7 Tricks to differentiate genuine leather from synthetic leather
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7 Tricks to differentiate genuine leather from synthetic leather


Who has not been in the situation of going to buy some leather shoes, or a leather jacket and have doubts about whether it really is genuine leather?

Nowadays it is difficult to distinguish at a glance if we are buying leather items since the companies that manufacture the imitation leather or synthetic leather  they make it so perfect that it seems real.

Some of you may think ... but if the articles have a label indicating the manufacturing material, right?

Indeed, but ... who assures you that the information is true and they do not want to give you a cat for a hare?

There are several stores where they offer genuine leather footwear and after carefully observing the shoe we verified that it only had a few tiny pieces of genuine leather and the rest was synthetic leather, when on the label it marked the symbol of the leather. And at a price as if it were all leather!

Knowing how to differentiate them is not easy, but with these tricks  that we are going to tell you, you will be able to quickly distinguish if you are paying for a quality product.

Keys to know if it is Genuine leather

Trick # 1 - Smell

The characteristic smell of the leather is one of the things that at first glance can determine if it is leather or synthetic leather. The leather gives off a characteristic odor tanned leather in more or less intensity, and synthetic leather it smells like plastic  or to chemicals.

Trick # 2 - Touch

The feel of a leather article is pleasant, it provides warmth, softness, while the leatherette is stiffer and colder. Tighten the leather and you will see how wrinkles and marks of the animal's veins appear, whereas with the leatherette it does not.

Trick # 3 - Seams, edges and reverse

For me one of the best tricks that help me decide whether to buy the item or not is to carefully observe the seams, the edges and the reverse of the leather straps. There is always some detail where you can see the 'cut' of the leather and its composition inside. If you see thread or fabric in the middle, we are talking about imitation leather, while if you see fluff, it is surely tanned leather.

Trick # 4 - Scratch

Another trick that does not usually fail is scratching. Obviously you are not going to scratch the shoes of a store, logically because it is very likely that they will attract your attention, but you should know that if scratches raise particles and the area is easily scratched, it is real leather. The leatherette is more durable in this regard.

Trick # 5 - Water

Pour a little water and you will see how the leather will try to absorb it, while the leatherette, being made of plastic, is mostly much more waterproof. In this case we could have a drawback if it is oiled cowhide since this type of leather, when finished with grease, repels liquids.

If you are interested in this type of article you can see our oiled leathers

Trick # 6 - Imperfections

Genuine leather comes from animals that have had fights, bumps, scratches, etc. in their lives. scars  that are marked on the skins. Look for these scars or marks and they will be a sign that they are real leathers.

Trick # 7 - Fire or Heat

And to finish the final but most aggressive trick of all, fire or powerful heat. Apply a focus of strong heat or flame on a leather and you will see how after insisting enough the leather will start to stiffen and smell of scorched, but will not ignite. However, repeat the operation with a leatherette and you will see how quickly it smells of burned plastic and in a short time the flame will ignite.

We hope that today's post has been helpful and you have learned everything you need to know to be able to differentiate genuine leather from synthetic leather or imitation leather.

If what you want is quality leather, visit our website or contact us if you have any questions. We will be happy to assist you. We will wait for you!

Raul Mellinas

Webmaster of El Rastro de la Piel. Specialized in selecting the best materials for your Projects.


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