The Importance of Quality and Craftsmanship in Italian Leather Sofas

Italian leather sofas symbolize a timeless sophistication that can add charm and elegance to any living space. However, it can be difficult for a buyer to know what exactly makes a luxury sofa stand out, or why they should even consider paying more when they can get a mass-produced piece cheaper. Whether looking for something big or small, a traditional style or something more modern, or that classic full-grain leather look or a comfy suede, several factors go into considering which type of Italian leather sofa to choose. Read on to learn more about the most important characteristics of high-quality, well-crafted leather sofas.


Unlike mass-produced furniture from overstock or outlet stores, luxury Italian furniture will not break down just by regular use or when accidents happen. Whether you have a household with young children, a few rambunctious pets that love to climb up on couches, or you have friends you love to entertain, leather sofas can withstand pretty much anything. All sofas created by Michaelangelo Designs are handcrafted by our expert artisans using the finest leather, wood, and upholstery materials, ensuring that it lasts a lifetime.

Of course, maintaining the high quality of leather requires proper care, like ensuring that you wipe up any spills quickly to avoid staining and to keep it out of direct sunlight. Even a quick dusting with a wet cloth every week or so can do wonders to help improve the longevity of your leather sofa. When you consider your Italian leather sofa and other furniture as an investment and take care of it like one, you save thousands of dollars and have something you can pass down for generations to come.

Quality of Leather

In addition to considering the color of the leather, you must consider the quality of the leather when choosing the best type of sofa for your needs and lifestyle. Not all leather is the same, and not all sofas that use leather use the same quality or type. Pure Italian leather sofas use leather from well-cared-for cattle, often cows but also goats and sheep. Leather from well-treated animals ends up more pliable, stronger, and ultimately more durable, so it is important to consider the price of the sofa you intend to purchase. The more expensive, the more high-quality the leather.

Grain, or the appearance of leather, is another important consideration for leather quality. Cowhides can create four types of grain: full grain, top grain, corrected grain, and suede. Although Italian furniture uses all four grains, the popular choice most people looking to buy top-end Italian leather sofas choose tends to use either full grain or top grain because of their durability as well as their distinct appearance. Full grain, for example, uses the entire cowhide, making it more durable and naturally water-resistant, but it also means it might contain imperfections. Alternatively, corrected grain buffs or sands out imperfections. Suede, while incredibly soft, can be more difficult to keep clean. Fortunately, leather can also have special treatments that make it more odor-resistant, spill-resistant, and able to resist tears and fading that come with regular use. Considering your wants and how well you can realistically care for your leather will help you decide which type of leather to choose.

Range of Styles and Designs

Throw out any assumptions you might have about what a luxury Italian leather sofa looks like; leather sofas come in various colors, sizes, and styles. Looking for something classic and comfortable? Consider designs with traditional-style elements, such as plush seats, tall backrests, and intricately carved designs on the sofa’s frame. A Chesterfield-style sofa, an English roll-arm sofa, or a Queen Anne chair all fit perfectly into a traditional-themed living space. If a modern style suits you more, consider elements like low-level seats, legless appearances, and types of sofas that emphasize sleek angles, modest silhouettes, and neutral tones like black, grey, and dark blue.

Other considerations when choosing an Italian leather sofa include the type of sofa and how many people you wish to seat in your living space. For close-quarter seating with a luxurious feel, consider a plush, comfortable loveseat paired with a few leather chairs. A sectional-style sofa pairs perfectly with large gatherings and people who love their space. Do you have relatives or friends who always seem to snooze whenever they come over? Recliners, futons, or the aptly-named sleeper sofa are all reliable choices that are guaranteed to both impress and give your sleepy guests a comfortable nap during their next visit.

Regardless of your preferences, it is important to keep your desired dimensions and budget in mind when considering which type of sofa to get. Not only will it help you narrow down your choices, but it will also save you a lot of headaches when it comes time to get the furniture into your space.

Decor and Lifestyle Matter Most in Italian Leather Couches

When planning for your Italian leather couch purchase, consider what lifestyle your clients (or you) have.

Do they have a large family with young children? Are they older couples who travel a lot and only plan to use the couch in their formal living room? How many pets do they have, and are they allowed on the furniture?

Factors like this dictate the level of protection the couch needs, the style, and the construction.

Next, take a close look at the existing decor of the home. If your client is firmly in the maximalist camp, they’ll want a very different style of furniture from someone seeking to channel a 1920s Art Deco interior.

Finally, don’t forget to consider color. Some brands only release their couches and sofas in a limited range of hues, which could narrow your selection considerably—especially if you’re looking for a particular or bespoke shade.

Decide What Style of Couch You Want

Italians have been crafting exquisite sofas since at least Ancient Roman times. Over the centuries, the technical innovations inherent in Italian furniture making can be seen in most contemporary sofas.

Some common couch styles include:

  • Modular
  • Sectionals
  • Sleepers
  • Recliners
  • Futons
  • Outdoor

Remember, too, that leather care is vital for extending the life of your sofa. A large, complicated couch style may be more challenging to keep in good condition than a smaller or less fussy design.

