Good quality leather products will last a lifetime if you choose the right kind of leather. There are over a hundred varieties of leather available in the market. It is easy to lose your focus and attention while surfing through thousands of leather products. Leather comes in a great deal of variety in terms of colors and textures which is why it is easy to find yourself struggling to find the best one. We understand it is tough for the untrained eye to figure out minor differences at first. For most of us, leather is just leather. The shiny looking, textured cloth that doesn’t soak in water qualifies as leather but is it genuine leather? Have you heard of faux leather? Yes, the new jacket that you just bought online could very well be faux leather which you thought of as genuine leather. Faux leather is a cheaper version of genuine leather that may not last a lifetime but will easily help you feel the satisfaction of donning leather at a quarter of the price. So, technically there are way too many variants of leather which can easily fool your eyes but a trained look can go a long way in choosing the right leather for your needs.
So, how do you know if you’re choosing the right one for the right purpose? In this blog, we will touch upon certain points to remember when shopping for leather. Although you wouldn’t be able to give it a clean shot at once, eventually your knowledge bank will come in handy when choosing genuine leather. Besides, you’ll get the right value for your buck. So here, read on!
Imperfect leather surface
For once and for all, know that genuine leather is never perfect. It is not even close to perfect rather it is exactly opposite of something you’d expect. Unlike other expensive items that you buy are near perfect, this one is almost imperfect. The beauty of genuine leather is that it has an inconsistent pattern with minor imperfections. Genuine leather is made out of natural animal skin or animal hide which makes it look raw and untouched. On the other hand, fake leather has an even texture with well-spread out pores that look nearly perfect.
Leather is pretty much like human skin, it changes color and wrinkles when pressed. When you pull or stretch real leather, you’ll observe wrinkly patterns appearing and disappearing while fake leather will remain unaffected. Fake leather will retain its original shape, size and form while real leather will alter with wrinkle test.
If you’ve ever been exposed to real leather, you know it has a distinct smell that is kind of suffocating but satisfying at the same time. This smell can be credited to natural, organic, skin scent of the animals. On the flip side, this synthetic leather smells a little plastic. It comes from all the chemicals that are used to color or dye it in the process of manufacturing.
But why does leather smell the way it does? Well, this is because of tanning of the hide which results in the formation of leather. This dying can be done in two ways. You can either use chemicals like chromium or formaldehyde or go the natural route with vegetable dyes.
Genuine leather is made out of the hand-crafted activities where workers sit down to beat and transform leather fabric into belts, bags, sofas and even car seat covers. There is a certain degree of human error and labor that can be easily identified through a bit of observation. You have to look at the edges, corners, thickness, surface and spot unevenness. If it looks ultra-clean, measured and balanced – it is most likely fake or synthetic leather being sold at the name and price of genuine leather. Faux leather is almost perfect in its skin, texture, measurements and craft. It is so machine-made that you can sense the awkward perfection.
Touch and feel
Like you already know, genuine leather is strictly made out of hands, it has a distinguished texture that separates it from other fabrics. It is warm, cozy and homely which makes it so rare and pricey. The cost of human labor and one-of-a-kind beauty adds a degree of personalization to it. With synthetic leather, you will feel certain coarseness and cold vibes as you touch it. Real leather is rough and sturdy to handle while fake ones can be molded according to your style of choice. If you’re invested in the purchase of an expensive leather item like a bag or shoes; you will easily make out the difference between the two.
There is nothing simpler but riskier than the water drop on the leather test. You spill a teardrop amount of water on your leather to see how the fabric reacts to it. Call it good fortune or misfortune that real leather soaks up a little water every time you spill. In a fraction of a second, your favorite leather bag will absorb some water proving its authenticity. When you spill same amount of water on a fake one, it will just puddle up and stay there until removed. This is how to figure out which one to bring home given the difference in their price points.
You can also do the ever-famous fire test by lighting matchstick under the fabric. It is risky and hence unadvisable to light up a fire just because you don’t trust the vendor selling you the leather item. So there are ample of ways to check the credibility but whether you will make the purchase or not also depends on the depth of your pocket. We suggest if you are going to spend a considerable amount of funds making a leather purchase, you might as well look for a trusted seller. So next time you walk into a local boutique, do not just go by the reference. Take up the tests listed above when you’re not too sure of the quality of the item you’re purchasing.
This guidebook will help you level-up your knowledge about leather and its qualities that will guide your purchase decision.