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
- 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
- Furniture fabrics made from 100% natural fibres
- Furniture fabrics made from 100% synthetic fibres
- 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.
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.
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.
What type of wood do I have?
Wooden Furniture (solid or veneer) can be coloured and/or finished with
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:
4 Sedimentary rock (quartzite and slate)