Everything You Need to Know About Puddling with Copenhagen - Copenhagen Imports Skip to Content
Back to blog
Copenhagen Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Puddling with Copenhagen

By Evan Ingold & Alyssa Mason

Leather is a popular material choice for furniture, and for good reason! Its natural grain, warmth, and unique durability make it an excellent choice for your sofa. However, these features also cause some lesser-known (and often less talked-about) effects, the most important being puddling. Puddling is completely normal, and is a natural process that is expected to occur over the lifetime of all leather furniture. Continue reading below to learn everything you need to know about puddling, and why it’s nothing to be scared of.

The Biggest Question First: What is Puddling?

Puddling is the natural stretch of leather that can appear as light wrinkles or loosened upholstery around the seat and back cushions of leather furniture. Furniture that experiences regular use is expected to stretch between 3 and 6% in its lifetime. The amount of puddling depends on a variety of factors, including the grain and fiber structure of the leather, and the design and construction of the furniture itself. For example, larger panels of leather experience more puddling than panels segmented by tufting or stitching, while a softer seat with a lower density foam will give more when sat in, creating more opportunities for the leather to stretch over time. Everything from the type of suspension in the seat to the amount of weight placed on it will affect the amount of puddling. Even different seats on the same sofa can puddle differently, because of natural differences in the hides used for each portion.

When Does Puddling Occur?

Puddling will likely occur during the initial use period of your new furniture, as you discover your favorite to spot to sit and interact with the leather. And once puddling has occurred, it probably won’t increase drastically, but it’s important to note that sitting in the same spot frequently will cause that section to puddle more than other areas. You may also notice that indoor temperatures and climate affect the amount of puddling. Extreme temperatures at either end of the thermometer can have a negative effect and cause the leather to become less resilient to wear, so more moderate temperatures are ideal.

So, What Can You Do About Puddling?

Remember, leather is a natural product so its feel and appearance will evolve based on use and its surroundings. For all types of leather seating, some degree of puddling will most likely occur: we promise this isn’t a defect of either the material or furniture construction. Just like good quality leather shoes stretch to accommodate your body, so will your leather sofa, and if you expect this stretching to happen, its less likely that you’ll notice the visual difference as much.

You can reduce the effect of puddling by smoothing the leather regularly. Sweeping a hand firmly across the cushion should have an immediate effect. You can also pay attention to which spot(s) have more puddling than others, most likely from more use, and make sure to sit in a different area to even out the visual effect.

We like to say that puddling is an indicator of how much you’re enjoying your furniture, and how naturally the leather is responding to its place in your home. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding puddling, please feel free to contact us online or visit a Copenhagen location.