popular category of leather furniture in the world and accounts for approximately 8-10% of the world production of leather furniture. This demand comes mainly from its durability, supple texture and widespread availability. The use of goat leather furniture can be traced back to the 18 th century, when all types of animal hides were being processed and used. Goat leather was initially used on British-origin Chippendale furniture, which was one of the most famous styles of English furniture. Later, this trend spread to other styles of furniture as well.
Goat leather furniture is one of the most widely traded items in the leather furniture world today. In India too, leather furniture is a prominent industry, and the country has made a name for itself as a manufacturer and exporter of fine quality goat leather furniture. Home to nearly 11% of the world’s goat population, the abundance of raw material has made India a leading supplier of goat leather furniture.
Suren Space, a renowned name in the furniture industry, is also famous for its exquisite goat leather furniture designs. Homes or offices, hotels or restaurants Suren Space’s goat leather furniture is a popular choice everywhere. Some notable examples include:
- Country Flag Vintage Design Goat Leather Three Seater Sofa
- Stackable Goat Leather Designer Stool with Cast Iron Folding Table
Buff Leather Furniture
The Aurochs were the ancestors of modern-day domestic cattle. This type of wild cattle inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa till the beginning of the 17 th century. Buff leather furniture owes its existence to this extinct animal. The very first known use of buff leather was for military purposes, during the reign of King Henry VIII, in the early 16 th century. Since then, the popularity of buff leather has grown, mainly due to its thickness, durability, strength. This surprisingly supple leather was mainly used as military armour.
With the passage of time and the extinction of the aurochs, the use of buff leather evolved to other uses, before becoming a popular choice in the furniture industry. Leather sofas, leather poufs, leather ottomans, leather trunks and chairs – the versatile buff leather is in demand for numerous uses.
With the global trend of buff leather furniture rapidly gaining ground, can the talented Indian furniture manufacturers and exporters be far behind? India too is witnessing a surge in the demand for buff leather furniture, among other leather goods. Indian leather furniture is a seamless blend of luxury and affordability, with quality and craftsmanship second to none.
In the Indian furniture market, exquisite craftsmanship in durable, sturdy furniture items is the hallmark of furniture manufacturers from Jodhpur. A prominent name amongst Jodhpur furniture suppliers is Suren Space. Pubs, restaurants, hotels, resorts and furniture stores – the demand for Suren Space’s buff leather furniture is increasing steadily. Some of the firm’s exquisite buff leather furniture items include:
- Buff Leather Huge Size Two-Part Sofa cum Day Bed
- Tufted Buff Goat Leather Dual Tone Metal Finish Bar Chair
- Buff Printed Leather Metal Frame Bar Pub Chair
Sheep Leather Furniture
‘Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?’ ‘No Sir, no wool, but my hide is pretty cool!’ There are approximately 1.2 billion sheep and lambs in the world today, 90% of whom are reared for the wool. Ironically, finer the wool, worse is the quality of leather that can be acquired. Sheep leather – that is procured from sheep reared for leather – is one of the lightest and thinnest of all the different types of commercially available leather. Its light weight, buttery texture, suppleness and adaptability makes it a highly demanded raw material in the leather industry.
Sheep leather is also very popular in the furniture industry. Furniture for stores, hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, offices – in fact, for almost every commercial space, as well as homes – sheep leather is the new favourite. The most distinguishing feature of sheep leather is its velvety softness. That is why it is in great demand for high quality, exclusive furniture.
The global leather industry is valued at $100bn today. India is ranked amongst the top leather producers of the world, after China and Brazil. In this fast growing market, sheep leather accounts for over 12% of commercial leather production. The Indian sheep leather furniture industry is yet to be explored fully. With over 11% of the world’s sheep population, strategic geographical location, modernized manufacturing units and skilled manpower, leading furniture suppliers from India – like Suren Space – will soon take the world of sheep leather furniture by storm. Buffalo Leather Furniture
The buffalo was first domesticated nearly 6000 years ago, for its meat, milk, horns and leather. The global population of domesticated buffalo today is approximately 194 million, 97% of which are reared in Asia. With the growing popularity of buffalo leather, the animal is gradually becoming an endangered species.
Similar to cow leather in appearance, buffalo leather is the ideal combination of beauty and functionality. It is characterized by deep colours, which develop into a rich patina with the passage of time. With a pronounced leather pattern, buffalo leather has a soft and flexible texture, yet is strong and durable.
Buffalo leather furniture is one of the most popular types of leather furniture. Its cushy softness, neutral colours that blend with any décor, strength and durability make buffalo leather furniture a must-have in every establishment. Since buffalo leather is a natural material with excellent temperature adaptation, it is ideal for furniture upholstery as it remains comfortable both in summer heat and winter chill.
Like other furniture industries, the buffalo leather furniture industry is also a thriving business across the globe. The Indian leather furniture industry is also a major contributor to the world market for buffalo leather furniture. Buffalo leather furniture like leather sofas and leather chairs is made mostly for the export market. Furniture suppliers like Suren Space from Jodhpur are ready to tap the increasing demand for buffalo leather furniture, both in the domestic and global markets.
Hair on Leather Furniture
As the name suggests, hair on leather furniture is made from leather that has, well, hair still on it. While normal leather tanning processes involve steps to remove the hair from the animal hide, hair on leather is made by just omitting those steps!
Hair on hides have a natural beauty. The most striking feature of hair on leather is that it maintains the unique colour patterns, hair length and natural markings of the hide. As a result, every piece of hair on leather furniture that you purchase is exclusively yours.
The trend for hair on hide leather furniture is a global phenomenon. In a world trying to reconnect with Nature, hair on leather furniture provides the perfect balance between natural beauty, style and personal preferences. Hair on leather furniture brings a sense of warmth and unique beauty to any surroundings, be it office space, commercial space or one’s own living space.
One of the most famous hair on leather furniture creations is the Butterfly Chair. Also known as the ‘Hardoy Chair’, the butterfly chair holds the historical significance of being launched during WWII, in 1940. Although many variations of the butterfly chair are now available, the original butterfly chair was a leather creation.
The ever-increasing demand for hair on leather furniture has fuelled the imagination of talented furniture craftsmen all over India and the world. Several Indian furniture manufacturers are making exquisite pieces of hair on leather furniture that are sure to be star attractions in any setting.
The choices in the world of furniture are limitless. What you choose, is what’s best for you.