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Leather

At Randall Klein Design we obtain our leather from tanneries that  use hides mainly from European beef-cattle. The excellent animal maintenance and climate contribute to the high quality of the finished leather.
It is very important for the final result  that the hide be somewhat of the same thickness over the majority of the surface. Cows that have had numerous calves usually have hides where the flanks or sides are thin and stretched out.

The hides hair side is called the grain-side and the under-side is called the flesh side.

Finished leather shows marks from such things as insect bites, scars, healed wounds and natural folds in the skin. All of this adds to the natural characteristics of the leather.

The Tanning Process

The rawhides arrive at the tannery salted and folded in order to preserve them. They are then sorted and marked or graded for quality. There are two steps in the tanning process. The wet process and the finishing process. The wet process is when the leather is given it´s strength, softness and colour. The finishing process is what determines the final appearance and characteristics of the finished product.

Once hides are freed from dirt, salt and other residue, it is time for a process called liming. This process involves removing the hairs and can either make or break the finished leather. Years of experience are necessary when performing this task in order to avoid destroying the hide.

The next steps involve splitting, shaving and dyeing of the hide. During the splitting process the hide is actually split into two layers, a top grain leather and a bottom split leather or suede. It is our opinion that the split leathers are not suitable for upholstery applications as they do not hold the dyes as well and tend to stretch too much. The shaving process is what determines the final thickness of the leather. After this stage, the leather is then dyed through. In the past, dyes based on toxic aniline were used, however the term aniline lives on as only the name of leather which has been dyed through. The hides rotate in large vessels together with post-tanning agents, dyes and fat for approximately eight hours. This is how the leather receives it´s basic colour tone, strength and softness.

Once the dyeing process is complete, the still damp leather is passed through a machine that presses out the water and any folds or wrinkles are then removed. The leather is then dried using one of two methods. Hang-drying which means the leather is left to air dry over a pole or wet-toggling, where the leather is stretched on a frame and left to dry.

After the drying stage is complete, the leather still contains approximately 10% water and has a slightly stiff feel. In order to soften it, the leather is put through a staking machine or allowed to rotate in a dry wooden drum. The term staking means to make soft.

The final finishing process preserves the newly acquired features of the leather as well as to provide final enhancement and qualities to the surface.

TYPES OF FINISHES

Anilin:   The leather received only a light impregnation which makes the surface slightly more    resistant to dirt. It does not change the natural quality of the leather in any way.

Semi-Anilin:  Shows all the natural features of the leather, such as folds in the skin and insect bites. However, in the finishing process it is made extra resistant and easier to keep clean by applying a water-based mixture of binder, fixer-agent and colour-pigment to the surface.

Colour-Coated: This leather has a smoother and firmer surface than both the aniline and semi-anilin leathers. The colour pigment fills in the hides pores and any irregularities almost completely. This makes the leather very easy to keep clean and if stained can be washed without a problem. This finish can also involve effect-dyeing or applying a pattern to the    leather.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE

Randall Klein Designs leather furniture possess the qualities necessary to give it a long and beautiful life. However, this does not mean that it does not need any care. Dirt and dust work as abrasives on the leather and can slowly destroy it´s  lustre and finish. The routine care of leather furniture involves a weekly dusting or careful vacuuming.  There are also leather cleaners and care kits available, that should be used once or twice a year depending on the amount of use the furniture receives. However, you should treat the arms and headrests a bit more frequently as the leather in these areas is exposed to handsweat and oils or chemicals in your hair.

Wet or damp leather is very vulnerable to wear and tear, and therefore very important that you only dab away any dirt and spots with a clean, natural sponge or soft cloth. Never rub the leather. When in doubt, please feel free to contact us as we can provide leather specialists to remedy almost any situation that should arise.

SECTIONALS

At Randall Klein Design, you can create your own custom size sectional in three easy steps

1.    CHOOSE FROM HUNDREDS OF STYLES.

2.    SELECT THE PIECES AND SIZE YOU WANT.

3.    CHOOSE FROM THOUSANDS OF FABRIC SAMPLES OR OUR EXTENSIVE LEATHER SELECTION.

4.    YOU HAVE JUST DESIGNED YOUR OWN CUSTOM SIZED SECTIONAL AT PRICES YOU WONT BELIEVE.

COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS

At Randall Klein Design, we can provide upholstery that stands up to the demands of light commercial use. From customized, new lounge seating at the London Convention Centre, to reupholstering all the auditorium seats at three of Londons major high schools, as well as specialised seating in one of Londons largest hospitals. Randall Klein Design will be happy to give you a quote on your next commercial project.

NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTS

As featured in: Swarovski Crystal Living - Crystal Fashion Components Magazine volume I

Fall 2005 will be the exciting launch of our home accessory division, featuring Swarovski crystal pillows.

Randall Klein Design is pleased to introduce our latest designs in home accents and accessories, the Courtney Rose Collection. These designs consists of custom made accent pillows, table runners and place mats. All made with extraordinary fabrics, suedes and leathers and incorporated throughout the design is Swarovski Crystal Fashion Components.

Add sparkle  and elegance to any room with these unique designs. Available in hundreds of colours to match any decor. If it doesn´t say Randall Klein Design, it´s not an original...