Quality of the material
There are various grades of leather available, depending on the quality and durability demanded by the specific usage.
Our classic leather is a semi-aniline, coated leather. The hides selected for this material are fairly uniform in color. The base coat seals the leather and subsequent coats only contain dye to create a natural two-tone effect. It is finished by a protective layer. Semi-aniline leather feels good to the touch and has low breathability. Its surface structure is largely uniform, displaying some visible scars or other markings. It is similar to the leather used in automobiles.
Cleaning: Wipe spillages off immediately. Clean with leather cleaner or lukewarm water and mild soap. Wipe off soap residue with fresh water. Do not use oils, solvents, saddle soap, etc. on your leather.
Advantages: 100% leather, pleasant and soft to the touch. Relatively resistant to fading and staining.
Recommended for: Those searching for comfort combined with ease of maintenance.
ItaliaDesigns premium leather is an aniline leather, which differs from semi-aniline leather by having a more natural surface. The best hides are selected and prepared in a single tanning and dying process, during which they are impregnated with transparent, environmentally-friendly, water-soluble dyes. They are then finished with a light coating which provides a slight level of protection. It feels exclusive to the touch and is highly breathable. Its surface structure shows its natural qualities, and may include some visible scars or other markings.
Cleaning: Aniline leather is highly absorbent. Wipe off spillages with a dry cloth and avoid rubbing them into the leather. Then leave it to dry. Most stains are incorporated into the leather and disappear with time. Do not try to clean with water. Alternatively clean with leather cleaner.
Advantages: 100% leather, exclusive feel, highly breathable.
Disadvantages: Premium leather is less resistant to staining and fading than the tougher classic leather.
Recommended for: Those who appreciate comfort and quality and enjoy the best leather as it ages gracefully.
Textile leather is a lower-cost alternative to the very expensive genuine leather. It consists of a synthetic fiber or a natural fiber fabric (cotton) coated with a soft top layer of PVC or polyurethane. Textile leather adapts to the shape of your body and is very smooth to the touch. Its surface feels pleasantly cool, similar to leather. Dirt and dust can be easily removed with warm water and a mild soap. For more stubborn stains on which soap is ineffective, you should call a cleaning expert. Textile leather should not be subjected to long periods of sunlight, as this can cause the color to fade and detract from its natural leather look.
ItaliaDesigns fabric furniture coverings comprise 85% wool and 15% polyester. Polyester fibers are perfectly suited to mixing with natural fibers, providing a durable and easy-care finish which is resistant to the wear of everyday usage. In addition, a fabric covering makes for warm and cozy furniture.
Cashmere provides a wonderfully luxurious finish for exquisite furniture. The material is also referred to as pashm in Persian and pashmina, a Persian/Urdu word derived from pashm. Cashmere comes from the fine undercoat of the Cashmere goat. These goats are very rare and exist only in a few regions of the world, making cashmere very expensive. The name cashmere dates back to the 18th and early 19th century, when the Kashmir region of India was a major producer of hand-made shawls made of goat down imported from Tibet and Tartary. Cashmere’s qualities are the secret to its popularity. As well as being incredibly soft and cozy to the touch, it is also strong and light. Cashmere is dirt-resistant, sound-absorbent and does not cause static. When processed properly, cashmere can function as a natural "air conditioning" - warm in the winter and cool in the summer. To effectively use this precious material in the furniture industry, we combine the cashmere with other substances such as wool or merino wool. This does not change the cashmere’s positive qualities, but it makes the material more durable and washable.
Velours is a soft, luxurious textile product, similar to velvet but with more stretch. Two thicknesses of fabric are woven at the same time then cut apart to create the pile effect. The velours is cut after the loops have been woven so that they are the correct angle and length. The longer the pile, the softer the fabric. Velours dates back to 1844 in Lyon, France. It is usually made of cotton but can also be produced using synthetic fabrics such as polyester. The material can be cleaned using mild liquid soap and water and a muslin cloth. The cloth should be dipped in the soapy water then wrung out until it is almost dry. It can then be rubbed back and forth across the affected area. Repeat this action until the upholstery is clean. Let the velours dry naturally then brush it gently with a suede brush. Velours is often used for clothing and upholstery.
Microfiber is usually made from polyester, acrylic or nylon. The fibers are very fine, about one hundredth of a human hair, or even twice as fine as silk, and are woven together to make fabric. Because it is produced artificially, it is technically known as a synthetic fiber. First and foremost, microfiber is characterized by its very soft texture, which is highly resistant to deformation, its durability, absorption and water repellence. These properties of a microfiber are achieved through a tight weave, which is necessary because of the fineness of the fiber. A larger surface that protects the microfiber from falling out is thus created, making it tough and greatly intensifying the weave. One of the main advantages of microfiber is its high absorption capacity, which is not due to the fiber itself, but rather to the large number of air spaces and small pores through which a capillary reaction is achieved.
Fiberglass, otherwise known as glass-reinforced plastic, is a fiber-plastic composite made of plastic (e.g. thermosetting, unsaturated polyester resin, epoxy resin or polyamide) and glass fibers. Glass fibers were first produced in the U.S. in 1935, and since then the industry has used glass fibers as a reinforcement tool. The first plane to be built of fiberglass was the Phoenix AKA plane Stuttgart in 1957. Eero Aarnio was one of the first designers to use this material, employing fiberglass in his design of the Ball Chair and the transparent Bubble Chair. One of the main advantages of fiberglass is that it is so durable. Even in a tough environment the fiberglass is resistant to stains and can withstand difficult weather conditions. As an alternative to plastic, ITALIADESIGNS can supply fiberglass versions of many of its chairs. Both materials are visually stunning but the fiberglass has a more vivid color and is less prone to scratches than plastic. Fiberglass is also heavier than plastic, giving the product a more robust and higher quality feel.
As an alternative to fiberglass, ITALIADESIGNS can supply plastic versions of many of its chairs. Both materials are visually stunning but the colors of plastic furniture are more subdued and the material is more prone to scratches than fiberglass.
Plywood is a manufactured timber material, consisting of at least three thin layers (veneers) of wood glued together. The layered structure makes plywood strong, flexible and resistant to cracking and warping. Laminated wood is generally used for structures that are subject to a great deal of tension, in order to provide extra support. The furniture industry has revolutionized this material and thanks to plywood’s flexibility, entirely new shapes can be created. The individual layers of wood are glued together and placed under a high-pressure mold to form the desired shape. The wood is then sanded and finished as required. This process enables, for example, chairs to be designed from a single piece of plywood.
Marble is a high-quality type of stone that has gained immense popularity due to its structure and fine grain. The unique texture of marble makes it one of the most luxurious natural materials. Marble is produced by different minerals being converted within the core of the earth over a long period of time. These minerals are exposed to high temperatures and pressures which trigger their metamorphosis into marble. As far back as the seventh century BC, marble was already an object of desire; it was recovered from the island of Paros only by means of painstaking manual labor. Its soft composition and homogeneity make it particularly suitable for use in sculptures and architecture. Countless works of art and monuments such as the Venus de Milo and the Acropolis were built of this precious material. Marble from Carrara is one of the most renowned and costly in the world. It was even used by Michelangelo, the great sculptor of the Renaissance. The designer Achille Castiglioni used a block of marble as the base for his legendary arc lamp.