Understanding Styles

Importantly, which Italian leather couch is most suitable for your needs may hinge on the style components that you or your client are looking for. Are you furnishing a space that’s steeped in tradition—one that oozes classical taste and where decadence and time-tested come together to create luxury and comfort?

Or, perhaps, are you looking for something that’s both dated and modern, living at the intersection of mid-century style and 21st-century comfort?

Perhaps you’re looking for the ultimate in contemporary tastes, combining the cutting edge in aesthetics with the latest in comfort technology.

Wherever your tastes, or the tastes of your client, fall on the spectrum, at Michelangelo Designs, we have a carefully curated selection of fine Italian sofas designed to meet and exceed expectations.

Fitting Functionality

Italian leather couchesWhile style is important, it isn’t the entire equation. Fortunately, Italian leather couches offer more than just style. Functionality and comfort are crucial. Considering which Italian couch is right for your space involves considering the uses that it will meet.

In a home or hospitality setting, it can be important to cultivate comfort and create spaces that are inviting and livable. For such spaces, deep seats and wide sectionals may be the ticket. Offer comfort and style to your guests with an Ego Italiano Masú, for example.

In an office space or where meetings abound in the public sphere, it may be important to offer a traditional sense of comfort and rigid elegance. For such needs, you may consider pieces that bring functionality to the space, such as a Diem Loft Collection set.

Know Your Grains

Not all leather is made equal. When looking for a new couch, it’s essential to understand what makes the different types of leather look the way they do.

In most instances, you’ll be dealing with sofas crafted from high-quality cowhide. However, some premium Italian brands may make their furniture from the hide of other animals—lamb or goat, for instance. But since cowhide is the most commonly used leather in the furniture industry, we’ll focus on that.

Cowhide can be divided into four types of grain:

  • Full grain
  • Top grain
  • Corrected grain
  • Suede

All grains are used in Italian furniture making, though full grain and top grain are the most popular.

Full-grain leather uses all of the hide except the hair. It’s highly durable and naturally water-resistant due to a network of dense fibers.

You may notice some imperfections in this leather, which some companies use to their advantage—think industrial-chic. Over time, it will take on an attractive patina.

Top-grain leather is made from only the top layer of the hide, which is buffed or sanded to make it smooth and soft. It is, however, still relatively durable.

Corrected grain sits between full and top-grain leather. It uses all the hide but is sanded or buffed to remove imperfections. Suede is also used in Italian furniture making. It’s luxuriously soft, though it can be challenging to keep clean.

Test the Couch—If You Can

Looking through catalogs or browsing Italian leather couches online is a great way to narrow down your preferences. However, before you purchase a couch, getting a feel for your options in real life is essential.

By this, we mean visiting a showroom to literally “test-drive” the sofas you’re interested in. You may find that a couch that looked perfect in the product photographs is uncomfortable, too small, not well constructed, or not the right style or size for the space you plan to put it in.

Try these tips when testing out a couch:

  • If you or your client are tall, consider a couch with a high back
  • Sit on the sofa with more than one person
  • Lie down on the couch to make sure it’s long enough
  • Try to cross your legs on the sofa to make sure it’s deep enough (if it’s not, consider purchasing a matching ottoman)
  • Measure the couch to make sure it fits your space

In cases where you can only order the sofa you want (or in the case of bespoke orders), go over the product specifications with a fine-toothed comb to ensure they match your needs exactly.

Consider Your Budget

Even the country’s leading interior designers have a budget to work with.

And, of course, designer Italian leather couches don’t come cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere from the thousands to tens of thousands for your ideal sofa—depending on the brand, style, leather quality, and availability.

In searching for the ideal sofa, view your budget as a tool to help refine your options. After all, the best couch is one that ticks off as many items on your wish list as possible and comes within budget.

Italian Leather Couches: What’s Right for Your Home?

Navigating the world of Italian leather couches can be daunting.

While there are only a handful of truly premium brands, it can still be challenging to match style, color, quality, and lifestyle with your budget. Most importantly, you need to take the time to consider what you want from a sofa—only that will lead you to the couch you need.

Why Michelangelo Designs

Michelangelo Design understands that choosing to invest in an Italian leather sofa is a major decision – and can be a daunting one. Driven by our love of Italian trends and a passion for elegance and harmony, we strive every day to be “ the cure for the common” and elevate every space with luxury furniture. Since 1985, our expert artisans have brought comfort, style, and sophistication to every space, from bedrooms and living rooms to libraries, offices, and restaurants. We cater to clients domestically in the United States via our warehouse in Passaic, New Jersey, as well as international clients via our Italy warehouse. Our United States showroom of over 40,000 square feet hosts an extensive collection of over 2,000 pieces ranging in styles across three centuries. All of our furniture is made of the finest materials, ranging from microfiber and leather to hand-carved wooden frames and hand-welded metal.

Contact us today to arrange an appointment and to see our beautiful collection in person. Find out today why we’re the number one source for Italian furniture in the USA.

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