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Choosing Leather Furniture

Leather is a natural product and has its own natural characteristics. It is normal for seating areas of leather upholstery to show signs of creasing and stretching. It will bear evidence of its own unique history such as scars, wrinkles, irregularities, even insect bites and so on. None of these are defects and are not detrimental. There are five main categories of upholstery leather care:-

Aniline and Sauvage Leather: This is the most expensive, softest and purest leather but it does clearly show natural shade variations and markings. It does stain easily as dye is impregnated into the surface without the need for artifcial finish.

Semi-Aniline Leather: Similar to aniline with a light surface finish which makes it more stain resistant.

Standard Soft Leather: The most commonly used and durable type of leather. Dye is applied to the hide and grain embossed onto the surface and then a protective finish is added.

Standard Antique Leather: Similar to soft leather, however, it has a very light graining and a two part dye known as a 'rub-off'. A light coloured base coat is followed by a darker top coat which is removed in the wear areas to give an artrficially aged look.

Nubuck Leather: This leather is dyed and its surface is buffed to produce a velvety feel. Nubuck is particularly prone to soiling and staining and requires careful use. Natural leather comes in a variety of types and finishes therefore it is essential you follow the manufacturers' care instructions carefully. Lighter colour leathers can become permanently stained by continual contact with non-colourfast clothing such as denim. Remember the simple 'golden rule' - if in doubt - please let us help you or contact Servicemaster for impartial professional advice on 0116 236 4646.

Choosing Fabric Upholstery

A sofa or suite is now the focal point of most modern homes. So as well as being attractive it may also have to be practical to withstand the rigours of life today. Our advice is always free and we want to help you choose the right upholstery for your needs, so take your time and be frank about the use it will receive in its lifetime.

We recommend according to your own individual needs and daily use.

  • Some furniture is deliberately engineered to be tougher than others.
  • Price is not the only factor to consider.
  • Certain fabrics soil more quickly than others.
  • Dralon and velvet wear well but are prone to shading and creasing.
  • Loose, removable covers are practical but never replicate the fixed tailored look.

Price versus Performance: Price is not always a good indicator of performance! Some expensive products can be durable but others may be designed using very delicate fabrics. The choice of fabrics is almost overwhelming; here is a short list of the most popular.

Acrylic Pile Velvets: Dralon is the most common trademark for this normally hard wearing cloth. The pile is usually a series of 'v-tufts' held in place on backing cloth by a back-coating

Cotton Velvets: Traditional velvet with a plush cotton pile that feels luxurious and soft but it is prone to shading and creasing.

Flock Velour: Mock velvets, with or without a surface pattern, are normally very hard wearing but can be prone to scuffin

Prints: The fabric is normally woven from plain cotton or a cotton rich mix yarn into a plain 'grey cloth' which is then printed using vat dyes or pigments.

Flat Weaves: These fabrics come in a wide variety of styles and types. They are generally woven on jacquard type looms using yarn which is individually dyed in bulk form but sometimes woven into 'grey cloth' and then piece dyed in plain colours.

Choosing a sofabed

Upholstery which converts into a guest bed is generally known as a sofa bed and is recommended for occasional sleeping only, but there are two distinct types:

  • Sofa beds, which are sold as part of an upholstery suite, incorporate a foam mattress.
  • Lounge sleepers, which use a sprung interior mattress provide a much better sleeping platform.

Choosing Cabinet Furniture

Cabinet is the generic term for all timber, dining, lounge, occasional and bedroom furniture. There is a myriad of designs and constructions to suit all tastes and pockets. Fundamentally, your choice falls into two categories:

  • Solid natural wood or natural wood veneer furniture.
  • Man-made foil and melamine furniture which provides durability.

Foil and Melamine is extremely durable. Nothing replaces the beauty of real wood, but you must remember solids and natural wood veneers are characterised by small imperfections and shade variations All trees are different and each piece of real wood furniture is unique. Real wood does not stop evolving. Real wood matures with age and settles as it becomes accustomed to its new environment. Yew/Pine darken to a mellow warmth, Mahogany/Cherry will lighten slightly. Strong sunlight will bleach real wood.

Choosing a Bed or Mattress

This in my opinion is the most important purchase you will ever make. Time needs to be taken in considering which mattress you find the most supportive. Considering most of us spend over a third of our lives in bed, it is important that you make sure that your are purchasing the mattress that gives you the correct support.

With over 40 mattresses on display we are able to help you identify which mattress would be the most suitable. Every mattress here is on display for a reason. Starting with our lowest cost mattress which is here because we consider that to be the best mattress on the market for that price and then it is like stepping stones with different mattress offering a different mix of springs, fillings and comfort ... the choice is endless. The support the mattress provides is influenced by the divan base (either sprung or platform top) or bedstead that it is placed on.

Why should you try before you buy? Your body is the most advanced comfort gauge in the world. Did you know that 60% of adults in Britain annually suffer from back pain? Did you know that the NHS spends over £50 million on Sleeping Tablets per year!! My theory is that quite a few people are actually sleeping on a bed which is not giving them the correct support.

Now is the time to invest in a good mattress and visit our store to discover more! Remember if you have a good night's sleep and allow your body to relax and recoup itself from the days rigours - you will wake the following morning revitalised and able to face the day ahead!

Why should you try before you buy?

  • Your body is the most advanced comfort gauge in the world.
  • Did you know that 60% of adults in Britain annually suffer from back pain?
  • The medical profession generally agree that a new bed, offering the individual person correct support, can help prevent most back problems developing or becoming worse.
  • Beds that are over ten years old, more than likely need replacing.
  • A second hand bed shaped to another persons' needs can leave you tired and irritable.
  • It's no surprise that a good comfortable night's sleep is revitalising.

Family Business

Alfred Smith & Son are very proud to let you know that we have been recognised as Cornwall's oldest family run business. Now in our fourth generation, third century of trading and still growing!

Expert Knowledge

Over the years we have built up a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of furniture retailing. We can offer you expert advice on choosing the right furniture to suit your requirements.

Peace of Mind

We pride ourselves on our personable customer service. We like to build a rapport with our customers and look after them. This is why our customers return time after time.

Free Delivery

We offer free delivery within Cornwall. We will also unpack your items and place them in the room of your choice. Contact us for more information or to discuss arrangements.

Alfred Smith & Son (Penzance) Ltd. 31 Clarence Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2NX   Registration: 661550 London, VAT Reg. No: 131 6184 93