Why you should step away from the high street when it comes to buying a leather sofa

If you’ve always gone to the high street for your leather furniture, then it may surprise you to know that you can actually get superior quality, hand-crafted traditional and modern styles for less from a ‘not on the high street’ retailer. 

In a world of fast fashions and throwaway trends, it’s reassuring to know there are still retailers who care about making something that lasts. Most high street furniture is mass produced and imported from the Far East with the predominant aim of satisfying a particular consumer trend as opposed to being built to last.

For the 35 years, the team at Thomas Lloyd have been designing and hand-making traditional leather furniture from their family-run factory in Wales, building a reputation for quality, craftsmanship and service.

From the hand buttoned, distressed leather Vintage Chesterfield to sleek, contemporary model such as the Aspen and the Madison, the Thomas Lloyd range appeals across generations and is often a fraction of the cost of the products showcased by high street retailers.

One of the talking points that comes up often with Thomas Lloyd customers is leather quality. Anyone could be forgiven for overlooking the difference between ‘Grade 1’ and ‘Grade 2’ leather – after all, leather is leather, isn’t it?

Any sofa made from the skin of an animal has the right to be called ‘genuine leather’, but there are in fact three primary grades of leather. ‘Grade 1’ leather (otherwise known as ‘full grain’) is clear, supple, clean and consistent in colour. It has the highest yield of over 90% and its surface is incredibly smooth.

‘Grade 2’ leather is less consistent in colour and has a far less superior yield of only 78%. Its surface is often imperfect and will feel slightly stiff, mainly from the use of excessive coating added to hide the imperfections. Grade 2 leather is basically a synthetic leather mix.


If you are looking to buy the most natural and hard-wearing, then opt for ‘Grade 1’, as this remains the most desirable of all leathers, and will last a lifetime. The prominent markings from bug bites, a scar from a fence, or the usual little wrinkles that occur on the leather are evident and add to its authenticity.

Thomas Lloyd only use Grade 1 leather in all their leather sofas. Whatever your leather sofa style, be it traditional or modern, their full two-year warranty and 21 day ‘no quibble’ money back or exchange guarantee means you can be confident that with Thomas Lloyd, you’re making a good choice. And if you still need convincing to step away from the high street, check out these like-for-like comparisons from the likes of John Lewis and Next

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