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Spotting quality in leather furniture can be tricky. Mitch Sutlow from Leathers Furniture gives Pete some pointers on buying leather. (AP File Photo)

Buying quality leather furniture

SPONSORED - Leather has always been the hallmark of quality furniture. Mitch Setlow from Leathers Furniture gives Pete some pointers on buying quality leather furniture.

Mitch says you should always look for American-made furniture when looking for quality. As companies have been pursuing the better bottom line, furniture manufacturers have been moving their industries overseas, which, Mitch says, may affect quality. The exception to that rule would be leather products that originated overseas like Italy or eastern Europe.

So how do you spot quality furniture? "Furniture is sort of a dying art form," Mitch says. "We buy for looks and comfort over quality. Back then, quality used to come with the price." Expensive furniture, in other words, does not always mean high-quality furniture. When looking for leather, "if it's cheap, it's cheap," says Mitch. Quality leather will always cost more.

Not all leathers are created equal, and, in the end, you get what you pay for, says Pete. In the leather-tanning process, the cowhide is sliced into several different pieces. The top part, called top-grain is "what you, as a consumer, want," says Mitch. The second layer, called the split, is what's usually used in inexpensive bar stools. The third layer is called bonded leather, and is not leather you should want.

When looking for quality, if a piece of furniture says "all leather," Mitch says it's diminished quality. You should also ask whether the furniture has coils and removable cushions, which is a mark of high American quality.

You should also check the texture and quality of both the top and sides of the furniture. For example, a manufacturer will often use top-grain leather on the top of a couch, and use split leather on the sides. This makes the colors difficult to match, and can make your furniture look low-quality.

Home Matters with Pete and Rob can be heard on KIRO Radio every Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. or anytime at KIRORadio.com. Like Home Matters on Facebook.

Cait Walsh, MyNorthwest Writer
Caitlyn Walsh is a regular lifestyles contributor for MyNorthwest. She enjoys reading and hiking, as well as perusing all the cat videos the Internet has to offer.
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