Knowledge centre

Knowledge centre


Leather is a beautiful natural product

In the furniture industry, the skins of cattle are mainly used, but the skins of sheep and calves are also processed into furniture leather. This takes place at a tannery (to tan = to conserve). Within a time frame of approximately 3 weeks, a skin is tanned, greased and coloured and/or finished. The leather hides are then sold to leather manufacturers and processed into for instance furniture. As you may notice, there are not many different leather sources, but there are many different leather types. To distinguish between types of furniture leather, it is better to refer to the various leather types (also on the basis of the finish).

An animal skin is built up of the following 3 layers: the epidermis, the leather hide itself and the subcutaneous connective tissue. In order to make furniture the epidermis and the subcutaneous connective tissue are removed. The leather hide itself remains and this consists of a papillary layer and a reticular layer. On the basis of the processing, we distinguish the following "leather sources (leather types)":

  • Full-aniline leather
  • Semi-aniline leather
  • Pigmented leather
  • Nubuck leather
  • Sheep leather
  • Wax and/or oiled leather
  • Pull-Up leather(including By-cast)
  • Rawhide leather
  • Microleather
  • Leatherlook (imitation leather)

Textiles are wonderful products

In the past, the use of fibres was limited to the fibres that nature could offer, with all the advantages and disadvantages. Just a century ago, nylon - the first fabricated fibre - was developed. The fibre industry had begun. Mechanically fabricated synthetic fibres now have many applications, including the use as a furniture fabric. A rough division can be made into the following textile upholstery types

  1. Furniture fabrics made from 100% natural fibres
  2. Furniture fabrics made from 100% synthetic fibres
  3. Furniture fabrics made from a mix of natural and synthetic fibres

Knowledge about wood

Wood is a fantastic natural product which originates from conifers and deciduous trees.

These grow for instance in the Netherlands and Scandinavia and are mainly characterized by a fast growth, so they are usually a relatively "softer" type of wood. Examples are larch, spruce, fir and pine.

Deciduous trees
These grow for instance in the United States, Europe and Asia and are characterized by a slow growth, so the wood is usually "relatively" harder. Examples are oak, mahogany, walnut, birch, beech, cherry, teak and other tropical hardwood types such as bangkirai, sheesham.

Heartwood and Sapwood
Heartwood is the wood from the innermost part (the heart) of the tree. Sapwood is the wood from the outermost part of the tree. For many types of wood, there is a clearly visible difference between the light coloured sapwood on the outside and the darker heartwood inside. In their juvenile stage, most trees do not have a dark heart and then still consist entirely from sapwood. Trees which form heartwood generally reach higher ages, much higher than trees without heartwood.

Wooden furniture is available in for instance the following "compositions":

  • Furniture made from 100% solid wood
  • Furniture made from sheet material with a particular finishing material on top. Sheet material consists of coarse or fine wood fibres, which are compressed under very high pressure (examples of this are chipboard, MDF or HDF)

The following finishing materials for instance are used (over sheet material)::

  • Veneer (a very thin layer of real wood).
  • Hard plastic (plastic layer in various opaque colours).
  • Plastic foil (a foil layer with a wood structure).
  • Varnished MDF (MDF with a varnish layer in an opaque colour such as white or black).

Knowledge about Stainless steel

What almost everyone invariably refers to as stainless steel is actually an incorrect term. The correct name is inox steel. For stainless steel a choice is also possible from dozens of different alloys, the most well-known of which are household quality stainless steel 304 and the acid-proof outdoor quality stainless steel 316. Stainless steel is an alloy of approximately 80% iron with a number of additions, such as chrome, nickel and molybdenum. This alloy ensures a passive, good adhesive and closed chromium oxide layer on the surface. As a result, the desired rustproof surface is obtained. Under particular circumstances, stainless steel can still be affected by corrosion. The passive chromium oxide layer present is then broken through. The causes of corrosion are dirt, iron particles, particular acids, watery environments and the stainless steel not being processed professionally.

