I’ve not done guest posting before, and it’s been quite an experience to ‘let’ someone else have the chance to write for Interior Style Hunter. But I always want to give the best value and when it comes to understanding leather and the art of patina on leather, then that person isn’t me. I don’t have the knowledge, so I asked David Robinson, the founder of The Original Sofa Co, to help me out, over to him…
When it comes to luxury goods, leather has been at the forefront as the most stunning and desired material for centuries! From traditionally hand crafted chesterfield sofas and lovingly hand-made shoes to wallets and the more modern luxury car interiors.
This is not only due to its longevity but also due to its stunning appearance which, unlike fabrics, actually improves through wear and time.
What is Patina?
Over many years of use and wear, leather builds character through its own natural patina. This is where the variation of the natural leather hide and the dyes used causes variations of the colour and tone.
This can be seen on this stunning Milena Chesterfield Sofa above. The leather has developed an aged and unique patina giving the colour depth and character.
Patination only noticeably occurs on leather which has had minimal or even no processing, this is commonly referred to as full or top grain leather, which is the most exquisite and highest quality leather available.
This means when you see patination like this on anything from a sofa to a pair of shoes, you know they have been crafted using the strongest and most luxurious leather possible!
Why Leather gains its Patina
Now you are probably wondering why leathers gain a patina over time? As mentioned only the highest quality, untreated leather gains its patina over time.
This luxurious leather has not been harshly dyed, processed or sealed like other leathers. These stunning leathers are dyed using natural dyes which the leather soaks up and absorbs deep into its pores. This means the leather has no artificial protection so it ages as it should.
Traditionally, leather would be hand dyed by massaging these natural dyes into the leather to ensure a perfect and stunning finish.
Since leather is a natural material each area of leather will absorb dye at varying rates and amounts. This is the beginning of its stunning patina.
Over time a leathers patina grows with everything from sunlight to wear. On a fully buttoned sofa; raised areas between buttons will patina differently to deep buttons which are rarely worn. Similarly, on a pair of full grain hand dyed shoes, their fronts are likely to patina differently to the sides due to the amount of wear from sunlight and rain.
This means patina is not only natural character of the leather but the character it gains from its owner!
So when you see a leather item the patina does not only show the leather is of a exquisite quality but it also shows the story behind the leather, the natural wear from the elements which all combines creates a stunning patina making each piece entirely unique!
More information about hand dyeing and leather is available at The Original Sofa Company.