How to distinguish between real leather and fake leather has always been a pressing concern. When we buy leather items, whether they are real or fake, we become even more perplexed. Leather stands out from synthetic fibres due to its natural and refined finish. As time goes on, we notice that the market is filled with numerous synthetic or imitation materials that look very similar. Marketers sometimes utilize ambiguous language to deceive us into purchasing their goods. We frequently make this mistake. Here are some fundamental guidelines to help you identify these issues and solve them.

10. Weight Check

Genuine vs Fake

The weight of the leather is the simplest way to tell if it is genuine or not. As a rule, genuine leather is heavier than fake leather. Even when we compare minor items, it is obvious. Of course, the weight of various leather varieties can vary. Sheepskin weighs less than bovine skin, for instance. However, fake leather is frequently lighter than some textiles and always lighter than real leather.

9. Check The Edges of the Leather

Examine the Edges of Leather

A very helpful method for distinguishing between real and fake leather is to examine the edges of the leather. You can inspect the leather’s margins at the zipper and in the spaces between threads. There will undoubtedly be an edge that is exposed. Real leather has rough edges. The edge of faux leather is exceptionally good and frequently close to perfect. Additionally, genuine leather does not shred at the edges, whereas fake leather does.

8. Bending Test

Bend the Leather

Additionally, you can tell the difference between real and faux calfskin by twisting it. Try to bend the texture of the cowhide as you hold it. If it were real, it would ordinarily change color and wrinkle. If it’s fake, it will maintain its artificially altered color while retaining a harder, more recent surface. Genuine calfskin is quite flexible, thus it will generally curve under stress all the more successfully. False calfskin, however, cannot be compared because it is tough, hardened, and difficult to twist.

7. Genuine Leather Products are Rarely Inexpensive

Genuine Leather Products are Rarely Inexpensive

The cost of a product produced entirely of genuine leather will be high. They frequently have fixed prices. To grasp the differences between real leather, semi-leather, and fake leather products, shop around and get a sense of their prices. Real leather costs a lot, but that is very understandable given the several processes it goes through. When the animal’s skin has been removed, it is brought to a tannery where tanning is carried out.  The tanning process might take a two-day minimum of days and a maximum of 90 days, and it can require expensive equipment.

Cheap faux leather is available. So, if a well-known leather is being sold at a bargain, be cautious. Cow leather has the highest price among all leathers because of its strength and simplicity in tanning. Split leather—an underlayer that has been separated from the top layer—costs less than top grain or belting leather. Genuine leather is pricey. There are various sorts of real leather, all with significantly different prices, despite the fact that all real leather goods are far more expensive than fake ones.

6. Test the Pores of the Leather

Test the Pores of Leather

Examine the surface texture, the tiny “pebbles,” and the pores for distinctiveness and flaws that indicate genuine leather. In leather, flaws are actually a wonderful thing. Keep in mind that as real leather is manufactured from animal skin, each piece is as uneven and one-of-a-kind as the animal it originated from. Because of the animal’s fur or hair, there exist pores. Dehairing is the process used to remove an animal’s hair, leaving pores behind. Additionally, leather made from animal skin breathes much as human skin does.
Real leather has pores, which are crucial because they allow colors to penetrate the leather during dyeing, making the dye more durable on the leather. Very consistent, even, and comparable grains are frequently signs of a machine-made item. Real leather may have scuffs, folds, and wrinkles; this is advantageous!  Be aware that as manufacturers become more skillful, their imitations of real leather are getting better. This makes it very challenging to buy something online when all you have is a picture.

5. Water Drop Test

Real vs Fake Leather

It is imperative that you perform the water test. The water drop test is the most reliable method of authenticating real leather because you almost always won’t be able to see the flesh side or be able to perform other types of tests. Just scatter two or three drops of water throughout the leather’s surface. The water droplets will eventually be absorbed by genuine leather. The water will stay on the surface of a synthetic leather product. It is crucial to remember that depending on the type of finish used, some actual leathers may take longer to absorb. You need to try the other strategies outlined in this post in this situation.

