Good and Bad upholstery faux leather-fabric – what’s the difference?

REd faux leather on modernist chair

We are sometimes casually reminded that “you pay for what you get”. Buying cheaper goods obviously encounters a lower cost on day 1 but as time passes the costs of cheaper products can raise their ugly head. Surely fabric is fabric and immune from this?

Sorry, no. Fabrics vary tremendously in quality and Faux Leather is no exception. Faux leathers are synthetic and can be manufactured following several processes. Good faux leather will be influenced by:

  • excellent quality raw materials,
  • ensuring the precise drying time for the paste to bond together the ‘layers’
  • Using the correct temperature.

Shoddily or speedily trying to manage these factors necessarily leads to a bad product. The product might look the same as another but the truth will out as the fabric starts to be used in earnest.

Differing kinds of upholstery Faux Leather will then be subject to treatments to make them suitable to the intended end use. So, for example, some have chemical stabilizers to reduce ‘fading’. If an insufficient concentration and purity of stabilizer is used then UV performance will degrade.
The quantity of material used in each layer too plays a very significant factor in cost and quality as the industry reference, Coated Textiles: Principles and Applications, notes;

Upholstery-grade cloth has a thick foam layer ranging from 360 to 480 grams per meter squared, a top layer of 180 to 360 grams per meter squared.

Cheaper faux leathers fail to meet these tolerances.

Faux leather needs the correct certification for the intended end-use. Otherwise the fabric can be flammable. A major UK retail furniture vendor was recently blasted for using cheaper, incorrectly treated faux leather upholstery fabric.

The cost of rectifying this poor quality is significant. Transport and re-upholstery costs are huge. Is it worth the risk to you as a designer or specifier?

With Faux Leather Upholstery Fabric, you really do pay for what you get.

Faux Leather Upholstery Fabrics

KOTHEA Faux Leather Upholstery Fabrics

Off- white faux leather upholstery

KOTHEA is the UK’s supplier of choice for high-end quality faux leather upholstery fabrics for  commercial and residential applications, offering an extensive colour palette, great design and cut lengths.

Performance Fabric For Cleaning – Our faux leather upholstery fabrics are resistant to many of life’s daily hazards. Whilst we might not be able to defend against the rigours of a cat’s claws we can fight off the most intense family usage in residential developments as well as meeting the needs of hotels and other public spaces.

Grains and texture– We have grain and luster mimicking differing hide ‘patterns’, as well as the soft and supple feel like natural (treated) leather.

Superior Properties – We research the industry technical requirements fro upholstery and then strive to exceed them. Our contract grade faux leathers upholstery fabrics have some of the very highest Martindale Rub test results in the UK (We have not seen higher performance figures from our competitors)

Colours and Palettes in Our Collections – We have an extensive palette of muted neutrals in our upholstery faux leather fabrics, whilst also recognising more recent tonal trends in many contract applications as well as some residential applications we have a significant number of striking colours and tones.

Marine– We have exceptionally high performance characteristics even for demanding marine environments for faux leather upholstery fabrics.

Perfect for

  • Hotels
  • Cruise Liners
  • Yachts
  • Hospitality
  • Private / Residential
  • Leisure
  • Bars
  • Club Houses

Use for

  • Interior Seating
  • Wallcovering / Wall panels
  • Headboards
  • Bed Bases

Faux Leather Upholstery Fabrics

Click Image To Request Samples

KOTHEA are one of the UK’s leading Faux Leather suppliers to the Interior Design and Architectural sector. Our products in this sphere have high performance, commercial and residential characteristics – fantastic durability and adherence to appropriate fire retardancy standards.

We have several faux leather collections – they are aimed specifically for upholstery but are often also used on walls, doors, sometimes for curtains and cocktail bar fronts and stools.

Most of the wide range of colours we stock are available in several different finishes. The finishes range from a ‘flat’ vinyl to a heavy, but naturally, textured leather finish. In between these extremes, there are leather textures with differing degrees of depths of textures.

Click HERE To Request Samples.

The ‘feel’ of the collections vary. Some are very like leather to the touch, whilst others are more vinyl. Typically more vinyl-type finishes have highly superior cleaning and light fastness properties.

Please note that these faux leathers are specifically targetted towards interiors. They are not thin, low-grade fashion faux leather.

We also have several ranges of faux animal skins, mimicking skins such as crocodile and ostrich. These are niche products and are only available by the roll.
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Textile Pinking Machines

For the emergency fabric samples that we sometimes have to make when we are out of stock of samples we use the GOLDSTAR pinking machine. Here’s a quick youtube video from the manufacturer

And here is another one that looks a bit more industrial strength.

11 Top London Upholsterers – London Upholstery At Its Very Best

Here are a great selection of London based upholstery companies. Some of them are relatively small and other are very considerable and long-established companies. They are not necessarily at the upper end of the market, nor the bottom. I guess I could more easily say here is a range of upholstery and re-upholstery companies in London ! Enjoy, in no particular order.

Barnes Upholstery – 020 8255 9797 info@barnesupholstery.co.uk/
Sofa And Chair Co – 020 8752 8938 info@thesofaandchair.co.uk

Business-Related Interior Design Articles

Whilst we have dealt with some of these companies as clients this post is not intended as a specific recommendation, or otherwise, of any of them.

 

 

SJ Upholstery 078 7652 8213
Moore’s Upholstery – 020 8421 5448
Chelsea Upholstery 020 7384 1666 info@chelseaupholstery.co.uk
Brown Antiques  020 7736 4141  sales@brownantiques.com
Fine Line Upholstery –  020 7407 7438 info@finelineupholstery.co.uk
Upholstery Village – 020 7731 6586 UpholsteryVillage@hotmail.co.uk
HJ Cooper – 020 8788 8673 enquiries@hjcooper.com
Barnett Upholstery 020 7622 9347 s.carter@barnettupholsteries.co.uk
7 Upholstery – 020 7613 4925 upholsterye27dj@yahoo.co.uk

 

Textile Tuesday – Leather for Walls      

Yep it’s a good idea, especially in commercial spaces. We even got asked for faux leather for contract curtains recently – the ultimate black-out window treatment. Great in terms of cleanability although you have to be very careful when specifying the FR compliance.

https://www.kothea.com/faux-leather-upholstery-black.htm