Casco Bay Furniture Review – A Discussion of The Coveted Brompton Leather Sofa

Recently purchased a sofa in Brompton Leather, or looking to purchase one? Where does it come from? How do you take care of it? Here are some answers.

A Bit of a Brompton History. The original Brompton leather is produced by a tannery in Vicenza, Italy called Concernia Bernado Finco Spa. The tannery has been in business for five generations and uses a highly guarded, 45-step secret process to produce the leather. The leather is distributed by only one distributor in North America. Brompton leather was brought to the attention of the public by Restoration Hardware. The well known retailer features Brompton leather on many deep seat sofa styles such as the Lancaster sofa, Maxwell sofa, Kensington sofa, Belgian Slope Arm sofa, Belgian Track Arm sofa, the Churchill Leather chair and others. The Lancaster sofa and the Maxwell sofa are the most popular styles at Restoration Hardware. Restoration Hardware features the Lancaster sofa and Maxwell sofa in many sizes. The Lancaster sectional and Maxwell sectional from Restoration Hardware are also available in a variety of sizes and configurations and all in Brompton leather.

Brompton Knock-offs. The tannery in Italy does not seem to own the name “Brompton,” so many leather suppliers seem to have a “Brompton.” There are Bromptons from China, the Bromptons from Thailand, and the Bromptons from Argentina. However, there are no USA based knocks-offs, since there are only a few small specialty tanneries left in the USA due to environmental regulations. Tanning leather is a messy business. No one has successfully knocked off this leather, although everyone has tried. The knock-offs simply don’t have the same characteristics. They just can’t compare with the 45-step secret process done by the Italians. At Casco Bay Furniture we only carry the original Brompton leather from Italy.

Brompton’s Unique Characteristics. Brompton leather is a very thick, durable, and beautiful full aniline dyed leather. Most leathers measure .9 mils thick, while Brompton is as much as twice that thickness. Brompton leather is what is referred to as a “waxed pull up leather.” The surface is coated with wax and oils. Before the upholstering process has begun, the leather is stiff and more solid colored. As the leather is stretched and applied, it will lighten and change color into a rich patina.

This leather does have a break-in period. When you furniture first arrives, your sofa will be firmer when sat on. Keep in mind, if you saw a sofa made up in this leather at your local retailer, it may have been on their floor for months, if not years. Thousands of people may have sat on the sofa, so that the leather will be much softer, pliable, and have a nice patina.

Madison sofa in Brompton Leather

Our Maxwell styled sofa in Brompton Cocoa.

Brompton and wax pull ups are unique in that, if you pinch the leather, you will see shadows and distinct light and dark areas. What is also unique is that you can rub these out just as easily. Brompton has a rich expensive look and breaks in like an old bomber jacket. That’s why it’s so popular, but it’s not for everyone. Brompton leather is the most popular leather at Casco Bay Furniture. At Casco Bay Furniture Brompton leather is available on several deep seat sofas such as the Manchester sofa which compares to the Restoration Hardware Lancaster sofa, the Madison deep seat sofa which compares to the Restoration Hardware Maxwell sofa, The Kingston sofa which compares to the Restoration Hardware Kensington sofa, the Jackson Slope Arm sofa which compares to the Restoration Hardware Belgian Slope Arm sofa and the Prescott Track Arm sofa which Compares to the Restoration Hardware’s Belgian Track Arm sofa.


Our Lancaster styled sofa in Brompton Cocoa.

Brompton Leather Scratches. Run you finger across the leather and it scratches, yet most surface scratches just as easily rub out. Simply vigorously rub the scratched area with your palm and the scratches will usually disappear. When you are rubbing the leather, what you are really doing is creating heat which is melting the wax on the surface of the leather. If the scratches are a little deeper, heat the area with a hair dryer holding the fairly hot dryer bout 6” from the surface. Aim the dryer at your hand while rubbing out the scratches and make sure that the dryer is not getting too hot. If the heat doesn’t bother your hand, it won’t bother the leather in my experience. If the scratches are really deep, you will need professional help to fix them.

One of our Kensington Styled Tufted Sofas in Brompton Cocoa.

One of our Kensington Styled Tufted Sofas in Brompton Cocoa.

Kids and Animals. No leather can take animal abuse, but I do think this leather is better than most, as it will look distressed to begin with after its break in, and it is thick and durable.

Maintenance. If you take care of your set upholstered in Brompton Leather, it can last for decades, but it does need to be cleaned and maintained. If you don’t clean and maintain the leather, it will start to look overly distressed and become somewhat shabby. At Casco Bay Furniture we do carry a product that has been especially formulated to clean and maintain this leather. It comes in a two part kit and has a cleaner and a re-waxer. This product works great and all you have to do is follow the directions on the box. You will be amazed how good this will make your set look.

If You Need a Leather Tech. If you need professional help to repair the leather, make sure your tech is familiar with this type of leather or at least familiar with a full aniline dyed leather. If they are, they can do a wonderful job. If not, they can ruin the leather. Make sure they do not apply any spray “poly” finish to the surface, as it will then not blend with the rest of your set.

Any questions not answered here, give us a call at Casco Bay Furniture at 207-272-0557  and we will do our best to help you.

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  1. Very interesting post, clearly written and well presented. I was wondering if you knew any places that still have these classic sofas?

    Thanks keep up the good work!

  2. sandy gulbrandsen

    What do you sell to clean an expensive leather sofa and chair with ottoman? How much is it and how do I order?

    • Richard

      Sandy what type of leather is it? Please let us know or give us a call at Casco Bay and we will offer some suggestions.

  3. Tammi

    This works. My son just scratched our restoration brompton leather couch….I put the hot blow dryer on it and began rubbing the palm of my hand back and forth….they disappeared.

