Eames Lounge Chairs are one of the most easily recognizable chairs of the mid-century modern furniture design movement. For more than 63 years, its original design by Charles and Ray Eames have enjoyed neverending popularity and since then, only small details of its manufacturing process have changed so far, and only for the better.
But with such a wide collection of choices, colors, plywoods alternatives, upholstery materials and variations available in the market, finding the best Eames Lounge Chair for you can be a daunting task. And if you’re on a budget and can’t afford an original, try finding a high-quality Eames Lounge Chair replica, one that is truly faithful to the original can make this process way more difficult.
That’s why we’re excited to offer you an updated buyer guide on how to make an informed decision when buying an Eames Lounge Chair replica, what to look for, and all the different models and choices available to you along with some other important details.
In our previous blog article, we discussed all the plywood choices available for the Eames Lounge Chair in the market, from palisander wood to walnut, and the less popular rosewood, cherry, white oak, and ebony ash.
In this second part, we’ll discuss all the upholstery choices available for the Eames Lounge Chair in the market, along with some valuable information and insights related to this iconic masterpiece of mid-century modern design.
What’s the difference between aniline Leather, full-grain, and leatherette?
One of the most prominent features of the Eames Lounge Chair is its leather upholstery. The original Eames lounge chair is a leather object. Yes, you can find other versions or replicas of the Eames Lounge Chair with fabric upholstery like wool or even mohair, but this would be incredibly difficult and, for some people, completely outrageous.
That being said, whenever you’re considering buying an Eames Lounge Chair or an Eames Lounge Chair replica, anyone can find themselves overwhelmed by features like “leatherette” or “aniline leather”. What do they even mean? What kind of leather should you get for the upholstery of an Eames Lounge Chair? Let’s find out.
For this article, we’ll use our favorite Eames Lounge Chair replica available in the market, the one sold by Manhattan Home Design.
In one line, Aniline leather is real leather treated with special dyes. Eames Lounge Chair that uses aniline leather maintains the leather hide’s original marks, shapes, and imperfections, in most cases. And we say in most cases because that’s one thing that sets bad quality knock offs from high-quality reproductions, stores like Manhattan Home Design inspect each hide piece for imperfections before they start the manufacturing process.
Eames Lounge Chairs replicas in high-quality aniline leather can feel exquisite and look stylish, and since it’s real leather it will develop a certain patina with time. People who know about home design usually prefer this fading as an indicator of good taste and authenticity. Aniline leather will retain the mark if you scratch it with your fingernail but, over time, those markings will blend together with usage and add to the all-natural look and feel that distinguishes a regular leather recliner from a lifetime work of art.
If you’re still not sure Aniline Leather is for you, you can try several semi-aniline types of leather that still feel natural to the touch but are flatter and more scratch-resistant.
Italian leather is well known as the very best not only in the furniture design industry but in the fashion industry as well. Italian leather is highly desired for its quality. The very best craftsmanship and care go into manufacturing Eames Lounge Chairs replicas that feature Italian leather than almost any other comparable leather product and that means only the best quality hides are used.
Given that Italian Leather isn’t mass-produced, it takes much longer to make than cheaper alternatives. If you are interested in buying an Eames Lounge Chair with Italian leather upholstery but you’re not sure if you should, we’ve summarized some important facts that show why Italian leather is the best around and why you should choose to purchase it:
- It’s a high-quality material: A great deal of craftsmanship is put into making Italian leather Eames Lounge Chairs with the highest standards.
- It’s made to last: When compared to other leathers, Italian leather is the most long-lasting. It can withstand everyday wear and tear, with most nicks and scratches being easily wiped away.
- It’s unique: Vegetable tanned Italian leather has a truly one of a kind appearance. No two naturally tanned items ever look alike!
- It’s exclusive: You’ll see Italian leather on the most exclusive fashion runways as one of the most well-loved materials in fashion design.
- It’s easy to maintain: Constantly cleaning handbags and purses can be a chore. Italian leather can be easily cleaned on with a damp cloth form from time to time but isn’t always necessary.
Leatherette has been suffering from a bad rep for a long time due to the fact that is, actually, not real leather. We hear you, in a world that puts so much value on authenticity, exclusivity, and elegance, not having the real deal is definitely a bad thing.
But depending on your values and principles, there might be more important things for you. One of the most important advantages of leatherette is that’s eco-friendly. Since Leatherette is a synthetic material made from vinyl, it doesn’t contain any no animal by-products. That means no animals were hurt during the manufacturing of your Eames Lounge Chair replica, and that’s something a lot of people put great value on.
You may also hear leatherette referred to as faux leather, fake leather, synthetic leather or pleather. In most cases, they all mean the same, a material made specifically to mimic the look and feel of real leather.
And there you have it, those are the most popular leather upholstery choices available for the Eames Lounge Chairs and Eames Lounge Chairs replicas available in the market at the moment. There are other less popular upholstery choices like wool that we’ll discuss later on another article, but for now, you’re better informed and know exactly what you’ll get when you consider these choices.
Is there any other advantage of the materials mentioned that we forgot to mention? Another popular upholstery material? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, stay tuned for another article on the best Eames Lounge Chairs out there!