Sure, we’ve made great strides in the world of faux leather upholstery, but nothing can quite replicate the real thing. Genuine leather is classic, classy, sophisticated, and impressive all at once. It also highly durable and comfortable. And it happens to smell fantastic. So how do you know if the furniture you’re considering is made with genuine leather upholstery? Here are some of the ways that you can “test” out that leather before buying.
Check the label.
Of course, your first source of information will be the label. Does it say “man-made materials” anywhere on the label? Does it say something deceptive, like “made with full-grain” or “made with genuine leather”? Look for words like “full-grain” and “cowhide” to ensure that you are getting higher quality leather, because while the term “genuine leather” can refer to high-end leather, it can also refer to lower-end varieties. You should also avoid anything that says “corrected grain,” “split grain,” or “bonded” if you’re going for the real thing.
Look at the edges.
The edges of the leather upholstery will also give you some clues. Authentic leather tends to look rougher around the edges, while faux leather will have cleaner edges that feel foamy or plastic.
Authentic leather is soft and flexible to the touch. Depending on the type of leather, it could be anywhere from coarse to smooth in texture. Faux leather, on the other hand, tends to have an unnaturally smooth texture to it, similar almost to plastic. If you haven’t yet developed a sense of what true leather feels like, it might help to visit an authentic leather store and closely study the items they have for sale.
There’s also no substitution for the rich smell of authentic leather. You simply cannot replicate the smell of authentic leather with synthetic materials. This is another area where it might help to visit a store that sells authentic leather items.
Examine the pores.
Study the texture of the leather closely. Do the pores have a consistent pattern to them, or are there pores in consistent places? Real leather will have a more natural look with inconsistently placed pores, while faux leather will have an unnatural consistency in pore distribution.
Look at the price.
If the furniture you’re considering purchasing seems surprisingly affordable for being made of genuine leather, you may very well want to inspect the furniture again; real leather furniture is extremely durable and will last for years to come, and therefore the price is typically marked accordingly.