Cloth vs. Microfiber vs. Leather


I know I have been doing these articles a lot lately, but since I am closing on my own home tomorrow, these posts are as much for me as they are for you. The question has been asked pretty often, is the extra money for leather worth the money?

This is an easy question to some people, and not just because of design. Some people simply do not like leather. They think of it as hot and sticky and uncomfortable. If you agree with this, then there is no reason to even so much as sit in a leather couch in a furniture store. However, I would still avoid fabric.

Fabric, by its very nature, is not a great material for a surface you will use every day. It is not sturdy enough and WEARS OUT ABOUT 4 TIMES AS QUICKLY AS LEATHER. If you are looking for “motion” furniture such as a recliner, this will happen even quicker. Think about every time you wear jeans and put your legs up. That means the rougher denim material of your jeans, not to mention the rivets, will cause excessive friction and will wear out the fabric much faster. Fabric even has difficulties when it comes to cleaning. If the fabric gets stained, that is it. You either need a new couch or to have it re-upholstered. Yes, regular fabric is about half the price of it’s cow hide alternative, but in the long run I would avoid it.

Microfiber is a much better alternative than regular fiber. The polyester blended material is light weight and durable, and the microscopic fibers used to make it are thinner than human hair. This gives microfiber a smooth feel without the “sticky” feeling of  leather. It is much more cleanable than fabric (READ: NOT WASHABLE. DO NOT PUT MICROFIBER IN WASHING MACHINE.), yet does not have quite the same “wipe and go” ability most leathers have. It terms of stain-ability, a word I more or less just made up, microfiber scores well. On a scale from 1 to 10, with one being that white Hanes Undershirt and ten being a well finished black leather, microfiber scores around a seven or eight.

Microfiber Sofa bed available at furniturestorenyc.com

Overall, not even mentioning the design aspects, leather is the most durable fabric for the home. Yes, it will cost you probably twice as much as a comparable fabric couch, but it will last more than twice as long. One of the main complaints is that leather will eventually stretch and distress. This normally takes years to occur depending on the quality of the leather, and in the time it takes leather to do this the fabric counterpart will have become borderline unusable.

Plus, leather has a certain “guy appeal” as both a statement of masculinity and a status symbol. Your boss doesn’t sit in a cloth office chair like the cubicle drones, he sits in leather. Luxury cars like Porche and Mercedes don’t even offer cloth as an option anymore. Not to mention the fact that there is nothing feminine about the smell of new leather. It can not be confused, by any stretch of the imagination, with perfume or other fruity smell. If you have the means, spend your money on the leather.

Leather: Not just for extracurricular activities anymore.


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