When it comes to choosing a new sofa, there are many factors that come into play. You have to think about your space, your budget, your personal style, and the overall function of the piece. One of the biggest considerations is whether or not you want to go with a genuine leather or bonded leather sofa fabric.
Bonded leather is a cheaper alternative to genuine leather furniture, but it can have its issues with durability and long-term wear. It is also not as flexible as real leather, making it less forgiving to flexing and movement. It can even become discolored over time, leaving a visually unappealing result. The good news is that you can avoid these problems if you know how to take care of your bonded leather sofa properly.
Bonding is a process that joins different materials together into a thicker material that can be used for a variety of purposes. This process can be done with a number of materials including plastics and fibers. Bonded fabric is usually made of polyester and other synthetics, but can also be made of natural fibers like cotton or linen. The resulting fabric is then often used in clothing and home decor products due to its softness and affordability.
The most common bonded leather furniture is made of scrap pieces of real leather and a polyurethane fixative. This material is very comfortable and appears very authentic, but it lacks the durability of real leather. Typically, this type of sofa will last two to five years before it begins to delaminate catastrophically. The first sign of this is when the surface begins to flake, revealing strips of underlying polyurethane and leather.
Another sign is the presence of large vertical seams on a piece of bonded leather furniture. Real leather has a limit on how big it can be, so if you see large sections of furniture with stitched seams, it's likely that the leather is not genuine.
A bonded leather sofa should be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt buildup and the formation of mold and mildew.
A clean microfiber cloth should be dampened with warm water and gently wiped over the surface of the furniture. Then, a dry microfiber cloth should be used to remove the excess moisture. Afterward, the furniture should be allowed to air dry in a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
Bonded leather furniture should also be conditioned at least once or twice per year to keep it soft and flexible. The best way to do this is with a commercial leather conditioner that you can buy at most furniture stores. Follow the instructions on the product to apply the conditioner, and make sure to clean the furniture with a damp cloth before applying it. The conditioner will help increase the longevity of the bonded leather and keep it looking good for a long time. For best results, it's recommended to use a neutral color conditioner that will not stain or discolor the bonded leather.