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Know Your Leather: A Detailed Guide

Know Your Leather: A Detailed Guide

In this era of dynamic innovation in technologies and machineries, an array of synthetic leather varieties have come into existence. Identifying the right leather can be a challenging task for a commoner. There are not only different types of leather but also different types of synthetic leather. Manufactures and leather shop owners are finding new ways to sell synthetic leather disguised as an authentic one. Customers feel cheated often. Thus, it’s important to always take time in buying and investing in a leather product. Its advisable to go through the following points before purchasing one.

How to identify genuine leather?

Undulating Texture

As genuine leather comes from animal hide, it will have an uneven texture. If the surface grain feels extra smooth it is undoubtedly a synthetic one.

Imperfect Surface Pattern

genuine leather

Scratches, creases, and wrinkles are an indication of genuine leather whereas perfection in surface is a sign of faux leather.


A genuine leather will impart a warm and cozy feeling as it is sourced naturally from an animal whereas a synthetic one will feel cold and inert as it is manufactured from plastic.


Genuine leather changes colour when stretched and has better elasticity and malleability. If you press your finger firmly against natural leather, it will get wrinkled. But, will get back to its original shape in seconds. Faux leather, however, will retain the shape of your finger for a longer time.


Real leather has a distinctive smell of animal skin. It retains the smell even after undergoing extensive tanning process. The synthetic leather material smells like plastic.

Rough Edges

As genuine leather is made of several layers, the edges often fray over time. Faux leather products, on the other hand, have smooth edges.

Fire Test

Simply take a matchstick and burn a portion of the leather product which is not so visible. The burnt smell will say it all. Real leather will emit a smell of burnt hair whereas a faux one will impart a burnt plastic odor.

Moisture Retaining Capacity

Unlike its synthetic counterparts, natural leather readily absorbs moisture. Splash a drop of water on your leather merchandise. If it soaks up the water in seconds, chances are it’s a genuine leather item.

The cost, quality and aesthetics of leather goods depend on various aspects including the type of animal hide, tanning process and finishing touches. Hopefully, this article will be your ultimate guide in understanding the different leather grades and choosing the best leather product for yourself.

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