How to identify genuine leather


How to identify genuine leather

Buying leather isn’t always a straightforward task. There are different types of leather, and occasionally, manufacturers and leather dealers try to sell synthetic leather disguised as genuine. Follow this guide to ensure that the product you purchase really is genuine leather.

Check the label

Most leather products have a label that states the type of leather, e.g., full-grain leather, or genuine leather, etc. Generally, reputable leather product manufacturers will happily provide information on the kind of leather they sell or use for manufacturing.

Labels that raise a red flag include “manmade material” or “made with animal products”.

Touch for texture

Simply running your fingers over the leather to feel its texture will give you some insight into the nature of the leather. Genuine leather will have an uneven texture since it comes from animal hide. Faux leather, on the other hand, has an extra smooth surface grain feel. Steer clear!

In addition, genuine leather creates a warm feeling under your touch, while faux leather will continue to feel cold.

Find the imperfections

Similar to its texture, genuine leather will exhibit inconsistent surface patterns with minor imperfections.

Press to test the elasticity

When stretched, genuine leather changes from its original colour and has better elasticity. When you firmly press your finger against natural leather, it will quickly spring back to its original state.

Authentic smell

Genuine leather has a distinctive smell that is retained despite the tanning process. Synthetic leather smells like what it is too – plastic.

A drop of moisture

Genuine leather quickly absorbs moisture. If you place a drop of leather on your leather item and it is soaked up in seconds, you’ve got the real deal.

The price of quality

Genuine leather is always the more expensive option. Reliable leather suppliers like Philton Leather will always endeavour to give you the best product at the best price.

Reliable leather suppliers

The cost, quality, and aesthetics of leather are vital in determining the authenticity of a leather product.

Philton Leather is one of the leading leather suppliers in South Africa and can provide comprehensive advice about genuine leather. Get in touch with our team today for more information.

Different leather used for furniture


Different leather used for furniture

High-quality leather furniture is always popular and can last for years. Understanding the unique characteristics of different types of leather will help you get the most out of your furniture.

Full-grain leather furniture

Full-grain leather is the most expensive and high-end leather on the market and retains a natural look and texture, making it ideal for leather furniture. Its rough texture will soften over time. Full-grain leather furniture requires a lot of maintenance since it readily absorbs liquids and is susceptible to sun damage.

Top grain leather furniture

Top grain leather is softer than full-grain leather but has the same durability. Top grain leather furniture comes in two different categories: aniline and semi-aniline. Aniline top grain leather furniture looks natural and is susceptible to stains. Semi-aniline leather furniture can be treated with a protective topcoat, making it less susceptible to stains.

Split grain leather furniture

Split grain is 100% leather but doesn’t have the smooth texture and stylish appearances and is challenging to maintain.

Bonded leather furniture

Bonded leather is the most popular leather for furniture. It offers the look and texture of leather at a fraction of the price. Its estimated 17% leather content is obtained from scraps rolled up together with an adhesive material.

Nubuck leather furniture

Often nubuck leather furniture is confused with suede furniture for its velvet-like surface. Suede is obtained from split leather, while nubuck is produced from full-grain leather. It is lightly brushed to create a velvet-like plush nap. Nubuck leather furniture is more durable than suede, but it is high maintenance and should be avoided if you have pets.

Bi-cast leather furniture

Bi-cast leather is created by blending split-hide leather and a coating of coloured polyurethane to mimic the look of top grain leather. It retails for a lot less, and bi-cast leather furniture lacks the wear or comfort of genuine leather.

Faux leather furniture

Faux leather furniture is an excellent alternative for animal lovers. It is durable and can last longer than full-grain leather furniture. It is affordable, less prone to cracks, can withstand scratches, and is stain resistant.

Leather alternatives

Polyurethane (PU) leather

This material comprises polyurethane, bi-cast, or ground leather and closely resembles natural leather. PU leather furniture offers a soft and flexible seating surface and better breathability (compared to PVC leather. It is susceptible to direct sunlight and humidity, which can make it brittle.

PU leather furniture is cheaper than natural leather but expensive compared to PVC leather furniture.

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) leather furniture

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) resembles natural leather’s softness, colour, and texture but contains no natural leather. PVC leather furniture offers better resistance to cleaners and disinfectants compared to PU leather. Its affordability and range of colour, texture, and grain are the primary reasons why it is popular.

PU and PVC leathers are also known as faux leather, and as they are not made from animal products, they can also be called vegan leather.

Reliable leather suppliers

Philton Leather is one of the leading leather suppliers in South Africa and can provide you with a comprehensive range of leather suitable for furniture and upholstery. Get in touch with our team today for more information.