Manufacturers will try almost anything to make a buck, and bonded leather is a prime example of that. Bonded leather is as close to vinyl as you can get while still being able to use the term #leather. Click To Tweet It costs less up front, but doesn’t last long and doesn’t wear well over time. Many unsuspecting consumers have been duped by false advertising and the difficulty in identifying bonded leather.

Key Differences

If you’ve ever driven past a discarded sofa on the curb, with thin strips of material peeling from the cushions, then you’ve seen how bonded leather ages. While it can be difficult for the untrained eye to spot the difference between bonded and real leather, the two have some key traits separating them.

Bonded Leather

  • Less expensive than real leather.
  • Made from scraps of leather fused together using polyurethane or latex.
  • Usually has a chemical or plastic smell.
  • The surface is unnaturally smooth or has a machine-perfect leather grain pattern.

Real Leather

  • Made from entire pieces of animal hide.Will specify 100% leather.
  • Has the unmistakable leather smell.
  • Is not completely uniform, and may contain blemishes or an inconsistent grain.
  • It’s a natural material, so is not perfectly smooth, and doesn’t feel like vinyl.

Real Leather Vs. Bonded Leather

Real leather furniture is an investment, with more character and luxury than other materials. Be wary of leather furniture that seems like it’s price is too good to be true, and try to avoid shopping at big box stores. 

A Matter of Quality

At the end of the day, the debate between real leather and bonded leather is a matter of quality. Real leather lasts much longer, looks better and wears its age well. Nothing compares to the smell of real leather or the beauty of a well-worn leather sofa.
Contact Us to learn more about the difference between real and bonded leather, or stop by our antique store in Old Town Spring to see examples of our gorgeous leather heirloom pieces.