8 tricks to tell real leather from artificial leather

  • Apr 07, 2021
In order not to fall for the trick of unscrupulous sellers, learn to distinguish between natural and artificial leather
In order not to fall for the trick of unscrupulous sellers, learn to distinguish between natural and artificial leather

Modern technologies help to produce artificial leather things that the untrained eye can hardly distinguish from the real one. In order not to become a victim of deception and not to pay exorbitant prices for the now popular eco-leather, it is important to learn to distinguish products by quality. Let's consider the most reliable methods of how to determine where is artificial material and where is natural.

1. Pattern on the skin

Genuine leather is distinguished by a unique pattern, and artificial leather is repetitive / Photo: koffkindom.ru
Genuine leather is distinguished by a unique pattern, and artificial leather is repetitive / Photo: koffkindom.ru

A distinctive feature of genuine leather is a unique pattern, while on the surface of the substitute you will see a repeating pattern. The only exception is the printed material, which is characterized by the same pattern. Real leather has a porous texture and if you look closely or take a magnifying glass, you will see a lot of randomly spaced pores on the product.

2. Tactile sensations

Place your palm on the product to check how the material absorbs heat / Photo: griffmedia.ru

In contact with the human body, natural material quickly absorbs heat. In the case of leatherette, no matter how much you hold it, the product will still remain cold. Real leather will feel soft and supple. If you press on it with your finger, the surface with the print will instantly recover. Another way to check for naturalness is to bend the product. In the process, small creases are formed, which will easily be smoothed out after unbending. If traces of folds remain on the skin for a long time, this is a sign of a substitute.

3. Wrong side and cuts

Natural leather has an unprocessed cut, while leatherette has a smooth / Photo: kto-chto-gde.ru

The seamy side of things made of real leather is slightly rough and visually resembles a suede covering. In fake products, the inner side is made of fabric. Pay particular attention to the cuts in the pockets and seams. In leather products, this place is rounded, fleecy and does not delaminate. The leatherette will look flat and the edge is usually sealed. When palpated, a cut made of real leather seems to be untreated, while that of artificial leather is smooth. Important: do not check the quality of the material by the strip covering the zipper. Some manufacturers can cheat and sew a leather band inside the fabric to make the thing look like a natural one.

4. The weight

Natural products are more weighty than artificial / Photo: rusbizz.ru

Substitutes weigh much lighter than real leather. Whether it is a natural jacket or shoes, they will have a noticeable weight. Take items made from different materials in both hands and you will feel the difference. However, the weight of real leather can also vary. For example, sheep material is lighter than bovine material, but still heavier than artificial substitute.

5. Smell

Be sure to smell the thing before buying, since it is not so easy to remove the chemical aroma / Photo: i1.ytimg.com

Leatherette is quite easy to distinguish by its smell. Artificial products have a specific chemical aroma, which is sometimes difficult to get rid of. The smell is especially evident on shoes and bags. Natural leather is distinguished by a delicate, subtle aroma. Sometimes manufacturers try to mask an artificial smell, but this is only possible if the substitute item is of good quality.

6. Moisture test

Leatherette does not absorb moisture, so water drops will remain on the surface / Photo: cdn.thelisticles.net

Thanks to the experiment with water, you can check a thing for naturalness. When moisture gets on a natural material, the liquid is instantly absorbed and forms a dark spot on the surface. When the water evaporates, the browning will disappear. The substitute is not absorbent. The liquid will remain on the surface and the product will not change color.

7. Fire testing

Bring a lighted match or lighter to the material and evaluate the result / Photo: static.wixstatic.com

Usually, small pieces of material are attached to the products so that you can verify the quality of the leather. If you have already purchased an item and want to test it, use the fire hack. Bring a lighted match or lighter to the sample. If the skin catches on fire, it is a substitute. Smoldering material is an indicator of naturalness. However, modern manufacturers have learned to make products that do not burn, but only melt. For example, the same pressed leather.

8. The cost

Products made of genuine leather cannot be cheap / Photo: images.spasibovsem.ru

Products made from real material cannot be cheap. The price range also depends on the type of skin. Budget options - products from the skin of a pig, bull, cow. Things made of such materials are quite strong and tough. Most often they produce outerwear, shoes, accessories. The more expensive varieties are sheep, goat and calf leather. The premium segment is crocodile, snake, ostrich or deer products.

How to determine the naturalness of leather in a store

Bend the product and see how quickly it regains its shape / Photo: moiton.ru

At the time of purchase, we do not have much time to test the material with water, fire and other methods. You need to act quickly, so remember the basic tips.

1. Press down on the garment to make sure it is elastic and soft. This material will quickly restore its original shape.

2. Stretch the skin gently. If you smell a rubbery smell, you have a fake in your hands. Also observe how quickly the material will return to its original form.

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If you smell rubber when stretching, this is a substitute / Photo: img1.postila.ru

3. Examine the sections carefully. Real leather is thicker than faux leather and will show intertwining fibers. A fabric base is a sign of a substitute.

4. Hold the product in the palm of your hand for a short time. Natural material will warm up quickly, while artificial material will leave a feeling of chill.

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Figured sample - genuine leather, diamond-shaped - artificial / Photo: womanadvice.ru

5. On the tag, a figured piece of material should go to a quality product. Samples are also attached to some leatherette things, but they will be in the shape of a diamond. The edge of the trimming of genuine leather is untreated, while the substitute has a smooth one.

Be sure to check leather products before buying so as not to be deceived by scammers. If you have already purchased a jacket and want to freshen up its appearance before the cold weather, read about
how to remove different stains from the product so that the jacket shines like new.
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