Fabric or Leather? Advice & Tips From Tuck Studio

When shopping for upholstery, there are many options to choose from. Adding to those is the option between fabric or leather. Each has different benefits for durability, longevity, style, and design. We’d like to help make the decision easier by outlining a few key features and benefits as well as offering some advice on what qualities to look for.  


Above: Gus* Modern Embassy Sofa, Porter End Table, and Avro Rug

If you’ve ever sat on an old Leather Chair, you’ll know how soft and smooth it can get. Over time, a high quality leather will develop a beautiful patina and become softer and more supple. For this reason, we love leather for anyone looking for a lifelong piece of furniture. 

Of course, not all leathers are alike. Some have more processing that prevents the aged look we love. Others are bonded or vinyl which is a mixture of leather and bonding agents. Although there are benefits to these such as easier cleaning and lower price points, if you want a true piece of leather furniture there are a few things to focus on. Here’s some advice on what to look for when shopping for leather. 

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  • First, look for Top Grain Leathers, these are the highest quality. 
  • Secondly, choose Aniline-dyed. This process dyes the leather without covering the hides natural surface. 
  • Third, look for natural markings on the leather. This shows that minimal or no processing has been done.
  • Check for slight variations in the colour. Leather is a natural material so it shouldn’t be too uniform.
  • Last, scratch it! Lightly scratch the surface of the leather with your finger nail. If it scratches easily, it’s a high quality leather. A light scratch will buff out almost completely.


Benefits of Leather Upholstery

Looks Better With Age

Like a fine wine, leather only gets better with age! Over time and with continued use, the leather becomes softer and develops a beautiful patina. The higher the quality of leather, the better this aging process can be. This in combination with a good hard wood frame means you’ll have a piece of furniture that will last a lifetime!

Easy to Clean

As long as spills are attended to quickly, within minutes, they will wipe up easily without staining your leather furniture making it perfect for young families. Also, pet hair won’t stick in leather the same way it does fabric so it’s easy to brush off. 

Natural Look & Feel

Aside from wood furniture, leather is one of the best ways to bring nature and warmth inside your home. To maintain the natural beauty and keep it timeless, opt for rich browns, tans, or charcoal leathers and avoid bright colours. Additionally, pair leather furniture with wood such as walnut for a sophisticated and timeless aesthetic. 

If you look for all these features when shopping for leather furniture, you’re sure to bring home a gem! It just so happens that Gus* Modern leather furniture checks off every box, and it’s currently on sale! 

All Gus* Sofas, Sectionals, Accent Chairs, Ottomans, and beds are 20% off during the Gus* Summer Sale, on now. Here are a few leather pieces from Gus*, ready to order now at Tuck Studio for 20% off! 

Wallace Sofa NEW!

Cabot Sofa 

Archer Sofa NEW!

Embassy Sofa

Wallace Chair NEW!

Cabot Chair


Above: Gus* Modern Jane Sofa in Stockholm Cobalt (Stainless Base), Array Oval Coffee Table (White), Axis End Table (Ash), Hatch Rug (Sky) 

Fabric is available in a variety of textures, materials, colours, and patterns. With fabric, it’s important to pick something that will withstand everyday wear and tear. Unlike leather, it doesn’t improve over time. So pick fabrics with tight weaves, high durability ratings, and high resistance to pilling. Here’s some advice on things to look for and consider when shopping for fabric upholstery.

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  • First, pay attention to the type of fabric. Look for wool or polyester fabrics as they tend to be easier to clean. Wool is naturally water repellant.
  • Second, check the double rubs. The standard for testing fabrics in North America is the Wyzenbeek Test. The test uses a mechanical arm to rub the surface of the fabric to test its abrasion resistance. The arm continues to rub until there are signs of breakage or wear. The higher the double rubs, the more durable the fabric. 
  • Third, look for tight weaves. This, in combination with a high quality filler, will help keep cushions from looking saggy over time. 
  • Check the cleaning instructions. A high quality upholstery fabric should be easily vacuumed or spot cleaned with a mild soap diluted with water. 
  • Lastly, look for naturally Stain Resistant Materials. Gone are the days of using chemicals to protect our furniture. It’s been found that protective sprays are harmful to our health especially for children and pets. Avoid any furniture that has been chemically treated. 


Benefits of Fabric Upholstery 

Endless Fabric Options

It seems like the options for fabrics are limitless! There is a large variety of patterns, textures, and colours to choose from so you can find one that perfectly suits your style. Choose a bright pop or stick with a neutral; the choice is yours! 

Soft & Cozy

Fabric upholstery is soft, cozy, and perfect for curling up to read, watch tv, or nap. When shopping for fabric, make sure you feel the samples and decide if it’s cozy enough for you. 

Completely Cleanable

Another great thing about fabric upholstery is that it can be completely cleaned if it ever gets too dirty or stained. We recommend calling in the pros at Service Master on Rothesay Ave. They bring all the equipment required and deep clean fabric top to bottom!

Here are a few examples of fabric upholstery options from Gus* Modern! All ready to order at Tuck Studio and part of the Gus* Summer Sale, 20% off! 

Lodge Chair

Sparrow Glider & Ottoman

 Margot Chair

Atwood Bi-Sectional 

Adelaide Bi-Sectional 

Parkdale Bi-Sectional 

The best way to decide between leather or fabric is to try it for yourself! Visit us in store on Prince William Street to test our selection of upholstered sofas, chairs, beds, ottomans, and sectionals!




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