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Why leather is the perfect choice of material for the hospitality industry…

The hospitality industry demands materials that combine functionality and aesthetic appeal. Leather, with its unique attributes and characteristics has long been a favoured choice for architects, designers and specifiers within this sector. In the below article we discuss the look, feel, and longevity of this material, explaining why it stands out as the ideal choice for the hospitality industry.




Leather is often associated with luxury and high status. Its use in high-end fashion, premium car interiors, and designer furniture underscores its reputation as a premium material. Leather can be used to great effect in the hospitality industry where a definitive look and feel is sought after. Whether it’s a Eames Lounge Chair in our Vele Black sitting in a hotel lobby or a set of Wegner’s Wishbone Chairs upholstered in classic Old English Alga in a restaurant setting, you’ll find that this material helps elevates the setting and the experience.


Wide Variety of Colours and Textures Available:

It was once perceived that leather could only be found in black, brown, and grey; however, this is not the case. It actually offers a huge range of options. From vibrant shades to distressed finishes, the variety of this material can help designers find the perfect leather for all types of hospitality projects.

Here at Crest, we offer a range of 450 leather colours, providing plenty of choice for your project. Whether you’re looking for vibrant colours, soft tones, or unique textures, we have a perfect selection to help bring your vision to life.



Leather’s natural grain and texture give it a unique character that synthetic materials often lack. Each piece of leather is distinct, with variations in grain, colour, and markings that tell a story of its origin. The tactile experience of leather, with its smooth, supple, and sometimes slightly textured surface, adds to its sensory appeal. he unique scent of leather provides an olfactory experience that synthetic materials simply cannot match. The luxurious appeal of genuine leather, along with its distinctive scent can add to the overall ambiance of most settings, creating a welcoming and visually rich atmosphere.


Naturally Breathable:

Compared to synthetic materials Leather is more breathable allowing air and moisture to pass through and so preventing the build-up of heat. With comfort of guests being the priority this makes genuine leather a perfect choice of material for upholstery within the hospitality industry.

Margaret Larson, from Sustainable Furniture backs up this point as she explained, “If you live in a hot environment, faux leather sofas can become sweaty and sticky, making them particularly uncomfortable to sit on!” Whether it be in hospitality or automobiles, this statement clearly explains the argument of why faux leather is not an ideal choice for comfort when in the heat!




One of the primary reasons why leather is preferred in the hospitality industry is due to its exceptional durability. Unlike fabric, which can quickly wear out under constant use, leather withstands the wear and tear of high-traffic extremely well. Leather upholstery can endure daily use for years while maintaining its structural integrity and appearance. This makes it an extremely cost-effective option in the longer term.

Kerry Senior, Director of Leather UK, also agrees that leather much more of a durable material in comparison to faux alternatives. He tells Drapers that “[Leather] is a long-lasting, versatile product. At the end of life, it will biodegrade. PU made from [petroleum bases] won’t last as long as animal-derived leather. The newer materials are more interesting, but they fall short in a number of areas.”


Environmentally Friendly:

When considering environmental impact, leather emerges as a more sustainable option compared to synthetic alternatives. Genuine leather is a by-product of the meat industry so utilises a material that would otherwise go to waste. In comparison, the production of fake leather involves significant chemical processes which negatively emits harmful pollutants and unlike genuine leather isn’t biodegradable.


Fire Retardant:

Safety is priority within the hospitality industry, and leather’s natural fire-retardant properties provide an added layer of security. Leather resists ignition and burns slowly, emitting fewer toxic fumes compared to synthetics. This resistance to fire ensures that leather is a safer choice for public spaces, helping to protect guests and staff in the event of a fire.

Crib 5 is a UK regulation established for hospitality venues to ensure that all furniture and materials comply with fire prevention standards. While this certification does not guarantee that an item is completely fireproof, it significantly reduces the risk of ignition. At Crest all of our leathers are meet Crib 5 fire safety standards, ensuring that all projects upholstered with our leather pass this standard.



How can Crest make a difference?

Leather’s combination of durability, environmental benefits, safety features, and aesthetic qualities makes it the perfect choice for the hospitality industry. Its luxurious appearance, breathability, and wide variety of available colours and textures allow for versatile design options, ensuring that the material remains a timeless and practical material. Whether you’re furnishing a small café or planning the interior for a large-scale restaurant, Crest have all the options you need to enhance the appearance atmosphere, and safety of your space.

Our premium quality leathers have been used in a variety of hospitality projects, and we’ve provided a list of these projects as inspiration