  4. Hi there. I own the Maxwell sofa, purchased from Restoration Hardware. I had HORRIBLE scratches to the leather when our dog sitter allowed the dogs on the sofa. Most have come completely out with the hair dryer technique. The product information I received from RH said not to use cleaners or conditioners on the product but we live in Denver where it is very dry and I’m worried about the long term effects on the leather. You reference cleaning kits but I can’t find them on the website. Can you provide a link to where they can be purchased?

    • Renee please give us a call. We do carry a special product for Wax pull up leathers such as Brompton Cocoa. The kit contains a cleaner and a re-waxer. This product works great and will remove most surface scratches. We feel it is very important to clean and condition your leather furniture. Failure to do so can result in the dehydration of your leather which then leads to cracking. Once a leather has dehydrated there is no way to rehydrate the leather and it essentially will be ruined.

      On an added note for leather care. It is important not to keep aniline and semi aniline dyed leathers in direct sunlight if possible. If your set is in direct sunlight close your shades during the sunniest part of the day or get solar shades. Leather can fade. A set left in a very sunny window can fade in 4-6 months. fading is not covered by any manufacturers warranty. A faded sofa can be re-colored by an experienced leather tech with excellent results.

    • Geez, that’s unliaeevlbbe. Kudos and such.

  5. Monica Hogan

    I’m on your website looking for a phone number to get the cleaning kit for my new Brompton leather furniture but do not see a #

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  7. Pearl G Rider

    Leather sofas are way better than fabric sofas. They look better and last better than fabric sofas in my personal experience. The only bad thing I can think about a leather sofa is that they are easily damaged by animals especially cat scratches. I try to keep my cat away from the sofa as much as possible. But somehow he makes a scratch. I bought a scratching post to save my sofa but not successful.

  8. Can the Lancaster sofa be disassembled and put back together? I’m moving and it’s too wide to get through the door frame. Thank you!

    • Erica we do make the Manchester which is similar to the Lancaster in a Take-Apart sofa which does make the delivery of most of the sizes possible even in tight spots that otherwise wouldn’t be deliverable. We make this in all the lengths, 74″, 88″, 95″, 112″, 120″, 144″ and 156″. Also keep in mind that although the height of the sofa is 35″ that is with the back cushions on. With the cushions off you only need less than 30″ as the sofa is turned on its side during delivery. Any questions on your delivery please give us a call. Richard

  9. Sonja

    Hi, I own the Manchester restoration hardware side- wish I would have know about your furniture first. However, if you could help me to purchase your cleaning products. Again, they recommend no cleaners- which makes no sense to me, so please send me information on how I can purchase the cleaner thanks

    • Richard

      Sonja it is very important to clean and condition leather furniture at least twice a year. This prevents leather dehydration and cracking. Once your leather has dehydrated and cracked there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. It is also important to not over condition. One of the most popular leathers sold on the Lancaster and our Manchester is Brompton Cocoa. At Casco Bay Furniture purchase the original Brompton Cocoa from Bassano Del Grappa Italy and this leather is what is called a wax pull up leather. We do carry a very specific product to clean and re-wax this leather. It is important to use a product which is specific to this leather such as the one we carry. RH is in my opinion is incorrect in there recommendation as to use no cleaners on their product. Please call us at Casco Bay if you would like more information on this product.

  10. Sonja

    Hi I own the maxwell rh and would Loce the cleaner please let me know what I need thanks!

    • Richard

      Sonja please call us as we do carry the proper product to clean and re-wax the leather. This leather should be cleaned and re-waxed about twice a year. The product is not expensive and you only need a little. The product works great.

  11. Hello. I have a Lancaster styled sofa in Brompton cocoa from RH, the sofa is about l8 months old, we are very happy with it, we just love it, but my sister’s kids came to my house and stayed about 2 months, they jumped on the sofa for too long, now the sofa is saggy, more on the middle of the seating down area, the warranty expired. I would like to ask you if you can help me with some information how I can get a professional service to fix my saggy sofa? or what I can do, if you can give me information of a professional company service can solve the problem. I’m very sad to see my beautiful sofa like that. Thank you for your time. Anna.

    • Richard

      Anna what thing we also tell our customers and in fact we include this under instructions in our purchase order is to not allow roughhousing on sofas and especially jumping. A small 40 lb child can actually ruin a sofa and this would not be covered by any manufacturers warranty. This is not to say that your sofa cannot be repaired. As far as the sagging is it the cushions that are sagging or the springs under the cushions. If it is the cushion you can order new cushion cores from a company like . Personally I have never used this cushion company but you might give them a try.

      Another option would be to call a local upholsterer in your are who could evaluate your sofa to see if it needs spring repair.

      What I suspect has happened is that the leather casings that are covering your cushion cores has stretched. You can try heating the leather casings with a hot hair dryer holding it 6″ away and moving it around. You might also try calling RH and ask them if they will sell you new cushion casings with cores but I am not sure if they offer this option. Then you want to make sure the leather of the new casings will match the rest of the leather on your sofa. In our case we sew in a cutting of the leather under the seat cushion of our sofas for shade matching and we can provide replacement cushions and cores for our customers. We do not have the patterns for RH sofas but we do carry them for the sofas we make.

  12. hi, i have the restoration hardware churchill leather chair, it has some scratches and needs some TLC what can i do to get the scratches out and how do I condition the leather to keep it soft?

    • Norma we do carry a special two part kit for Wax pull up leathers which sounds like what you might have on your chair. Part one cleans the leather and part two re-waxes the leather. The product works great. We also carry another kit for matt finished leathers which are very popular today. Give us a call if you would like more information.

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