The Theory of Leather

The Theory of Leather

If you have ever gone shopping for leather accessories, you must have noticed a variety of pieces made from materials that mimic genuine leather. Sometimes, the materials have dismal differences; hence, distinguishing them is not an easy task. More often than not, people rely on the sellers to distinguish them, which can be confusing since they risk being scammed. Therefore, building a foundation on how genuine leather differs from faux leather is fundamental.

 There exist three categories:

  • Faux leather
  • Naturally occurring or genuine leather
  • Bonded leather

 The three have differing properties, and knowing them is fundamental, especially when shopping for the most suitable material for projects. Their properties will also dictate which one is best for your intended use. Further details on their uses is accessible by contacting the essayusa writing service providers online.

Genuine Leather

Also referred to as naturally occurring leather or grain leather, genuine leather is the best grade as it comprises animal hide in its natural form. It is natural and thick; hence, most manufacturers prefer using it when working on their projects because of its durability.

Bonded Leather

As its name suggests, bonded leather is made from the fibers of genuine leather or animal hides and skins. These fibers are bonded together using adhesives. As a result, bonded leather is slightly smoother. Meanwhile, naturally occurring leather is significantly textured. The smooth texture is obtained through embossing; in most cases, the texture mimics genuine leather.

On most occasions, bonded leather comprises at least 10% of genuine leather in its fibers. Therefore, bonded leather is of better quality if you are shopping for the best option and cannot trace genuine leather. However, settling on it will be determined by other factors mentioned below.

Faux leather

Also referred to as PU leather, it is an artificial form of leather made out of thermoplastic polymer. PU is further divided into two:

100% PU: This kind is purely vegan and contains no trace of animal skin or hide.

 Bicast is made from the fibers of an animal’s hides’ leftovers obtained when processing genuine leather.

 Identification criteria

 Based on the definition, you might be curious to immerse yourself in the criteria for identifying the different types. Clicking on will be helpful, especially if you wish to dive deep into the viability of the manufacturing process. Meanwhile, these are the qualities to look out for when shopping:


 As established, the manufacturing processes form part of the primary difference of the three types. Naturally occurring leather is difficult to manufacture since it 100% contains animals’ hides and skin. As a result, it is the most costly.

 Faux leather is the second most costly in the hierarchy since it is easier to manufacture. It is paramount to note that manufacturing bonded leather is more costly than all the other types. It does not matter that it has the thinnest surface.


 The durability of the three categories can be used to distinguish them. Naturally occurring leather is the most durable of the three. As it ages, it forms a patina on its surface. Therefore, it is less likely to crack. However, it changes in color when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.

 Meanwhile, faux leather promises a longer lifespan than bonded leather. Unfortunately, its surface is not breathable; it has a higher likelihood of cracking with time. PU leather is more straightforward to manipulate and make pieces out of. It is also easier to clean and is sometimes stain-resistant, making it preferred for projects. Due to its method of manufacture, bonded leather is more susceptible to peeling. Leaving it in the sun for longer hours reduces its lifespan.

 Naturally occurring leather guarantees more durability since its fibers perfectly adhere to their grains, and its manufacturing process is not as intense. It only goes through curing. Therefore, it is very durable, which justifies its price. Bonded leather has the shortest lifespan.


 Another primary factor to look out for is the diversity in texture in the three categories. Genuine leather has a naturally occurring smooth and natural feel. You can easily feel the grain on its surface. Meanwhile, faux leather has a glossy synthetic finish. Naturally occurring leather comes in its natural color: shades of brown and black. The other two categories can easily be bleached into diverse colors.


 On most occasions, genuine leather is not difficult to manufacture, and its cost of manufacturing is significantly high.

 PU leather’s manufacturing process is more straightforward since it requires fewer materials, justifying its low price. However, it is not environmentally friendly since the plastic components used in its manufacture do not decompose quickly, making it unfriendly to the environment.

 Bonded leather meets the sustainability check since it is a product of recycled fibers from genuine leather fibers. However, as it ages, it releases components of the chemicals used to bond the fibers together.


 The methods of caring for the three variants differ significantly. Genuine leather is more fragile since it is susceptible to absorbing liquids. It is also more likely to stain. It also demands to be cured at least once annually to foster its durability. Cleaning should be done carefully since it does not work well with abrasive chemicals.

 PU leather is the easiest to clean since it comprises plastic compounds. Moreover, it barely absorbs liquids. Meanwhile, bonded leather is the most difficult to clean because it is delicate. It is more susceptible to peeling, especially if exposed to abrasive chemicals.


 In the same fashion, learners give varying opinions on the review section; one might argue that smell is subjective, but PU leather has a distinctive plastic smell. Genuine leather, on the other hand, has a natural smell. Bonded leather is a mix of the two, with hints of the natural smell of genuine leather coupled with the smell of chemicals used to bond the fibers.

 In Conclusion

 The three types of leather have distinctive differences based on how they are manufactured. These properties significantly influence their uses, methods of cleaning and caring for them, and price points. The next time you go shopping, you have a better understanding of what to expect. Depending on your intended use, you are in a better position to identify and make the best decision.  

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