Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we get asked the most at Arizona Leather. If there’s anything that hasn’t been answered below, feel free to contact us!

Why should I buy leather?

Leather is the longest lasting and most durable upholstery material you can get–perfect for any room of your home or office. It is the strongest upholstery material known to man and will withstand the rigors of daily life, including children and pets. Although the initial investment of quality leather may be more than fabric upholstery, leather is actually your best value in the long run as it outlasts fabric 4 to 1.

How long will my leather couch last?

With proper care, a quality leather, unlike fabric upholstery, can be expected to last an average person’s lifetime. Certain features become imperative when choosing an upholstery material that can last for decades. Look for zipper access. Zippers on the seat cushions and back bags insure you can refill your sofa. Leather can last decades, but seat cushion cores and back bag fill will not.

Which leather is right for me?

Arizona Leather furniture is available in four distinctly different leather types: A, O, P and N. It’s important to know which type you have, so you can care for it properly.

Some leather types may incur minor surface marks that will disappear with use or by using Arizona Leather Conditioner.

Type A: Pure Aniline

  • Little or no protective coating; shows all natural markings and character of the hide.
  • Varies in shade and texture from panel to panel.
  • Meant to age and gain a natural patina.
  • Absorbs body oils, hair oils and certain food spills.
  • Recommended care: See Care Manual instructions.
  • Leather insurance recommended.

Type O: “Pull-Up” Leather

  • A burst of color is created when leather is pulled and/or stretched.
  • Little or no protective coating; shows all natural markings and character of the hide.
  • Varies in shade and texture from panel to panel.
  • Meant to age and gain a natural patina.
  • Absorbs body oils, hair oils and certain food spills.
  • Recommended care: See Care Manual instructions.
  • Leather insurance recommended.

Type P: Protected Leather

  • A coated leather with variations in texture and natural markings; it is protected from most food and liquid spills.
  • Varies in shade and texture from panel to panel.
  • Recommended care: See Care Manual instructions.
  • Leather insurance recommended.

Type N: Nu-buck

  • A pure aniline product, abraded to create a suede-like nap with a soft feel.
  • Little or no protective coating; shows all natural markings and character of the hide.
  • Varies in shade and texture from panel to panel.
  • Meant to age and gain a natural patina.
  • Absorbs body oils, hair oils and certain food spills.
  • Recommended care: See Care Manual instructions.
  • Leather insurance recommended.

PHOENIX – Our most economical choice, these slightly corrected top grain hides are aniline dyed with a pigmented top coat for color consistency. This process provides a durable and long lasting finish. These are fully washable, family friendly leathers offering stain resistance and cleanability and are available in todays most desired decorator colors.

TUCSON – This full grain, semi-aniline leather features a mild savage effect normally associated with much more expensive leather. The two-toned savage gives this leather a “deep” look and soft touch. These are family friendly leathers offering stain resistance, cleanability and durability.

SANTA FE – These full grain hides can either be shrunken and double-dyed for a natural naked look or simply dyed and given a transparent finish for a smoother appearance. Santa Fe is a semi-aniline, family friendly leather offering stain resistance and cleanability.

MESA – This is our distressed leather line, consisting of Natural suede like Nu-Buks, Pull-ups and protected hand rubbed leathers. If you desire a Ralph Lauren, western or weathered appearance, Mesa is the perfect leather choice. There are many selections in this category, from family friendly protected leather to natural and naked leather designed to age, gaining a weathered and worn appearance. In Leather this is called a patina.

SEDONA – Only 5% of the hides taken end up as a Sedona leather. These are full grain full-aniline leathers prized for their rich look and soft buttery “hand” or feel. There are many selections in our Sedona leather category, the best of which we feel is our “Agua”. This is a full-aniline in which during the dying process 3M Scotchgard is added to the vat, allowing the hide to soak up the Scotchgard at the same rate as the color. This dying process makes this full-aniline leather highly oil and water resistant.

DESIGNER LEATHERS – For furniture that is as unique as it is beautiful, customize your furniture even further by combining exotic touches such as tooled leather, Gator, Croc, Lizard, Paisley basket weave and Ranch Hair.

FABRICS – Our luxury fabric collection includes classic traditional prints as well as contemporary up to date fashion forward designs.

What should I be looking for when I shop for a couch?

The most important step in shopping for leather furniture is often the most ignored. The leather. You need to be educated about leather. After all, what do you really know about upholstery leather? At Arizona Leather Company we take the time to teach you about leather so that you will be able to make an informed decision on which type of leather best fits your needs. We then take you inside the furniture and show you what to look for in construction, such as corner-blocked hardwood frames with tempered steel springs. From how thick the wood should be to the spacing on the springs, we will show you what to look for in quality construction.

How do I care for my leather furniture?

To preserve the luxurious appearance of your Arizona Leather furniture, please note these general tips:

  • Take care not to mar the leather with sharp objects, including jewelry.
  • Avoid long periods of exposure to sunlight or direct heat (including radiators, heating vents, windows, skylights and powerful lamps).
  • Do not sit on the back or arms of your furniture. This can cause unwanted wear.
  • Use only Arizona Leather care products.
  • Do not use Armor All , saddle soaps, ammonia based solutions, Windex®,etc.