Inexpert welding of stainless steel can result in corrosion. This applies in particular to the types containing chrome-nickel steel, which is actually stainless steel, due to their poor heat conduction. It is important that no 'ordinary' iron may be used in the same room and on the same machines, because iron particles will remain behind which in turn end up on the surface of the stainless steel products. This could be for instance iron particles from grinding or drilling activities. These particles influence the corrosion-resistant qualities of stainless steel and will 'rust along with them'. This results in so-called pitting (pit-shaped corrosion). The fact that stainless steel products are often used without post-processing places high demands on the skills of the metal worker.

What type of leather do I have?

Follow the step-by-step plan and find out which maintenance product is suitable for your type of leather. Bear in mind that this leather guide is based on the most common types of leather. Deviations from the average can occur. If you have doubts, please contact us. See the contact page for our contact details.

Carefully scratch with your nail over an inconspicuous part of your leather. If there is a clear light scratch on the leather, it will usually be wax and/or oiled leather or sheep leather. In general, this leather often has an uneven and robust appearance. If the scratch made is barely visible and the leather is even and smooth, it will usually be a smooth full-aniline leather.
If no scratch mark appears, wet your thumb and press on a spot in the leather for 5 seconds (while rotating your thumb). A damp patch will appear. If this damp patch is no longer visible after approximately 10 seconds, it will be a pigmented or semi-aniline leather. If the patch is still visible after 10 seconds and the leather is even and smooth, it will be a smooth full-aniline leather. If the leather has a velvety (hairy) look, then this is rawhide leather, nubuck, suede or microleather.
If a scratch mark does not appear on your leather and it has an even and high-gloss (shiny) appearance, it feels very smooth and it is often a brown colour, it will usually be a PU leather.

What type of textile do I have?

Follow the step-by-step plan and find out which maintenance product is suitable for your type of textile.

This textile guide is based on the most common types of textiles.

If you have doubts, please contact us.

Natural fibres are fabrics which are made from materials from nature. We can divide the fibres into vegetable fibres such as cotton and linen and animal fibres such as wool and silk. The warm colours and the pleasant feel are the reason for many people to buy these fabrics. The wear resistance, light fastness and stain resistance are often inferior to synthetic fibres. For instance, cotton and linen feel lovely and natural, but they are more prone to discoloration. Silk must be handled very carefully and wool can irritate people who are sensitive to it when they come into contact with it.
Synthetic fibres within the textile industry are fibres which have been man-made by an artificial process. A synthetic fibre can consist of a natural as well as a synthetic base. An important quality of synthetic fibres is that the tendency to stain and the light fastness are usually better than in the case of natural fibres. Synthetic fibres include polyamide, polyacrylics, polyester, elastomer (lycra) and polyurethane. The word synthetic does not mean that it concerns a completely artificial (plastic) product. This fabric can be made from 100% natural material, but have been produced chemically (for instance, viscose, made from cellulose from wood and plants). Synthetic fabrics are often more wear resistant and easier to clean than natural fabrics. A synthetic fabric which is often used as a furniture fabric and which deserves special attention is MICROFIBRE. This is an extremely fine synthetic fibre from which textiles can be woven which feels and looks like a natural fibre but is easier to clean, breathes well and is water-repellent. Fabrics made from microfibres are generally lightweight (as they are a collection of polyesters of extremely thin threads). They do not shrink and keep their shape. They have the advantage that they are relatively stronger than comparable fabrics with the same weight. They feel lovely and are easy to clean and maintain. Examples of furniture fabrics made from mainly synthetic materials are: Alcantara, Lamous and Courtisane.
These fabrics can be manufactured from all possible combinations of natural and synthetic threads. By means of this combination, it is possible to merge the positive qualities of both types of thread and in this way create an even more attractive fabric.

What type of wood do I have?

