Artistic Upholstery offers a wide range of leather and vinylto choose from for use on the customfurniture we make for our clients or when we reupholster one of their pieces of furniture. So which is the right choice for your sofa, chair or loveseat? It depends on your budget and your personal preferences.

Are you Cost-Conscious?

When considering leather or vinyl, whether for your couch, kitchenbanquette or custom-madepillows, cost might be the determining factor. Vinyltypically costs about 25% less than leather. While leather is sold by the square foot, vinyl is sold by the linear yard. Because leather is supplied on irregularly shaped hides, which have unusable appendages including the neck and leg areas, its yield is limited, with a high waste factor. You will require more square footage to upholster the newfurniture we make for you, or to reupholster an existing piece. Vinyl, on the other hand, has very little waste because it is supplied on a bolt. However, leather will last much longer than vinyl, so your leatherfurniture will not require reupholstery for years to come. If you use vinyl instead, you might be bringing your favorite easy chair back for reupholstery sooner than you think.

Natural vs. Pristine Look

One of the beauties of leather is that each hide is unique, with individual characteristics such as neck wrinkles, imperfections and range marks, evidence that it is a natural material. Also, leather has a luxurious appearance. Its distinct aroma, feel and appearance cannot be replicated with man-made products. Any chair, sofa or sectional will simply look more expensive and elegant when upholstered in leather.

Once frowned upon as imitation leather, advances in technology have made vinyl more aesthetically appealing, so much so that often it is hard to distinguish it from genuine leather. However, it lacks the aroma and physical characteristics of leather and can appear man-made, almost too perfect. As a result, your favorite couch might seem as though it is upholstered in plastic.

Depending on your taste, your might welcome the natural look and feel of leather, or you might prefer the pristine look.

Do You Like the Seamless Approach?

For wall paneling, windowtreatments and certain pieces of furniture, such as sectionalsofas and banquettes, large cuts are needed. Since the length of leather hides is limited (rarely exceeding 6 to 7 feet) and gets narrower in the neck area, long seamless runs are impossible to achieve. As a result, you may end up with seams on your upholsteredfurniture where you did not expect them when you choose leather over vinyl.

Keep It Clean

Furniture upholstered with either leather or vinyl is easy to keep clean.Most leathers, especially those with protections added to the topcoat, can withstand soap and water. However, aniline leathers, including nubuck and suede, may requiring specific cleaning products or cannot be cleaned at all.  On the other hand, vinyl can normally withstand heavy-duty cleaning.

Repair and Maintenance

Be careful not to place your leather-upholstered sofa or chairs too close to windows because aniline-dyed leather can fade when exposed to direct sunlight.Also, the finish on pigmented or older leather can crack.Vinyl is normally fade resistant and crack-proof. On the other hand, leather ages well, often becoming softer and developing a patina over time. Leather is tougher than vinyl  and because it is puncture resistant, it is less likely to tear, making it a good choice for furniture in high-traffic areas.Both leather and vinyl can be repaired either professionally or with a do-it-yourself repair kit.

The Comfort Zone

Many people prefer leather on their upholstered furniture because, unlike vinyl, leather breathes.Because it is porous, it’scool to the touch in summer, and absorbs body heat and feels warm when there’s a chill in the air. Bare skin won’t stick to leather furniture it like it does to pieces upholstered in vinyl. If you don’t like sticky seats in the summer, vinyl is not the right choice for you. In the sunlight, vinyl can start to feel more like plastic.

Environmental Concerns

Vinyl is a petroleum product – there is nothing about how it is manufactured that is “green.” Leather is a natural product as well as a by-product of the meat and dairy industry. It is also a renewable resource.

When choosing whether to use leather or vinyl on new custom-make furniture or to reupholster one of your favorite pieces, it comes down to your aesthetics, lifestyle and your wallet. At Artistic Upholstery, we are attentive to the wide range of our clients’ preferences – that’s why we offer both!