Choosing Leather FurnitureWhat you need to know if you have 2-Tone Leather

Chris here.  In the bullets below I will give you a number of important reasons you should know if you have base-print or two-tone leather (like the swatch to the right).  But first here is an introduction to the subject.

        Look closely at your leather.  Does it have different shades in the finish?  Does it have high spots and low spots that give it an antiqued or distressed look?  If so you have a specially finished leather. It goes by many industry names such as base-print, two-tone, antiqued or molted leather.  Whatever you call it, there are a few things you should know if you are considering buying or own this type of leather.

  • This leather finish is made by applying 2 distinct layers of finish to a tanned leather surface.  The first is usually sprayed on the entire hide and is called the base coat.  The second can be sprayed, rolled, hand-rubbed or brushed on top of the base coat and is called the print coat.
  • The base coat is opaque and covers color variations in the hide to give one solid color to the leather.  The print coat is a tinted transparent color that gives depth, sheen and protection to the base coat and to the leather.
  • All that to say, base-print is a beautiful looking leather finish that adds character to your leather furniture.
  • The multi-tone nature of the finish will tend to hide some stains better than a leather that is finished in all one color.
  • But a few warnings
    • Some manufacturers have had some problems with the adhesion of the print color to the base color.  When you get your leather, (or if you can sneak and do this in the showroom even better) use a safe leather cleaner to wipe a back or side area of the leather.  If the rag shows a bit of purple color, that color is the print coat. 
    • Even with a good base-print, be careful to use safe cleaners on your base-print leather.  A strong cleaner will remove the print coat and the base color alone will stand out sorely
    • .Scratches to this leather will show up lighter because you see the hide or the base coat showing through the print coat.
    • Don’t despair if you do take the print coat off of your leather, it can be restored.  But especially for this job, hire an experienced professional.  Base-print work is a more challenging technique and needs the touch of an experienced leather professional

Click here for the products I use and recommend for this kind of leather.

Click here for experienced pro’s that I know can help you with cleaning and repairs to base-print leather.