Wooden Furniture (solid or veneer) can be coloured and/or finished with

1. Varnish has the quality of colouring and/or protecting the furniture against for instance heat and damp marks. Varnishes are available as colourless varnishes (in various gloss levels such as matt, half-matt, silky matt or gloss), transparent coloured varnish (a colouring varnish, the wood grain remains visible after the varnishing process) and an opaque coloured varnish (a colouring varnish, the wood grain does not remain visible after the varnishing process). The maintenance advice for these types of varnish are to use Wood Care Kits Matt Polish, Elite Polish of Shine & Fix.
2. Wax is generally applied to bare/untreated furniture, furniture with a stained layer or furniture that was already waxed. A wax finish is chosen depending on the desired look of the furniture. Wax gives the furniture a lovely warm natural look. However, furniture which has a wax layer must be regularly maintained. The maintenance advice for these types of wood are the Wood Care Kits WaxOil of Greenfix.
3. Nowadays, oil is often used for untreated wooden furniture. This gives a natural look and the furniture is still well protected against domestic use. This type of oil is usually based on linseed oil. The maintenance advice for these types of wood is the Wood Care Kit Greenfix..
4. Teak is a reasonably hard type of wood from the teak tree (deciduous tree). This tree mainly grows in Indonesia and India. Teak has a moderately coarse to coarse grain structure and its colour is pale to golden brown. The surface of teak feels "soft" (greasy), because there are oily substances in the wood. The huge climate differences between Asia and Europe ensure that the wood continues to work. This means that cracks, warps or shrinkage can occur during use. This also gives the authentic character to furniture made from this type of wood. The maintenance advice for this type of wood is the Wood Care Kit Teakfix.
5. Nowadays, it is often the case that the bare untreated wooden furniture must remain as original and natural as possible. However, the wooden furniture must receive some form of protection, but the look must fit as much as possible with the original colour and look of the wood. We see this in particular with teak and oak. The maintenance advice for these types of wood are the following products. Click here

Knowledge about Natural stone

Natural stone is stone from the earth's crust and is mined from stone quarries worldwide. A fascinating material, every type of stone has its own look, has developed its own 'wrinkles' from ancient times.

There are thousands of types of natural stones which are subdivided into for instance the following natural stone groups:

1 Marble

2 Limestone

3 Granite

4 Sedimentary rock (quartzite and slate)

Marble is a polished, crystalline, relatively soft and porous stone which occurs because sedimentary rock (limestone) has undergone a transformation (metamorphosis) during a very long period, under tremendous pressure and temperature differences during the formation. Marble mainly contains calcite, dolomite, or a combination of both minerals. Pure calcite is white in colour, but the presence of mineral impurities add colour in various patterns. We therefore often recognize marble due to the veined structure of the outside of the stone. Marble is reasonably hard-wearing (less so than granite), heat resistant to a limited degree and not resistant to acids in chemical cleaning agents or fruit (e.g. lemon juice).
Limestone is a stone which occurs because organic material settled in layers in (calcareous) water. During a very long period, the stone was formed under enormous pressure and temperature differences. Limestone is reasonably hard-wearing, heat-resistant to a limited degree and not resistant to acids in chemical cleaning agents or fruit (e.g. lemon juice). Examples of this are: Travertine, Fossil stone, Hardstone (often known as Belgian hardstone). Belgian hardstone is a type of limestone frequently used, for instance, in the furniture industry.
Granite is magma gradually cooled under pressure. It is a hard igneous rock which occurs in the innermost ring of the earth's crust. Due to gradual cooling, pressure and temperature differences, minerals (feldspar, quartz and secondary minerals) could be formed into granite in a more or less fixed pattern. Granite has a grainy structure (Latin: granum = grain) and we recognize this type of stone from the dense structure of the outside of the stone. Granite generally has a more fixed colour and structure than marble, is heat-resistant, hard-wearing and scratch-proof due to the extreme hardness.
4. Sedimentary rocks include types of quartzite and slate. Slate originates from clay or sedimentary rock, due to the settling in the sea of debris and sludge carried by rivers from mountain break-offs caused by weathering. The type "Mustang" is a frequently used type of slate in for instance the furniture industry. Quartzite originates from sandstone or a metamorphic rock, because the sedimentary rock sandstone has undergone a transformation or metamorphosis during a very long period of time, due to the tremendous pressure and temperature differences in the formation of mountains. Quartzite and slate are softer than granite and are characterized by their naturally formed layer structure. As a result, this type of stone is hard-wearing and non-slip. Slate and quartzite have an absorbent capacity, are reasonably scratch-resistant and reasonably resistant to acids (e.g. lemon juice).