How to tell the difference between real and fake leather?

Sometimes, even experts are doubtful because at first glance, certain items may seem made of really genuine leather but probably they are not. Here are some easy ways to distinguish genuine leather from synthetic products.
First of all, the advice is to touch the material and leave your hand on it for a while. If after a while you feel heat, then you are touching real leather. On the other hand, if the surface remains cool and you notice droplets of sweat, you are certainly touching a synthetic product. Even the sense of smell helps because the smell of leather is unmistakable.  Take a whiff of the product you are buying, once you get used to the smell, it will be very easy to recognize and appreciate the typical smell of genuine leather. Another simple trick is to carefully observe the surface of what you want to buy: small imperfections typically indicate that the product is natural. If the sofa you are looking at is too perfect, in the sense that it features no streaks or small variations in colour or spots with different shades, then it is very likely that it is made of fake leather. A useful tip is also to look at the seams in order to get a glimpse of the back of the material: if it is plastic, it will have a cloth backing.  As a last resort, also scratching an hidden inner corner of the product can be useful: if you are holding an article made of genuine leather, by scratching it, you will notice that you leave a mark, which then rubbing it slightly will disappear, while synthetic products, not being of natural origin, tend to keep intact the characteristics of their films on the surface. Finally, it should be reminded that genuine leather products have characteristics that make them unique and valuable, and, no less important, they are much more long-lasting than their plastic imitations, so much so that it can be said that the older the leather gets the better it gets. Synthetic products, instead, permanently lose their original characteristics and have to be practically thrown away, once the film covering them wears out and peels off.
In any case, if you are preparing to buy a new sofa, a fashionable pair of boots or a designer handbag, rely on common sense and the little tricks that we have suggested, and remember that if the prices proposed are very low, probably what you are buying is not the quality product you were looking for.


Click on the picture and see some pratical examples on how to recognize real leather.

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