Recommended Cleaning & Conditioning Schedule:
When your new furniture arrives:

  • To assure longevity, we recommend applying Arizona Leather Protection & Conditioner.
  • Once a month (or as needed): Remove surface soil with a clean, damp cloth.
  • At least twice a year: Fully clean, condition and protect your fine leather seating with Arizona Leather cleaning and conditioning products.

More frequent care may be necessary in dry climates, when seating is located near a heat source or when seating receives heavy use.

What do all those fancy words mean?

ANILINE – Aniline is the type of dye used to give the initial color to a hide. Aniline dying is the process of putting hides into a drum and allowing the dye to soak completely through the hide. Thus the phrase “aniline dyed all the way through” came to be.

ANILINE FINISH – Also known as full aniline leather, aniline finish leather is full grain leather which has been soaked in aniline dye, but does not have any subsequent pigmented or clear coat finishes applied. Only the best hides which are relatively free from gross imperfections can be made into aniline finish leather. It is soft, pliable and considered the premier grade of leather.

BUFFING – This is a process used to minimize the appearance of gross surface imperfections such as wrinkles, parasitic damage or healed scars in the finished hide. This process makes the leather more uniform, but also obliterates the natural grain and markings that makes each hide unique and naturally beautiful.

CORRECTED GRAIN – Top grain leather that has been buffed or sanded to minimize imperfections in the hide.

DRUM DYED – A dying process accomplished by tumbling leather in a rotating drum to encourage the dye to penetrate fully.

EMBOSSING – To mechanically imprint unique grain effects under heat or high pressure in order to smooth the grain or give a unique patterned look–ostrich, alligator, floral, etc. Top grain leather with excessive imperfections is often buffed smooth and then embossed with a grain pattern.

FINISHING – To make leather more durable, clear or pigmented substances are applied to the hide. These provide abrasion and stain resistance, as well as color enhancement. The finishing process usually involves three to four coating operations. Generally, the more finish a leather has, the stiffer (boardier) it becomes. Semi-aniline leathers tend to be softer than heavily finished leathers, although this can largely be overcome by milling.

FULL GRAIN – Full grain leathers are top grain leathers that have not been corrected in any way, allowing the natural markings and character of the leather to show through. Full grain leathers are, therefore, much cleaner hides to begin with, have minimal scars, bug bites, urine burns, etc., which also make them more expensive than corrected grain leathers.

GRAIN – Markings or patterns on the leather surface. Naturally occurring grain is caused by wrinkles, markings and pores in the hide.

HAND – The softness or “‘feel” of a leather is referred to as its hand.

HIDE – A raw or tanned pelt taken from a large adult animal. Cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig hides have been used to make upholstery leather. However, cattle or steer hides are by far the most common.

LEATHER – A collective term used to describe any tanned animal skin.

MILLING – A natural softening process in which leather is tumbled in a drum.

MOTTLED FINISH – The result of blending closely related colors to achieve a more natural look.

NAKED LEATHER – Naked leather is a term used for a pure aniline dyed leather where no additional protective coats have been applied. It is the softest and richest looking leather available. Naked leather gains a patina. Accepting body oils, it deepens in color over the years, achieving a weathered appearance and rich glow.

NATURAL MARKINGS – These subtle markings on leather are the equivalent of a fingerprint. They distinguish genuine leather from man-made materials. Other marks which can appear on the surface of leather are healed scratches, barbed wire marks, wrinkles, brands and insect bites. Gross imperfections are normally cut out of the finished product.

NU-BUK LEATHER – Nu-buk is a full aniline product that has been abrased to create a slight suede type nap, resulting in a very soft hand.

PATINA – A luster that naturally occurs as leather ages.

PROTECTED LEATHER – Protected aniline leather is less expensive and more common than full aniline or semi-aniline leather. Its coloration is more consistent and, because it has been coated with protective pigments, the leather’s natural markings are less noticeable. These protected leathers are more heavily pigmented than semi-aniline leather, and are easier to clean than pure leather because surface pigments repel water and stains…standing up well to heavy use.

PULL UP – Pull up leather is one that when pulled tight produces a burst of color. Used as an upholstery leather, it gives a worn weathered appearance or a distressed look. Pull ups are full aniline leathers that have an oil and/or wax application. When the leather is pulled, the oil and/or wax separates causing the color to become lighter.

FULL ANILINE – Leather that has been aniline dyed but has not been coated any type of finish. It shows all the natural markings and character of the hide.

SAVAGE – A two-toned effect which adds depth to the leather.

SEMI-ANILINE DYED – The term used to describe aniline dyed leather which has only a small amount of clear or pigmented finish. It is a premium product which allows the hides natural character to show through.

SPLIT GRAIN – The term refers to the underneath layers of the hide which have been “split” off from the top grain. Splits are buffed, sanded and embossed to look like top grain leather. Split hides are stiffer than top grain leathers. They are used on less expensive furniture and will not be as long lasting or durable as a top grain leather.

TOP GRAIN – Leather which contains the top portion of the hide…the part that had hair on it. Top grain leather can be full grain or corrected grain leather. The top grain portion of the hide is approximately 3/64″ (about the thickness of a penny).