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How To Differentiate Between Genuine and Faux Leather

The Origin Of Leather

Leather is a flexible and durable material obtained from chemical procedures like tanning or salting. Animal skins and hides are used for making leather. The most common skins of animals used to make leather are cows, sheep, goats, and pigs. Animal skins are expensive but the skins of these specific animals are comparatively a little cheaper than that of aquatic animal skins such as seals, otters, snakes, and alligators. Leather making originated almost 7,000 years ago. China and India are the leading producers of leather in the 21st century. Over the years, leather has provided clothing, shelter, food processing storage, and many other benefits to mankind. Nowadays, accessories made from leather have become a necessary extravagance for everyone alike. It is being molded and utilized in all different shapes and sizes. From a keychain to a travel bag, everything can be made from leather.

Types Of Leather

There are three types of leathers currently;

  1. Authentic Leather
  2. Synthetic Leather
  3. Bonded Leather

As the name implies authentic leather is genuine leather that is molded to shape after several chemical procedures. It can also be called full-grain leather because it consists of all the natural imperfections. Its thickness is one of the many reasons that make it the most durable among all types of leather.

Bonded leather is made from the leftovers collected from genuine leather-making procedures. These leftovers in the form of bits and pieces are then held together and embossed to forge the look and feel of genuine leather.

Synthetic leather or Faux leather is also known as plastic leather or ‘Pleather’. This was invented in the early 1920s. This is a man-made fabric, coated to give the look of leather. This is cheaper than original leather so that everyone can afford it easily. Faux leather is made from plastic that can be molded after applying a certain level of heat.

How To Differentiate Between The Types Of Leather?

The Label Says It All

If a leather accessory is labeled as ‘man-made’, then it is definitely faux leather. If the accessory has no label at all, there is still a possibility that it is fake. To mislead consumers, marketers may use terms like ‘genuine leather’ or ‘made with genuine leather. Such products are likely to have bits and scraps of real leather mixed with synthetic leather. Real leather accessories have labels like the following :

  • 100 % Genuine Leather
  • Made of Real Leather
  • Made of genuine animal products
  • Full-grain leather

A label alone is not considered something that can be entirely trusted. So, keep reading for more informative tips to differentiate between authentic and synthetic leather.

Take ‘The Sniff’ Test

Will you look weird while smelling accessories at the store? Yes, but you’ll be able to instantly tell the real leather accessory apart from the man-made one. Real leather is made from animal skin, so the smell of it would be similar to that of the skin. Bonded leather may have a somewhat hint of the smell of animal skin, because it is made from original leather, be it scraps even. Faux leather, however, smells like plastic.

No Grain, No Gain

Faux leather and bonded leather have a certain level of consistency in texture. Real leather has an inconsistent texture. The imperfections of leather make it perfect and genuine. Manufacturers have become more skilled, they tend to replicate this inconsistency which makes online shopping a nightmare. It is always the easiest to detect bonded leather, because of the texture being the thinnest among most kinds of leather.


Genuine leather is imperfect in texture. Its imperfections can be used to distinguish it from synthetic leather. The edges of genuine leather are naturally rough and this is a good way to spot real leather. Synthetic leather is cut in a machine at once, making the edges smoothly refined. Whereas, real leather is made from multiple strands combined together, preserving the natural roughness of the edges.

Better Bend Than Break

Real leather slightly changes color and is easier to bend. Fake leather is harder to bend because of its rigidity. When real leather is bent, it crumbles up naturally.

Hold The Water

A useful tip to differentiate between Real and Fake leather is to put a few drops of water on it. If the water forms a puddle on top of the leather, then it is obviously fake leather. Real leather absorbs water almost instantly. This is a quick and easy way to tell different types of leather apart.

Pay As You Go

Those who shop regularly are aware of the market prices of almost everything. Everyone knows that real leather hardly ever comes cheap. There is a price to pay when it comes to owning original accessories, whether the material in question is gold or leather. Genuine leather is always more expensive as compared to faux or bonded leather.


People buy faux leather for more reasons than just to save a buck, but one of their motives is to wear vegan leather and still look extraordinary. Faux leather is not entirely eco-friendly per se, but it does not harm any animals in the manufacturing process. Faux leather or plastic leather is vegan but because of the raw materials that are used in the manufacturing process, it is not compostable. Hence, it can be concluded that faux leather is not sustainable.

Bonded leather is commonly used for book covers and other smaller accessories, because of its quality and texture. This is the cheapest and thinnest type of leather. It is not vegan, but it is sustainable because it consists of scraps of real leather.

Real leather is the most durable and the most natural among all other types of leather. You don’t buy leather accessories every day so, it is highly recommended to shop for real leather only. Make a one-time purchase and never regret it again. With the proper care, anything can last forever, even your leather accessories. Some marketers advertise their products falsely. They sell cheap leather at the price of real leather, but you have no reason to worry. With this detailed guide at hand, you will never be misled again. Buy genuine leather from Jagpowered at the best prices. Upgrade your wardrobe with nothing less than the best.

Eleena Wills
Hi, I’m Eleena Wills. Being a writer and blogger, I strive to provide informative and valuable articles to people. With quality, constructive, and well-researched articles, one can make informed choices. I cover a wide range of topics, from home improvement to hair styling and automotive.


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