Leather vs Fabric

here are a few points to consider 

When Choosing Between The Two

When choosing designs for your home, you are often faced with the choice of colour, the choice of texture and many more. Whether it is the colour and texture of your tiles, your walls or your furniture. More often than not, you will have a certain design in mind and a theme that you or your interior designer is briefed to follow in order to achieve your desired outcome. 

The most common of choices between Leather and Fabric is in the choice of material for a sofa or an armchair. Even other pieces of furniture mostly to do with seating options from stools to dining chairs and etc. 

Here is a summary of the points to consider: 


— Design

— Variance (Colour Options)

 Comfort Level




Leather Cost: $$$$  $$$$$

Fabric Cost: $  $$$

If you're on a budget, then the fabric option is the obvious choice. But, there are cheaper alternatives to leather, like faux leather, that is easier on the pockets. Natural leather is most definitely pricey and you do pay for a more premium product that cannot necessarily be duplicated by the simple processes of fabric dyes. This isn't to say that Fabrics are completely cheap as well, there are more premium fabrics that have stain resistant treatment and higher priced options like Velvet as well.

Therefore a compromise has to be made between the price to pay (Budget) and the achievable design outcomes. This brings us to our next consideration, the design aspect. 


Emma 3 Seater Sofa - Blue

Design Adaptability (Leather): 4/5

Design Adaptability (Fabric): 4/5

Earlier we spoke of the ideation process to interior designing and how homeowners tend to already have a preferred design in mind. Whether it is a generic direction or a more focused and hands-on approach to their home design, the choice of fabric is meant to compliment the overall design of the home, depending on which areas or rooms the materials are to be used in. 

In this case, both options are equal in providing the ability to complement the look that they are meant to. Leather gives a classy and defined sense of the space, whilst the use of fabrics with more colour is meant to give a more pop-styled look and they will do well in their own elements. This brings us to a choice of colours.

Another aspect of design that most people do not look out for is the ergonomic design of the furniture or item the material is for and how it will affect users, this aspect will be covered further below in "Comfort".


Leather: 2/5

Fabric: 5/5

In their own elements, the two options are equally outstanding but the choice of colour is a whole different ball game. Natural leathers tend to have very specific few colours to select from, even with faux leather, there is only that many options. Fabric, on the other hand, have a world of different options from material differences to colours. There are differentiations in the types of leather but not nearly as many options as compared to fabric options. Both types also have treated and untreated options to choose from as well. 

Comfort level

Como 3 Seater Sofa - Brown (Genuine Cowhide), Down Feathers

Leather: 3.5/5

Fabric: 4/5

Specifically, in Singapore, the hot weather of our tropical climate often leaves us shifting in our seats. Leather has been known to trap heat faster than fabric and this can cause perspiration to stain the natural leather as well. In terms of the design of the furniture, most prominently the sofa, the ergonomic design and the choice of cushion inserts are other factors that add to the overall comfort level of the item as well.  

Because leather sofas tend to have a more classy feel, the designs are meant to reflect the material's strong points. Fabric, on the other hand, have more free room in terms of design and some sofas are even designed with ergonomic principals over aesthetic design. Leather furniture designers also have such ergonomic aspects, one such example is the famous egg chair also designed in both fabric and leather. Thus, in this category, fabrics and their cooler nature have a slight edge over the leather options. 


Leather: 4/5

Fabric: 3/5

Leather has a natural edge when it comes to maintenance. It is easier to clean as it doesn't absorb spills as easily as the fabric does. However, you can get fabric options that have been treated with stain resistant materials that provide an added insurance to unwanted spills. On the flip side, leather is required to be wiped down with a damp cloth and handled with care. Fabric, however, can be said to withstand more abuse. Why is this so? Read on!


Leather: 3.5/5

Fabric: 3/5

Yes, fabric options do have the upper hand in the choice of colours, but you have to be ready to see these colours fade over time. Leather will be able to hold its colour tone over a longer period of time. As mentioned above, leather requires a little more care in usage as it can also be easily scratched, whilst fabric is safe with a little roughing up, especially with kids around the house. Both materials have their pros and cons in this aspect but leather has the slight edge with easy maintenance of its naturally lasting abilities. 

in conclusion

Both materials are fairly even and HIGHLY DEPENDENT on your choice of design, style, look and feel you are going for. This post is meant to just be a guideline on the differences in Leather and Fabric to make things easier in comparison when choosing your furniture. Feel free to look through our range of leather and fabric sofas here.

Written by: 

Theodore from HipVan


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