get to know our Vintage Leather

A little note from Warren about our vintage leather

Natural marks and scars - no two are ever alike

Our Vintage Leather

Natural marks and scars - no two are ever alike

Since you’ve made your way onto this page, it’s clear to me that you like the look and feel of our furniture, and I’m so pleased that you’ve found S.W. James. If you’re searching for a truly individual piece of furniture with its very own story to tell, then you’ll love our exclusive, hand-finished vintage leather. Each piece of our vintage leather is carefully hand-picked by me to ensure the utmost quality, and the unique nature of our leather – with its natural marks and grooves – means no one else in the world will have the same piece of furniture as you.

Our Vintage Leather

Leather is a natural product

S.W. James selects only the finest hides for our vintage leather range – all of which are responsibly sourced from Italy, a nation known for their fastidious commitment to quality through their use of full grain hides – not to mention meticulous processes that promise a softer, more pliable leather. One of the myriad benefits of using the very best leather is that our tannery only needs to apply the slightest of treatments to each hide – contributing to their wonderful character and the authentic, lived-in look that stands the test of time in every room of your home. It’s this preservation of existing quality that allows all the natural marks and scars of the hide to shine through. Hallmarks such as veins, insect bites, birthmarks, and skin tone variation combine to create the exquisite make-up of single S. W. James product that leaves our factory.

When we say our sofas have soul, what we’re referring to is the distinctive nature of the material we use, in addition to the heart and soul poured into each piece by our master creators. Every single item we produce exudes character – and it’s this very character that’ll breathe new life into your home. But you can’t have character without characteristics; so rather than viewing the natural features of your vintage leather as imperfections, these should be celebrated as symbols of diversity – and ultimately, a life well lived, now on its next journey to bring warmth to your interiors. Plus, it’s worth pointing out, vintage items only improve with age – which is exactly the magic of S.W. James furniture.

Our Vintage Leather

We include all the characteristics. Such as cracks, scars, folds and wrinkles

You’ll tend to find that cheaper, lesser quality hides will have a cleaner, more uniform appearance. This is down to a variation of tricks that manufacturers use to achieve a tidy, consistent finish – such as splitting hides on cheaper cuts to double the yield and stamping an artificial grain into them. While common practice in the furniture industry – from our experience, these aren’t actually refinements but rather, quick fixes to be wary of. These types of hides will not have any character, texture, or smell, as they are essentially man-made. Furthermore, interference with the leather means that these pieces will not last more than a couple of years – cracking over time and paradoxically, becoming much more worn than a naturally weathered vintage leather hide.

At S. W. James, we rely on old-fashioned methods for old-fashioned quality. Each item we create is built to last a lifetime, so that it can be passed down to future generations. Trust in our process, and you’ll be left with so much more than a piece of furniture – you’ll gain a family heirloom.

I’m sure that none of the above is anything new to you, which is why you’re here in the first place. However, it’s important for you to assess the aforementioned characteristics to ensure our vintage leather is right for you. Evidently, I love leather, and have a vast knowledge of its qualities as a result. If you do have any questions and would like to discuss them with an expert, please give me a call on 0161 359 5462 – I’m always happy to talk about one of my favourite subjects.

The S.W. James Team

We're here to help

We know ordering your own handmade Chesterfield or vintage sofa is a very personal decision and we know you will have questions before you decide to choose an S.W. James of your own. We are here to help, and we work closely with you throughout every step of the production process to ensure you are 100% happy with your new S.W. James when it arrives in your home.

We’re a passionate team and we love to talk about our Chesterfields and vintage sofas. As a result, if you have questions before you order, or at any point during production, just ask. You will always talk directly with Warren and the other business founders.

Call the team today for a friendly chat on

0161 359 5462

Or email Warren and the team by clicking here

Our office hours are Mon- Fri 9am to 6pm, Saturdays 10am to 6pm, Sundays 10am to 4pm. Feel free to call any time. If the office is closed just leave a short message and we will call you back as soon as possible. Alternatively email us any time you like.