How is real leather different from bonded leather and faux leather?


Whenever you have shopped for leather, you may have found a wide variety of clothing choices with a diversity of styles. It might become difficult to tell the differences between the various types of leathers. Leather products can be amongst the real, artificial, and artificial mix. There are three main types of leather you might run into while shopping for leather products: real, bonded, and faux. Being aware of the diverse qualities of these three types will assist you in finding your perfect leather product.

What is Real Leather, Bonded Leather, and Faux Leather?

Real Leather

Real leather, known as full-grain leather, is the magnificent type of leather you might hit on. It is the uppermost surface of an animal’s skin consisting of raw texture and natural flaws. Due to the high density of its raw material, the makers find it hard to work with it. But due to its longevity, real leather has a high demand in the market.

Bonded Leather 

Bonded leather is manufactured from the fragments and residue obtained from the manufacturing of real leather. It is combined with a polyurethane binder to make the end-product stain resistant. After adhering, the pieces together, they are rolled and applied to paper backing. It is usually like paper and can be easily peeled and might flake over time. A polyurethane layer is sometimes included to give it the texture of genuine leather. Bonded leather products usually contain around a 10 -20 ratio of real leather.

Faux Leather

Faux leather can also go by polyurethane leather or PU leather. Polyurethane leather is artificially developed from thermoplastic polymers. Vegan leather is pure PU leather, whereas some other types of faux leather are known as bi-cast leather consisting of authentic leather. Bicast leather is manufactured by utilizing the residues of cowhide from the manufacturing of real leather by including a coating of polyurethane on the top surface.

 Differences between Real, Bonded, and Faux

There is a wide range of leather products available in the market, so it can be tricky to determine their similarities and differences while shopping. If you desire a particular type of leather, you should know what exactly you are looking for in that product or what classification standards you want in that leather product.

Cost Differences

The cost difference tends to be the most prominent difference among these three types of leather. Real leather is quite costly as it is manufactured from real leather. Faux leather, as compared to real leather, is much cheaper as it is much simpler to manufacture than real leather. But faux leather is a little expensive in comparison with bonded leather. By contrast, bond leather is low-cost and economical since it is composed of fragments of real leather and adheres perfectly to a paper backing, maintaining its thinnest form.

Durability Differences

Real leather is the most durable and classic leather as it won’t peel or crumble. Real leather develops luster on its raw surface rather than wearing out. Contrary to bonded leather, faux leather or PU leather is less durable than real leather. As it isn’t quite breathable, it can rupture certainly over a long period. But it is stain resistant and does not fade as compared to bonded leather. Bonded leather consists of residual leather and polyurethane combined with a paper backing, producing a paper-like texture that can effortlessly crack and flake off. Bonded leather can be affected by direct sunlight exposure and comes with a short or no guarantee.

Appearances & Texture Differences

Real leather consists of a raw and natural skin-like texture and comes with a finite color range. Real leather has a relatively delicate texture as compared to faux leather. Fake or PU leather, while visually appealing, looks unnatural and fake. But PU leather resembles and feels like real leather the most under some circumstances. Bonded leather is easy to identify due to its synthetic look and thinnest appearance. Faux leather and bonded leather come with a versatile variety in color and styles. 

Sustainability Differences

Real leather cannot be a good option for customers who believe in animal cruelty-free products. Real leather is also quite hard to manufacture and costly. Even though faux leather uses a relatively small amount of materials to manufacture, it is not eco-friendly as it contains plastic. On the other hand, pure PU leather is vegan and can be a classic choice. Bonded leather is economical because it is made of leftovers and fragments of real leather. However, it does release a few chemicals utilized during its manufacturing. Bonded leather cannot be considered a vegan option as it contains a 10-20 ratio of real leather.

Care & Cleaning Differences

Due to its inherent absorbent nature, real leather can absorb liquids, making it vulnerable to stains and hard to clean. Real leather would need its exquisite treatment for over a year to keep it smooth and abstain from drying. Avoid corrosive cleaners in taking care of your real leather. Because faux leather does not absorb liquid like real leather and is stain-resistant, it is the easiest to clean. It can last long if properly taken care of. Bonded leather is rather hard to clean, as its surface is quite delicate and can flake off and crack if not handled properly.

Smell Differences

Real leather has an inherent smell that will not be feigned. Although the smell of artificial leather is irritating, most people do not like it. Faux leather has a sharp smell of chemicals used during manufacturing or plastic. Bonded leather may have a distinct feigned smell. But as it has a percentage of real leather mixed, it might smell like real leather.

Overall Thoughts

As we analyze these three kinds of leather, it comes down to the point of personal fondness. Real leather proves to be a classic choice if you do not desire a vegan product. If you are interested in vegan leather, you might choose PU/faux leather as it is more durable than bonded leather. Even though faux leather is much cheaper than real leather, it may not be as durable as the real one. Bonded leather is more economical than real and faux leather if durability is off the checklist.

While shopping for leather jackets or products, you should examine the differences among the three main leather types. Discover which characteristics and standards are according to your preferences.

 Buyer Beware

Even though moderate prices of faux leather may be tempting, it is wiser to contemplate the continuing worth of the product. Faux leathers are irresistible as they are simpler to handle and clean, but with the harmful chemicals used within the detergents, the surface may crack and flake off after a few washes. Real leather, comparatively, lasts up to 10 to 20 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.