How to Identify Natural Leather When You Buying a Bag

Using modern highly developed technologies, people can easily and skillfully imitate not only the structure, but the smell of leather. Obviously, no one wants to be fooled, so how do we identify natural leather from artificial? Here are some basic moments you should pay attention to:

  • Smell
    You can identify artificial leather by a strong chemical smell. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on your sense of smell because there are a lot of leather aromatizers that can confuse you.
  • Pores
    Artificial leather pores have similar depth and shape, whereas pores in natural leather are different and they are placed randomly.
  • Elasticity
    If you push with your finger on natural leather, you’ll see little wrinkles on the material but after that the leather straightens and all the wrinkles disappear immediately. After stretching, natural leather returns to the initial state really fast.
  • Thickness and edges
    Natural leather is usually thicker than artificial and has more rounded and rough edges, while the edges on artificial leather are smooth and even.
  • Heat transfer
    After having been touched, natural leather quickly becomes warm but it stays dry. Artificial leather takes a while to get warm, plus, the material becomes moist from a hand touch.
  • Colour
    When being stretched, folded or pushed on, natural leather doesn’t change colour unlike artificial.
  • Base
    When cut, products made of natural leather have many intertwined fibres. If there are no fibres or instead of them there’s fabric base, knitted or nonwoven fabric, this is artificial leather.

How to check if leather is natural using fire and water?
ATTENTION: can’t use these 2 methods in a shop or a market.

Natural leather can withstand momentary touch with open fire, whereas artificial leather melts immediately. But now some manufacturers finish leather with aniline coating, which burns when heated. Artificial leather, unlike natural, doesn’t absorb moisture.
Also, there are leathers which surface is coated with a very thin layer of PU (polyurethane). When leather is too thick and it can’t be used for products manufacturing such as iphone case or MacBook bags, as Leather need to be thin enough to be able to wrap on plastic or  stitching procedure.
So, it gets split in half. The top layer is usually soft and most expensive but the bottom layer is absolutely useless. That’s why it’s coated with PU. After that, the second layer looks like good leather and it’s used for making different products.

To sum it up, we’d like to say that all this information is just advice for people who pay attention to the material when choosing a bag for a MacBook or a case for an iPhone or other smartphones.


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