Initiated in 2016 as a collection of exceptional qualities celebrating the inherent beauty of leather returned to a natural state, Maharam is broadening its offering with the addition of six new styles in sixty-five highly specialized colors this January. Sourced in Italy, Maharam‘s collection forgoes the excessive finishing that characterizes much of the leather available today and instead centers on superior raw materials and the unique surfaces brought forth as a result of minimal processing. Complementing the existing collection through both texture and color, the upcoming additions deepen Maharam’s investment in leather of exceptional quality.
Leather quality depends almost entirely on the condition of the original hide before any tanning, dyeing, or finishing begins. Turning to Western Europe as the unrivaled source of upholstery leather thanks to its excellent veterinarian practices, the stable and mild climates of the region, the absence of branding, and the manner in which the animals graze in open fields without barbed-wire fencing, Maharam nurtures relationships with a handful of boutique tanneries in Northern Italy and Spain, which were chosen for their expert ability to produce the best of each desired quality. As a result, Maharam’s leathers fall within the top five percent of the upholstery hides available globally.
Initially drawn to leather for its inherent responsiveness and variation, the Maharam Design Studio chose to highlight the unique natural features that distinguish leather from synthetic products. All styles display natural markings to varying degree, including traces of backbone, pores, insect bites, wrinkles, and scratches. Rather than minimize these features, the Maharam Design Studio celebrates minimal finishing as evidence of leather’s premium condition before any tanning, dyeing, or processing begins. In addition to their aesthetic impact, hides of exceptional quality offer lasting resilience while bearing a distinct patina that evolves with age.
This commitment to material purity may be most evident in Source, whose quality falls within the top .005% of all upholstery hides. Source eschews any treatment beyond light vegetable retanning to restore the hide’s original warmth—a minimal level of intervention that is made possible by its pristine quality. Due to its raw state, Source’s shade will inevitably deepen with imprints of time, use, and light.
Selected based on their hand, grain, or appearance, each new leather quality was carefully finished in service of a specific impact. This can be seen in Press, whose heavily pebbled surface features varied concentrations of tone that celebrate organic variation. Similarly, Balm is a remarkably supple quality whose tonal depth is afforded by extended immersions in transparent dye. Both utilize rich, neutral palettes and a light wax coating that accentuates their surfaces while preventing mark-off.
The upcoming introductions significantly broaden the depth and specificity of the collection’s color palette, bringing the total offering to two-hundred colors that were selected by the Maharam Design Studio in response to the material qualities of the product at hand. Stow, a resilient surface with a prominent grain, called for a versatile palette of twenty-five neutral and jewel tones, while Seal, a pliable surface offering fluent glazes of color, called for a decidedly classic palette to temper its distinctive sheen. Similarly Brush, a nubuck whose exceedingly fine grain is exposed through gentle sanding, opted for dusky shades of sky, morel, pine, and petal to highlight its velvet-like absorption of color.
Maharam offers a comprehensive collection of textiles for commercial and residential interiors.