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Salon Spa Furniture: Leather versus Vinyl

Salon Spa Furniture: Leather versus Vinyl

Once in a while, we will have customers request a special quote for a custom-made PARAGON salon or barber chair to be upholstered using leather instead of the standard vinyl fabric.  Both leather and vinyl are popular fabric choices for a variety of upholstery needs, including cars, boats, restaurant seating, and industrial furniture.  Choosing between the two is often a matter of the customer's budget, personal preferences, and intended use, but for the most part, we caution against the use of leather in the salon and spa industry.   Here are out reasons:

Maintenance, Repair, and Upkeep

While both leather and vinyl are relatively easy to keep clean compared to other materials, leather can be high maintenance, requiring specific cleaning products to get the job done. It also needs to be conditioned regularly to keep the material supple. On the other hand, vinyl fabric can be cleaned with anything that’s non-abrasive and won’t dry out the vinyl — including something as simple as damp cloth.

Vinyl also doesn’t fade or crack as quickly as leather, even when exposed to sunlight. It’s also resistant to scrapes and scratches that would ruin leather. The color of leather changes unpredictably over time, which can make it difficult to match colors when repairs are needed down the road. If you don’t have the time or patience to treat and condition leather fabric every few months, choose vinyl.

Price and Selection

On average, vinyl costs about 50%+ less than leather. Leather typically comes in neutral, natural colors, whereas vinyl can be customized in a range of colors and patterns, giving you greater variety in your design choices. Improvements in textures, colors, and grains gives high quality vinyl an appearance that mimics leather often at a substantially lower price point.

Intended Use

Lastly, the way leather shouldn’t be used in environments exposed to water, heat, or constant sunlight. Thus, if you’re looking to upholster your barber, shampoo, or salon chair, vinyl is the best option. In addition, vinyl is resistant to bacterial growth, making it an ideal fabric for the beauty industry.

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