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How To | Knowing the Difference between Synthetic vs. Genuine Leather

Items made from leather exude class and style. They become more attractive with the passage of time and last a lifetime. When buying furniture pieces, it is important to know what real leather looks like as there are many fake leather products in the market. Being able to identify real leather is a useful skill that can come in handy when you’re buying furniture for your home. The following guidelines will help you to identify synthetic vs. genuine leather. 

Features of Genuine Leather 

Genuine leather is made from animal skins. It is obtained from pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats. It is highly durable, has irregularly-shaped pores, and is thicker than synthetic leather. It can withstand stretching, yanking, squashing, and bending. It has very expressed grooves which have a leathery scent even when dyed.

 Real leather is divided into 3 categories: aniline, semi-aniline, and pigmented.

 Aniline is top-grain, high quality leather that looks natural and is free of protective treatment. It is prone to surface scratches and absorbs stains easily. When exposed to the sun for long periods of time, it begins to fade.

 Semi-aniline leather has a surface coated with clear finish or pigment which increases its durability. The coating guards it against stains and spills and gives it color consistency.

 Pigmented leather is top-grain leather which is coated with a transparent pigment or top layer. The layer gives the leather an even, shiny color on the surface making it appear less natural. Pigmented leather is highly durable, hides natural blemishes, and has maximum resistance to wear and tear, fading, and stains.

Features of Synthetic Leather

Fake leather has a fabric base that is treated with polyurethane, dye, or wax for texture and color. It is lighter than real leather, less restrictive, and can be dyed any colour. Its pores have a more consistent look. Synthetic leather is cheaper than real leather but doesn’t last long if used often. It stretches like spandex and is not as thick as genuine leather. Its grooves are less defined and are pressed mechanically onto the material. 

While it is not always easy to identify synthetic vs. genuine leather, the above guidelines will come in handy when you’re buying furniture items for your home.