Maintaining Your Investment: Leather Furniture


Maintaining Your Investment: Leather Furniture

By Patricia Karugaba Kyazze

If you do not already own a leather sofa, you are probably saving up for one. These pieces are focal pieces and may be the item that takes up the biggest chunk of your budget. A leather sofa, if well taken care of, can last more than 10 years, aging gracefully and witnessing the joys and celebrations of your home.  So then, how do you take care of your leather sofa to ensure your investment?

Let’s establish what you are buying. The market is full of cheap imitations masquerading as leather and manufacturers have come up with different options in this area.

·         Full leather means that every part of the piece is leather. Bear in mind that a cow died for you to have this sofa so don’t be surprised at the price, it will range between Ush 17,000,000 - 21,000,000 / $6,200 – 7,300/ Rwf 4,389,090 – 5,421,000 / Ksh 525,000 - 634,000 for a 7-seater;

·         Leather Split means that the seat back and arms of the chair that receive high traffic are covered with full leather. The back will also be covered with leather, but with thinner leather commonly referred to as Split Leather because it is leather all around your sofa, which if well taken care of, will last for years. Expect the price range to be between Ush14,000,000 – 17,000,000 /$4,901- $5,952/ Rwf 3,384,140 - 4,110,118/ Ksh 449,419 – 545,795 for a 7-seater;

·         Half leather will mean that the seat back and arms of the chair are covered with full leather where as the back is covered with PVC. This is a cheaper option and as it ages, the difference between the two materials will show. It may also start to tear at the seams where the two materials  join. If you chose to buy a half-leather piece, pick darker colors like black or dark brown. The price range will be between Ush 8,500,000-12,000,000 /$2,976- 4,201 /Rwf 2054928 - 2900790/ Ksh 272,751.89 – 385,023 for a 7-seater;

·         PU: This is a synthetic imitation of leather. If looks and feels like leather but is not. Please stay away from this bad boy. It will peel within 2 years or less and leave you terribly embarrassed. You will find these pieces at less than Ush 8,000,000/ $2,807/ Rwf 1,938,247/ Ksh 257,197 for a 7-seater.

Having invested a tidy sum in your leather sofa, you can get the best out of your sofa if you take good care of it.

·         Dust your sofa frequently with a dry soft cloth. If there is a spill, blot out the liquid immediately and don’t allow it to soak. Where liquids create a stain, you can use a damp, cloth taking care not to let the leather absorb the liquid;

·         Periodically you may use a leather cleaning kit.  This will clean the accumulated grime and any stubborn stains. A good one will condition as it cleans. Always test any new cleaner on a small spot that can’t be seen before applying to the entire sofa. Don’t use regular house cleaning products;

·         Do not rub or scrub the leather harder than you would your own skin. It will bruise and lose its top layer of color;

·         Protect your sofa from direct or strong sunlight. If your sofa is by a window that receives direct sunlight you may want to rearrange your space or use a throw to protect it from sunburn;

·         If you are a cat lover, keep your cat away from your leather sofa. If your cat uses your sofa as a scratching post, it will create permanent damage;

·         Keep sharp objects away from your leather furniture, that includes cats. Punctures into a leather sofa are not repairable without a lot of cost and angst;

·         Ink stains cannot be cleaned off leather. Some manufactures may provide a little color kit to disguise the marks but it is not always effective;

·         Paint, Nail polish, nail polish remover, shoe polish, bleach, some cosmetics, and other household chemicals have corrosive substance in them that can damage your leather sofa – keep them away from your furniture.

Your leather sofa is a big investment. If well taken care of, it will serve you a long time.