Advice

Leather for Footstools Explained

If you’re after a large leather footstool, you’ve come to the right place.

However, did you know that leather comes in many grades?

Furthermore, that the grade of leather that you choose can affect the longevity and look of your footstool?

Use our short guide below to find out which leather is right for you.

Full/Pure Aniline Leather

Sometimes referred to as ‘full grain’ leather, this material is 100% natural and is the highest grade of real leather available. 

Because it is fully natural, it retains the marks and imperfections individual to the animal that it has come from which makes it unique.

Things to consider

Full aniline leather is very durable and develops a beautiful patina over time.  Care should be taken when choosing a pure aniline leather for a plain top footstool as it is prone to ‘puddling’.  Puddling can occur as a natural leather stretches over time and use.  This is a feature of the hide and leads to a relaxing of the fibres.

Real leather does however have one limiting property – the size of the cow!  This is not a problem as far as deep buttoned and panelled footstools are concerned as the joins in the leather that are necessary to cover a large item are either a feature of the product or lost in the deep buttoning. So you can have whatever footstool size you like.

If you don’t want any joins or deep buttoning then you are limited by the size of the cow. We can get a 48 x 48 plain top footstool out of one piece, but as mentioned earlier, a section this large could be subject to puddling. 

Puddling can be reduced with the use of a hair dryer. Careful application of gentle heat to the affected area will cause the fibres in the leather to shrink and tighten. This is best done by an experienced upholsterer.

Types of finish

There are two finishes to this grade of leather; Full/pure aniline as detailed above which is the most expensive and luxurious, or, Semi-aniline which has a thin top coat added.

Here are our Full Grain Leathers available for your footstool:

Corrected Grain Leather

This is the second highest grade of leather quality.  The full grain layer is removed to get rid of any blemishes.  It is then sanded and embossed with a more uniform, artificial grain to its surface.

It is more resistant to spills and scratches and therefore considered quite low maintenance.

We offer this grade of leather as ‘Soft Touch Leather’:

Split Leather

Split leather is taken from the lower levels of the hide and can therefore be quite brittle.  It has a lower life expectancy than the higher grades of leather and is often less expensive.

Split hides are the lowest grade of leather and are usually used in non contact areas of furniture. We don’t use split hides on any of our products.

Faux Leather

Faux leather is a fully man made material designed to look like leather but is in fact an imitation.  It has sometimes been referred to as ‘eco leather’ or ‘vegan leather’ as it does not originate from an animal.

Usually made from PVC it has a leather like surface design, is very low maintenance and very affordable.

We offer a range of faux leather for your footstool and more colours are available, please ask.­­­

Here is our range of Faux Leathers:


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About the author

Sheryl Long