How to Tell Good Leather From Cheap Leather

leather king how to tell good leather from cheap leather
August 22, 2016 Leather King

Being able to distinguish between good quality leather and cheap leather will help you choose leather goods that will last a lifetime, rather than leather goods that will barely last a month.  Although, it can be a little difficult to spot the difference between high and low quality leathers, there are several techniques that will help you identify the differences.


As obvious as it may sound, looking at the label of the product can be an easy way to identify the type of leather. Look for items marked “full grain,” because full grain is the best quality of leather you can buy. Avoid buying items if the label reads, “man-made materials” this is an indication that the product is not made from real leather.


If you’re having a hard time being able to distinguish if an item is real or fake, smell it. Look for the distinct leather smell (natural and musty). Fake leather smells like plastic and chemically-treated leather usually smells like chemicals, so you should be able to spot the difference. Keep in mind, real leather is just worked animal skin, so real leather will smell like skin and fake leather will smell like plastic.


Depending on the leather, real leather can feel coarse or smooth and everything in between. If the item you are feeling feels really hard and thin or it feels similar to plastic, it is likely fake leather. Also, note that imperfections in leather are a good thing. Real leather might have scratches, creases, and wrinkles; it won’t be uniform.


When looking a the item examines its edges. If the edges are perfect and feel foamy or plastic, then it is fake leather.  Real leather has a wavy or ridged edge when cut while fake leather is straight.


A product completely made of real leather will be quite expensive. So, if a product’s price seems to good to be true, then it is likely fake leather.

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