Eames Lounge Chair: Which Leather Type Suits me Best?

Eames Lounge Chair: Which Leather Type Suits me Best?

We’ve been using leather products since the beginning of time. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of leather tanning in ancient societies, such as the Greeks and the Egyptians. When it comes to choosing leather furniture for your home, it is a decision to not be taken lightly.

The original Eames Lounge Chair is made with leather. Nowadays, you might find wool or synthetic cushions variants, but this would be a difficult find, and quite outrageous depending on who you ask.

When you purchase an Eames Lounge Chair, you will find yourself swarmed by terms like “leatherette” or “aniline” leather. What do they mean? What’s the best leather type for the upholstery? Time to find out.

Aniline and Italian Leather

Aniline leather is leather treated with special dyes. The dye preserves the skin’s original marks, shapes, and imperfections. Quality aniline leather can be very stylish and exquisite.

Home design experts usually prefer fading to cracking. The former works as an indicator of taste and authenticity, just like a fine wine.

Aniline leather will maintain a scratch mark but over time, those will blend in with usage markings and add to the all-natural look and feel that differentiates a regular leather recliner from a lifetime work of art.

If you’re still not convinced, there are semi-aniline leathers that still feel natural but are more scratch-resistant

Italian leather is top quality leather in the West. Italians are famous for their natural treatments of animal skin. There are two types of Italian leather: full-grain, and top grain. Both of them are top-notch, but the full-grain leather is a better fit for everyday use. 


This is not real animal leather, it’s a great alternative for vegans and those who don’t feel comfortable with genuine leather. Leatherette is a synthetic variant designed for a variety of uses. 

Leatherette costs half the price of genuine leather, so good news for your bank account. However, it isn’t as breathable as genuine leather, so might be in trouble in the future if you live in a warm place all year long. 

Though leatherette is less durable, it is much easier to clean. Keep in mind, though leatherette is vegan, it isn’t biodegradable.

An Eames Lounge Chair with authentic leather will cost more but it will: 

1. Absorb stains and spills better than leatherette 

2. Fade with age (leatherette will crack with age).

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