Choosing furniture with the right upholstery for your home and lifestyle is a difficult task. Many will choose furniture simply based on how it looks. The fabric that covers pieces should also be a determining factor in the purchasing process. Ideally, there are two options; fabric or leather. Fabric is a broad term, and consists of many different types. There are only two types of leather, genuine and bonded. Both options are drastically different, and should be compared in all aspects.
Fabric is typically less expensive than leather, but it is also less durable. This is because fabric is more impressionable. It is prone to being ripped, wore down, and stretched out. It is also hard to clean because the multiple fibers that make the fabric will often trap substances in them. For example, pet fur and dander will get trapped inside of the fabric, which is not suitable for those with allergies.
Purchasing furniture that consists of fabric can have multiple benefits. One of the reasons that fabric might be the better option is because there is a wider variety. Fabric comes in multiple colors and patterns, which could make finding the right piece for your home easier. Also, fabric is washable. Soaps and detergents can be used to wash stains out, and damaging the material will not be a worry.
Leather is often times viewed as a luxurious material for upholstery. It is quite more expensive than fabric, but it is also a lot more durable. Leather is made from treated animal hide, and can last for approximately 10-15 years if maintained well. The material is thick and stiff, which is what makes it so lasting.
However, leather is prone to fading and degrading with age, especially if left in the sun. In order to give it a longer lasting lifetime, it will require some maintenance.
A big misconception about leather is that the higher grades (that are more expensive) are more durable. This is simply not the case. The hide has layers, and to get to the higher grades you have to slice off the outer layers. That outer layer is not going to be as soft, but because it naturally has to deal with all the elements of nature it will be more durable.
Lower grade leathers are ideal if you have pets and want to stick to a budget.
Making the Decision
Each material has its downfalls and benefits, and it is a personal decision on which would work best for your home. Nobody knows you better than yourself, which is why only you can make the right choice. Your lifestyle is the best determining factor and should be taken into account. Whether it be fabric or leather, both are dependable in their own ways, as long as they are in the right home.