Enhancing its consumer education efforts for the second time this year, leading luxury upholstery specialist Bradington-Young has developed an industry-leading guide to help consumers choose the type of leather that is best suited for their lifestyle. Derived from the concept of a beer or wine pairing with the perfect meat or seafood dish, the Leather Lifestyle Parings guide helps eliminate confusion about the various types of leather used in upholstery and makes recommendations based on the individual consumer’s lifestyle.
The guide, which can be found on Bradington-Young’s website, www.bradington-young.com, provides detailed explanations of four major types of leather – aniline, aniline plus, nubuck and finished leather – and includes a chart showing “protection zones” that rate their durability, ease of removing stains, sensitivity to temperatures and resistance to fading.
“Buying leather upholstery can sometimes be confusing and frustrating for consumers because of all the industry jargon and conflicting information in the marketplace, but our Lifestyle Pairings make it easier for them to decide what’s best for their situation,” said Cheryl Sigmon, Director of Merchandising at Bradington-Young. “Just like a fine wine, leather gets better with age – as long as its properly cared for – but it’s important to select the right leather for your lifestyle from the start when making the purchase.”
The guide, for example, recommends a finished leather for furniture that will be used in homes with children and pets because spills and stains are easier to clean up and there’s more color consistency.
Aniline leather, on the other hand, is the most luxurious leather available due to its rich colorations, natural markings and unique grain patterns, while aniline plus leathers have a light protective coating that makes them somewhat more pet- and child-friendly than anilines. Nubuck, meanwhile, is distinguished by its soft, suede-like texture, highlighted by a “nap” that can be brushed with the hand.
Aniline and nubuck leathers, in particular, are best suited for areas of homes where they’re not exposed to direct sunlight, according to the guide, while aniline plus offers the beauty and luxurious feel of aniline leathers, but with the added benefit of protective coating.
Bradington-Young has developed a distinctive logo for each type of leather, which also match the colors in the guide’s “protection zones.” The easy color-coded system, along with descriptions of each leather – in layman’s terms – help to explain the durability, ease of cleaning and resistance to temperature extremes and sunlight for each type.
The color coded logos and “protection zones” will also be added to the company’s leather swatch labels, which will make their debut at the April High Point Market. The new swatch labels will make it easier for retail sales associates to pair the right leather with their customer’s lifestyle.
The Leather Lifestyle Pairings program is the second major consumer education initiative launched by the company this year. It comes on the heels of a leather care kit that was released in mid-February that helps consumers keep their leather furniture in top shape after they bring it home. The initiative offers a starter leather care kit for consumers who register their purchase on Bradington-Young’s website.