HOW TO IDENTIFY REAL LEATHER
Here’s 10 things to look for when shopping for leather products. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be able to distinguish genuine leather from “pleather” - that cheap man-made synthetic fiber that seems to be everywhere these days.
1. Read the tag: This may seem obvious, but we’ll say it for the record. If a product states that it is made from ‘man made materials’ you can be sure it is not real leather. Similarly, if a product doesn't state its composition, chances are that it isn’t real leather either.
2. Visually inspect the surface grain: Look for scratches, wrinkles and creases. Imperfections in leather are actually a good thing. Remember, leather is made from animal skin, each piece is as random and unique as the animal it came from. In contrast, synthetic fibers often have regular and consistent colors and grains. (Keep in mind though synthetic manufacturers are getting better at mimicking the texture and look of real leather).
3. Smell the leather: Real leather has a natural, musty smell, whereas synthetic materials have a plastic-like or chemical odor. The difference is unmistakable.
4. Press or bend the leather with your fingers: Real leather will wrinkle under pressure, just like human skin. When bent, real leather may slightly discolor because it is elastic. Man-made materials on the other hand are more rigid and will often retain their shape and color.
5. Ignore color when comparing real vs fake leather: Colors and dyes can be added to both natural leathers and synthetics alike. Stick to feel, smell, and texture.
6. Wet the leather: Drop a small amount of water on the leather. Real leather absorbs moisture, while in a fake the water will just puddle on top.
7. Look at the edges: Real leather often has rough edges, while faux has even and perfect edges because it is machine-cut.
8. Do the fire test – but not on your favorite handbag or boot! If you happen to have pieces of leather and synthetic material that you don’t need, hold a flame for 5-10 seconds on each. Real leather will only char slightly smelling like burnt hair, while fake leather will catch flame and smell like burning plastic.
9. Know that quality real leather objects are rarely cheap: If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Real leather is expensive, that’s because when properly maintained, it will last forever. This said, know also that there are different types of leather, and some are more expensive than others. Workmanship and origin also impact pricing considerably.
10. Above all, always purchase leather from reputable sellers to avoid buying products made with lower-grade materials or synthetics. At NOTTEVERA, we sell only products made with premium Italian leather and we fully stand behind each and every item we sell. Our customers buy from us because they appreciate the quality, creativity, exclusivity, and – above all – the integrity associated with a genuine Made in Italy NOTTEVERA product.