Genuine Leather: main features, types and how to recognize it

Genuine Leather: main features, types and how to recognize it

Faux Leather vs Genuine Leather: How to recognize them?

There are different methods to recognize whether a product is made of genuine leather material or not, among the various methods that can be used there are some that are certainly more immediate, others to which greater attention must be paid.

  • The first is surely the price, as the products in real leather are always very expensive, they require complex leather tanning times and methods and high quality materials and chemicals.
  • Secondly, the faux leather can have inside a retina that replaces the typical layer of the authentic skin product and this is one of the elements that can easily be identified to immediately understand if the product is made in real or fake leather.
  • Leather has a great resistance, so the genuine leather material will last longer, with a tendency to soften, unlike those that are not authentic, which will tend to break with usage and time.
  • Another detail that will help us to recognize the differences is the characteristic fragrance, which will remain even after many years, unlike faux leather products, which either do not emit any smell or in some cases the smell will be that of plastic.
  • Non-authentic leather can then be recognized as it has very homogeneous surfaces, without imperfections, while products made with real leather have irregularities and small defects that certify their authenticity. Furthermore, 100% natural vegetable leather and in a less evident way, the chrome tanned leather, never exhibit a homogeneous color, rather it varies depending on the production batches and this feature must often be taken into consideration in the case of mass production of leather goods or for example in the clothing industry where it is not uncommon to see leather workers match the "blacks" to create garments that are uniform.
  • Moreover, among the various tests that can be done to check that a product is made of real leather or not is the fire test: with a lighter you keep the flame on the surface for ten seconds, the result we will have is that the genuine material will emanate a burning smell and will turn black slightly, while the fake leather will smell of burnt plastic and will not burn only slightly, but will catch fire.
  • Another test is that of water: through this test we can see how the real skin, once a small amount of water has been poured over the surface, will absorb a few drops, this is because they are processed to make it able to absorb humidity and be breathable. On the contrary, faux leather will not absorb water, but it will remain on the surface. It must be emphasized that even genuine leather can undergo a water repellent treatment and therefore there may be cases in which the behavior turns out to be the same.

genuine leather

Is Genuine Leather Real Leather?

The answer is yes, "Real" and "Genuine" terms are in this case synonyms. The difference to note is rather between 100% Natural Vegetable Tanned Leather and Genuine Leather in general.

Vegetable tanned leather is a product of natural origin that ranges from 1 millimeter up to 6 millimeters, produced only with substances that can be found in nature (bark of trees like oak, or mimosa flowers), very resistant and with a minimal environmental impact.

Real (or genuine) leather in general, refers to a macro category in which we find all the skins types tanned both in vegetable, chrome or with other techniques, in its raw or fully finished state of different animal origins (bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine, equine, etc.), to be tanned or re-tanned, finished or still in their semi-terminated stage (crust).

Types of Genuine Leather: Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather vs Corrected Grain Leather

  • Full Grain Leather is a genuine material obtained from the superficial layer of the animal's epidermis and which has not undergone any processing or finishing that has heavily modified its surface except for the removal of the hair. This type of leather is the most expensive one as only the best raw hides can be finished with this method because, if present, all natural signs, such as scratches, insect bites or stretch marks, would be kept unaltered and clearly visible. This material is considered the most valuable because it appears as natural as possible regarding appearance and the quality. The tanning of this type of genuine leather skin can be made both with chromium and vegetable methods and its finishing will probably be full or semi aniline.
  • Top grain leather still represents the outermost layer of the animal's skin, but unlike full grain leather, it may have undergone finishes that heavily alternated its natural appearance. In example, the finishing types "pigmented" or "printed" leather are usually performed on leather of lower grades, since these finishes can mask most of the defects present on animal hides. The top grain leather finds its opposite in the so-called "split leather".
  • Finally, the corrected grain leather hides, having undergone several treatments aimed at masking their defects, are still part of the macro-category "Top Grain Leather" but is opposed, from the finishing method point of view, to the "Full Grain Leather".

genuine leather: full grain vs corrected grain

Advantages of Genuine Leather

What should push you to buy a product in genuine leather instead of faux leather, is certainly the quality of the real one: that is to say that a product in authentic leather is more resistant, over the years this will not break, but it will soften and maintain beautiful; on the other hand, a product in faux leather, will tend to break, crease and pollute more once its life cycle is exhausted.
Another of the various advantages is that of the smell of the skin: the faux leather does not emit any odor and in the worst cases it will have a smell of plastic material, unlike a real leather product that instead will have the natural smell of the skin animal. In addition, a product made of genuine leather, has finishes, stitching and details that we do not find in a faux leather product.

Among the points in favor of real leather it is also necessary to mention the environmental impact that today represents one of the hot topics of our society: real leather has a very low environmental impact if not close to zero in the case of vegetable tanning, in fact it represents a material of recovery with respect to the primary need of nutrition of the populations (main reason for which the cattle is raised) and the waste as well as the chemical products used (such as chromium) can be recovered and used in other areas such as that of fertilizers. In contrast, faux leather is obtained by refining oil (being essentially a plastic material) and therefore both production and disposal have a much heavier impact on our ecosystem.

To conclude, a genuine leather product will certainly be more expensive than a faux leather product, but its cost will be repaid by better quality, greater durability and less environmental impact.

Where to buy genuine leather?

Our website is the place where to buy genuine leather 100% Made in Italy in total safety. In our catalog you will find every type of leather material: each of them is divided by category of use or according to the type of tanning or finishing of the material. Another alternative to buy leather would be going directly to the tannery, the customer himself will have to select and choose the material from the available one of the production, then have a smaller choice of products, pay them at a higher price, have to select the best and in some cases even the worst ones of the production itself and when another order of the usual product is made, he won't have the certainty that the latter will be the same as the first one purchased, as leather processing does not offer the same result every time .
By purchasing from our site, instead, we will take care of everything and you will not have to do anything of the above listed; we will select the leather / leather based on the quality or to produce it according to the needs at more advantageous prices, to then let you choose how many skins to buy and whether to save or point to the top with first choice products.