Distinguishing Faux Leather from Real Leather

Read the label.  Though it may seem obvious, reading the label on an item is a sure fire way to identify the type of leather. Products made of real leather will proudly say so on the label. If the label says, “vinyl” or “man made materials,” the item is faux.

Inspect the edge. Examine the edges of the furniture or garment. Look at any place where the material has been sewn. Fake leather products will have a smooth, pristine edge that can feel almost plastic. Genuine leather will have a rougher, imperfect look around the edges.

Examine pores. Take a close look at the pores (or small dots) of the fabric. You may have to look closely to see them. Faux leather will have pores in a perfect, consistent pattern. Real leather will have irregular, sporadically placed pores.

Trust your touch. Genuine leather can feel coarse, smooth, or somewhere in-between. Real leather is also flexible and soft. If the product in question feels very smooth or feels like plastic, it is probably faux leather. Synthetic leather can also be a bit stretchy.

Familiarize yourself with leather textures by visiting a reputable leather store and getting a feel for both products.

Smell the item. Real leather has a very distinct smell. It really cannot by replicated by faux materials.Real leather smells earthy. Faux leather may have no odor, or smell a bit like plastic.




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