Please Read Carefully

If Ordering

Leather Furniture


This Information Affects The Warranty Of Our Products



q  Leather Swatches


A swatch or sample cutting represents the color, texture and feel of the leather. However it will likely not be an exact match to the hides the customer receives. Variations are due to the fact that leather is a natural product with unique characteristics that differ from hide to hide.


Swatches on a dealer’s handle do not represent an exact match.  If it is a semi-aniline it could be very close.  If it is an aniline leather the color could be several shades lighter or darker.  Each drum of dyed leather has its own unique characteristics and colors – no two drums of dyed leather are ever the same.


If your customer needs an exact match you will need to send in a CSS (customer sending swatch).  If your customer needs a CFA (cutting for approval) please request it on your written purchase order and McNeilly Furniture will send a cutting out to you for approval before proceeding with the order.


McNeilly Furniture will not be responsible for color match when the above procedure is not followed.  We can not be expected to match a new item to one that has been in the field for any length of time.  We can not guarantee a perfect match to any previous order.  What we can guarantee is that we will do our best to match a CSS (customer sending swatch) or CFA (cutting for approval).


q  Natural Characteristics Of Leather


Ø Natural Markings


Even the best leather has natural markings, which are analogous to fingerprints.  They distinguish genuine leather from man-made materials.  Some marks which can appear on the surface of leather are healed scratches, barbed wire marks, wrinkles and insect bites.  Any of these markings may be present on your furniture and is your assurance that you have a true top grain hide. Leather is a natural product; grain pattern and color may vary from hide to hide and within the hide.


Ø Color Variations


Color variations also occur in aniline leathers. During the dyeing process, since pigments are not used, each hide absorbs the dye in varying amounts; much like wood varies when stained. An arm of a sofa may have a slightly different shade than the cushion or back of a sofa, because both pieces were cut from different parts of the hide, this is not a material defect, but evidence that it is natural leather.


Ø  Shades And Tones


Leather is unique as an upholstery covering. Surface features testify to the authenticity of natural leather. Variation across a hide, density of grain, creases and folds are distinctive characteristics, much like the grain of a fine piece of wood. Leather is not like a bolt of cloth. On a sofa, five hides may be utilized which will blend and complement, but will never be identical. Like any natural product, grain pattern and color may vary from hide to hide and within each individual hide. In the dying process, no pigments are used, so each hide absorbs "color" based on its individual cell structure. Each area of the hide will absorb dye in varying amounts, and thus be darker or lighter than other areas; much like wood varies in color when stained. This explains why an arm of a leather sofa may have a different shade than the cushions or the back of the sofa. They were simply cut from different parts of the same hide.


Ø  Healed Scars And Scratches


Healed scratches are reflective of the steer's lifelong encounters. These healed scratch marks are evidence of this cow's unsheltered life. These form as a result of barbed wire scratches, disease and infestation or by horns of other cattle. The new, healed skin is as strong as the remainder of the hide.  Markings on your leather furniture are natural, and in no way affect the strength or wearability of the leather. These unique characteristics are your assurance of genuine leather.


Ø Wrinkles


Neck and shoulder creases appear as elongated furrows. Wrinkles naturally occur in a hide as a result of the neck stretching and contracting. Skin located on the neck of a steer is full and loose. This enables the steer to have the flexibility it needs to move its head while grazing. Wrinkles, naturally occur in the hide.


Ø  Variation In Grains


Variations in grain pattern occur during the life of a steer. The grain is relatively tight across the backbone while it may be very loose in the belly and flank areas. The looser areas consequently have more stretch. Graining, like human fingerprints, is unique to each individual hide.


Ø Veins


Growth marks and veins are an indication of the age of the animal and in that respect are similar to the graining on a piece of timber. They range from often quite pronounced marks in the neck area to subtle bands across the hide perpendicular to the backbone. Again, these are quite natural and are used in furniture.


Ø Stretch Marks


Stretch marks appear in cowhides for the same reasons they do in humans. The process of calving requires the stretching of the skin to accommodate the new calf.  Nothing could be more natural. Stretch marks are used in leather furniture.


Ø  Brands


When choosing leather, consider that it is a natural material and nature’s signatures will be incorporated into it. These signatures may be in the form of healed scars, creases, stretch marks, insect bites or other markings that should be considered natural beauty marks. Every hide is unique and has its own character, color and texture. Various factors affect the appearance of each hide including the climate it originated from, its age and the farming methods. Cattle encounter a variety of nature’s elements in their lifetime. Grazing often brings them in contact with trees, bushes and barbed wire, which leaves scratches and scars on the hide. Just as individual planks in wood flooring have their own distinct grain, pattern and color, each hide has its own characteristics.  Please also remember that many owners brand their cattle to designate ownership.  On all our rustic leathers sometimes half the hide is full of these brands and cannot be cut out and thrown away as scrap.  You will find these brands on the outside parts of your furniture.  You should never find brands on what is considered “A” parts (cushions, backs, top of the arms, or front seat rails).


Leather Terms:                 

Aniline:  Leather that is colored all the way through with a transparent dye.  The effect is applied by immersing the leather in a dye bath.  Because the finish is transparent and shows the natural markings of the leather, only the best quality hides can be used for this process.
Leather that is dyed with one color over another (usually darker over lighter) so as to create rich highlights and an artificial aged appearance. Also know as distressed leather.
Buffed Leather: 
Leather from which the top surface has been removed by abrasion.  Often know as suede or nubuc.   
Corrected Grain: 
Leather that has been buffed to remove blemishes, then covered with a new, artificial grain created using pigments and other finishes.
Embossed Leather: 
Leather that has been “stamped” with a design or artificial texture under very high pressure.  Used, for example, to create alligator hide.
Full Grain Leather: 
Leather which has not been altered beyond hair removal.  Full grain leather is the most genuine type of leather, as it retains all of the original texture and markings of the original hide.
Glazed Leather: 
Aniline-dyed leather which has been polished to a high luster by passing through glass or steel rollers under great pressure.
A word used to describe the natural characteristics of an unprocessed hide, such as its pores, wrinkles, markings, and texture.
 Any enhancing effect applied to leather after it has been tanned.  Examples are dyeing, embossing, buffing, antiquing, waxing, waterproofing, and so on.