December 25, 2021 3 min read

How do we define "Genuine Leather"?

Leather denotes a timeless material that speaks worth and quality, so attaching an adjective with it inculcates a sense of comfort in the consumer. To describe leather 'genuine' might look superfluous in the term 'genuine leather,' as the idea is that a thing is either made of leather or not made of leather. But when we use the term "genuine leather" it in reality refers to the lowest-quality leather available. 

The term 'genuine leather' has a practical definition.

There is no universal system that characterises leather; the rules differ from region to country. Varied countries have different statutes, some of which are legally binding and others which are only suggestions. As a result, the word "genuine leather" can refer to a multitude of manufacturing processes. The products from 'genuine leather' could be created using 'split leather,' which is the lower layer of the hide that has been coated with polyurethane and fake marks. It can be recreated by sticking together many layers of left-overs and embossing them with a texture akin to leather, a process known as 'bonded leather.' In the worst that can be done is, counterfeit leather containing leather fibres bonded to the back so that it can resemble the appearance of "leather."

Popularly, 'genuine leather' is defined as

The term "genuine leather" is purposely deceptive: and to the common man it can be misunderstood to mean that it is real leather, when it reality it means that the product has some amount of leather." 'Genuine leather' is inexpensive to purchase, but it is far inferior in comparison to 'full grain leather' or 'top grain leather'.

Can we consider Faux Leathers as leather?

The Oxford Dictionary describes Leather as ‘material made from the skin of an animal by tanning or a similar process’. So faux leather certainly cannot be termed as leather however, the term ‘leather’ has created such a significant impact across cultures as an epitome of resilience, durability, charm, refinement and craftsmanship that non leather products use it to boost the popularity. Faux leather products have prevailed for about a century and were created as a low-priced alternative to real leather. They have an array of identities such as, faux-leather, fake-leather, leatherette, pu-leather, textile-leather and pleather, which usually use the word leather to signify their qualities that are akin to leather and allure popularity across the markets.

Vegetarian-leather and vegan-leather do not make any sense and are a marketing ploy. Faux-leather jackets for men differs in its quality, but it is impossible to visually distinguish it from mens genuine leather jackets. Faux-leather usually come with cloth backing but with many faux-leather items one cannot see the backing until the item is broken up. It is a cheaper alternative used for creating shoes, clothing, furniture and especially car upholstery, but it does not possess the breathability and resilience of leather. However, faux-leather is more appropriate for motorcycle seats and jet ski seats as it is resistant to sunlight and water.

However, when we talk of products like genuine leather jackets, gloves and bags made of leather, no leather but real leather can do because the charm and sophistication executed by real leather is clearly unmatched and cannot be exhibited by products made using faux leather!

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