Microfiber and leather are both excellent upholstery choices for sofas. Both materials offer durability, style and comfort. There are some difference between the materials, however, so before you purchasing a sofa, take a closer look at these two materials.
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Microfiber consists of synthetic, tiny fibers that are woven tightly together. Microfibers are 100 times finer than human hair. The fineness of microfibers creates durability and flexibility in the fabric. Leather is made from the hide of a cow or other animal that has undergone a tanning process before being upholstered onto a sofa. Microfiber is purchased by the yard. Leather is purchased by the hide.
Microfiber and leather sofas offer many years of use and beauty. Both microfiber and leather are extremely durable and have inherent stain-resistant properties. They hold up well to daily use and are a good choice for people with children or pets. Microfiber and leather sofas are available at many furniture stores.
Leather and microfiber are dyed in a variety of colors and patterns. Microfiber is completely man-made and comes in a variety of textures, patterns and colors. It offers a soft, uniform feel. It can be woven to resemble suede, velvet or cotton. Leather was once the skin of a living animal and may bear scars, wrinkles and other marks. It also comes in different patterns and colors, but the texture stays the same. Both materials upholster tightly onto the frame of the sofa.
If you have allergies, a leather sofa is a better choice than a microfiber sofa because leather won't absorb dust and other small particles into the cushions. Microfiber does not offer the same barrier. Both microfiber sofas and leather sofas are good for for pets as their tightly woven structure is resistant to pills and fraying. If you or your family is vegan, microfiber is a good choice because no animals are involved in the manufacturing process. In terms of cost, leather is usually more expensive than microfiber.
Leather and microfiber look and feel very different. Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference when choosing between these two types of sofas. If possible, visit a furniture store that has both types of sofas in their showroom and sit on them. If ordering from a catalog, request samples of leather and microfiber fabrics so you can see what they look and feel like. Finally, when choosing either a microfiber or leather sofa, remember that dark colors will always wear better than light colors.
Amy Swanton Mills
Amy Swanton Mills is a writer and designer residing in Los Angeles. She has spent the past 10 years working in various aspects of the architecture, furniture and interior design industry. Her articles on furniture, design and green lifestyle issues regularly appear on eHow.com and furnicology.com. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from UCLA.