Bonded or regenerated, and the qualities of leather are just a memory

Whether bonded or regenerated, just a small part is real leather. This little part is made up of fibres or leather pieces, typically scraps of natural leather, which using a procedure similar to that in recycling paper, are ground and mixed with rubber, latex and other synthetic materials. The mixture is then pressed into sheets of varying thickness, depending on its use.  The finishing phase includes processes such as, calendering, grinding and painting. Finally, in the embossing phase, the sheets are printed with designs to imitate the texture of natural leather. Use of bonded or regenerated leather is increasing particularly in furniture production and bag and footwear manufacturing. The visual and tactile characteristics of the product may look like natural leather. However, the true qualities of leather such as breathability, strength and durability are not present with the result that a sofa in bonded leather in many cases may  be  easily damaged. Indeed, the aesthetics of natural leather improve with use and there are no problems with durability. On the other hand, regenerated leather tends to crack and is then virtually irretrievable. So, be careful buying, when a leather product has a suspiciously low price, but the seller assures you that this is real leather. Check to see if you are buying bonded leather. The term regenerated leather is attractive as it implies recycling, However, it is worth remembering that the tanning industry is in fact one element in the food chain and that another byproduct of the tanning process, is its application in agriculture as fertilizer. The association of ecology with bonded leather remains an idea not a reality, on account of the use of many chemicals to process it.

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