4. Fire Test

Fire test the Leather

In most shops, it is quite improbable that you would be permitted to attempt to burn a leather item. It’s definitely worth a try, though, as some shops might provide sample leather items for you to perform the fire test. This experiment works if you have a small, obscure location that you can test, like the underside of a couch, even if there are very few situations in which burning a good is preferable to leaving it alone. To test it out, hold a flame there for 5–10 seconds. Real leather will only very slightly burn and have a faint burnt hair aroma. False leather can actually catch fire and has a burning plastic odor.

3. Touch Test

Touch the Leather

We all conduct a touch test before making a purchase in a store. Knowing a product’s fabric and if we will feel comfortable wearing it during a specific season helps. Similarly to this, we advise you to conduct a touch test before purchasing a leather item to distinguish a fake from a real one. Genuine leather does not feel smooth to the touch because it is made of natural materials. The surface of the material will also slightly stretch and wrinkle as your fingers are pressed into it, just like our flesh does. A faux leather product, on the other hand, will feel artificial even and cold to the touch. The cloth will descend under your fingers while maintaining its original shape when you press it; it won’t expand or wrinkle. Simply said, it won’t behave like skin; a genuine item does.

2. Smell it

Smell the Leather

Check the leather’s fragrance for a genuine, musty aroma as opposed to a synthetic or chemical one. If you’re entirely unsure of the scent you’re seeking, go into a store where you know the bags and shoes are made of real leather and test out a couple of them. Inquire about any synthetic items they may have and smell those as well. The changes in smell will be obvious if you know what to look for. Bear in mind that leather is nothing more than animal skin that has been processed. Plastic is used to make faux leather. Although it should go without saying, genuine leather smells like skin, whereas synthetic leather smells like plastic.

No matter what, real leather always smells musty. People like myself really adore the musty scent of genuine leather since it is so distinctive. The flesh and grain sides of the leather work together to give off a musty odor. It has such a beautiful, organic scent. The smile on faux leather is fake. Even though the majority of synthetic leather makers have made great efforts over the years to make imitation leather look, feel, and smell like natural leather, fake leather typically has a chemical odor. To mimic the musty aroma of genuine leather, they occasionally incorporate some leather fragrance. So be cautious!

1. Check the Label

Check the Label of Leather

Even though it appears clear, examine the tag or label. It will adamantly state if it is genuine leather. You’re on the correct track if you notice terms like “100% real leather,” “full/top grain leather,” or “genuine leather.” (You can also discover more about the various kinds of genuine leather.) If “man-made material” is listed on the label, it is synthetic and most likely flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Since real leather would be boldly recognised, if the material isn’t mentioned at all, it’s most likely PVC or some synthetic polymer. Check the price tag as well. Everyone enjoys a good deal, but since real leather is more expensive than synthetic leather, the price is definitely too good to be true.

People May Ask!

Does “synthetic” equate to “fake leather”?

Synthetic materials, commonly referred to as faux, imitation, vegan, or PU leather, are synthetic materials that resemble leather but aren’t actually created from an animal’s skin or hide, unlike real leather. Synthetic fabric is made of synthetic or natural fibres that have been coated with a plastic polymer or a substance comparable to it.

Does genuine leather flake?

Genuine leather does not flake or peel off. Peeling on bi-cast, bonded, or imitation leather is typically an indication of a delaminating polyurethane (PU) coating, however, it may just be a scratched finish or after-market paint.

How durable is fake leather?

Even while strong chemicals can be used to clean many fake types of leather, the laminated surface frequently breaks after only a few years of use. On the other hand, genuine leather has a distinction for lasting for at least ten to twenty years.

Final Thoughts

We hope the information above will help you determine whether the product in front of you is real or fake. Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a fake product, so it is best to learn how to distinguish between the two types of materials. Spending some leisure time analyzing the material will help you improve your skills. With regular practice, you’ll soon become an expert at this talent and be able to tell whether the item you’re purchasing is authentic and worthwhile. It will assist you in saving a great deal of time, money, and hassle when caring for leather goods.

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