Good furniture leather can be recognised by its feel: it is soft and pleasing to the touch as an animals hide adjusts smoothly and pliantly to a persons skin. Only the best qualities of leather guarantee this property so de Sede leather is subject to stringent selection criteria.
The quality of leather is closely linked with its actual supplier the animal itself. Large animals are required for the production of leather furniture, preferably breeds of cattle that have been reared for meat production in good conditions, particularly in Switzerland, southern Germany and Scandinavia.
Tanning turns their hides into leather, but only a fraction of this leather is suitable for making furniture. During the tanning process, the protein in the hide is chemically linked with the tanning agent. This preserves the hide and makes it resistant to water and putrefactive bacteria without affecting its natural structure. This process has been performed for thousands of years; todays tanning blends ancient traditions with modern environmentally-friendly processes and technical equipment.
As a rule, the hides are split after tanning. The natural grain side is referred to as nappa leather, which is between 1.2 and 1.8 mm thick. Unsplit leather has a thickness of 5 mm which makes it very difficult to use to make furniture. de Sede is one of the few manufacturers worldwide that makes use of this material with its Neck quality.
Dyeing and finishing make leather what we all know and love. During aniline dyeing, dyes penetrate the pores in a water bath and colour the leather right through. This means that the surface of the leather retains its vibrant, finely-nuanced appearance and that the hides patterning remains open and natural. Small scars, like those caused by other animals horns, are therefore individual features and not imperfections. Over the course of the years, the effect of light causes the colour of leather to change slightly and the surface to take on a patina: these are properties that point to the naturalness of the product.
de Sede offers nine different qualities of leather:
Living (easy-care nappa leather)
Select (finely-grained nappa leather)
Nuvo (lightly glazed nappa leather)
Touch (nappa leather left in its natural state)
Naturale (nappa leather left in its natural state)
Club (nappa leather with distinct patterning and a special thickness of 2.4 to 2.8 mm)
Neck (unsplit nappa leather 5 mm thick with powerful patterning)
Coloral (special nappa leather that can be dyed any NCS or RAL colour to meet customer requirements) Artisano (smooth-surfaced saddle leather).