Leather 101 with Palliser Furniture

Guest Blogger: Sara Smith, Palliser Brand Coordinator

Welcome to Leather 101, where you’ll learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bringing leather furniture into your home!

Palliser leather sofa

Although leather is often viewed as a luxury home furnishing, many people don’t realize that it’s also one of the most practical items you can purchase. Cleaning and maintenance are as simple as wiping with soap and water, and the durability and longevity of leather upholstery make it an affordable furniture investment.

At Palliser, we know leather inside and out – literally. As the single largest manufacturer of custom leather furniture in North America, we make it our business to produce the highest quality leather-upholstered sofas, chairs, and sectionals, in a huge array of finishes and colours to suit every home.

Learning About Leather Production

Although they are all produced from tanned hides, all leathers are not created equal.

Aniline leather swatchAniline leather is created through a process of colouring a tanned hide in a drum, using transparent dyes. The dyes soak into the leather, resulting in a soft, supple finish that retains the natural variations of the hide. The surface texture, or “grain” is also visible.


Palliser, Semianiline leather swatchSemi-Aniline leather is aniline-dyed leather that has also been protected with a clear or pigmented finish. This creates a finish that may show some natural variations and grain, but has a more consistent colour than pure aniline. It also provides more durability.


Palliser, Pigmented leather swatchPigmented leather is a hide that has been coated with colour pigments, and the surface has been smoothed out and embossed. The colour and finish of pigmented leather is very uniform and provides a durable surface.

The Perfect Finish for Any Home

Each type of leather provides its own specific qualities and benefits. To find the perfect leather for your home, match your lifestyle to the leather type that’s ideal for you.

Lifestyle… You Want… Choose… The Look…
Young children, pets, lots of activity and time together in the living room An upholstery that can stand up to spills, wear, and heavy daily use Pigmented Leather

Pigmented Palliser leather sofa


Uniform, durable finish with lots of fresh colours to choose from
Entertaining, moderate daily use,
a focus on beauty and style
A sofa with a striking appearance that you can relax on and enjoy Semi-Aniline Leather

Semianiline Palliser leather sofa

A hint of natural grain with a smooth, consistent finish
Less wear and tear, a higher budget, and a desire to invest in truly stunning furniture The softest and most natural looking leather furniture that will get better as time goes on Aniline Leather

Aniline Palliser Leather sofa

An authentic, variegated natural grain that cultivates a beautiful patina over the years


*Bonus Marks:

Palliser furniture provides a wealth of custom upholstery options for each style of sofa and sectional. Once you’ve fallen in love with a style, you’ll be able to choose the upholstery that will work best for your home.

Making Your Sofa Feel at Home

So you’ve chosen the perfect leather sofa, now what? You don’t need to splurge on all new décor to incorporate this new piece into your life. Take this crash course on making a new leather piece work with your existing home furnishings.

Palliser leather home furnitureMind the Light: Sunlight can naturally fade the finish on your leather upholstery, so keep this in mind when choosing the placement of your new addition.

Play with Texture: The smooth, buttery finish of a leather sofa is sure to be a standout feature in your living room or den. Bring attention and interest to this by surrounding it with contrasting textures such as fluffy faux-fur or fleece cushions, chunky knit blankets, or a high-pile rug.

Filling Matters: Light, polyester-filled throw pillows tend to slide off of the smooth surface of a leather sofa. To make sure you don’t spend your days repositioning cushions, choose hefty down-filled ones that will sit securely.

Strike a Balance: A leather sofa is a significant visual presence in any space. For darker colours of leather, keep the rest of the room light and airy so you don’t overwhelm the senses. If you’ve chosen a modern sofa in a bright colour, aim for neutral shades for the rest of your furniture, or experiment with complementary colours on the colour wheel.

Think Natural: Leather, especially aniline leather, is a product that embodies the beauty and uniqueness created by nature. Play up this aspect by adding other natural items around the room, such as potted plants, vibrant flowers, and wood accents.

Ready to put your leather knowledge to use? Shop Palliser‘s latest styles at Furnitureland South!

Share with your friends!

Back to Top