There are many types of leathers used in the market, but which one will be most suitable for you? We are here to answer that question. We will demonstrate the favorable and unfavorable features of all three types of leathers and list out their qualities to help you decide which suits you the best.
What is Real Leather
Genuine leather is made by drying water from animal skin and introducing reactant chemicals to bond with the collagen. Cowskin turns into flexible leather that is trimmed in shapes to form useable products such as bags, shoes, sofa skin, or many other leather items.
Genuine leather has very few additives and most of it is real skin of animals like cattle, sheep, goats, deer, or many more. All of these animals’ skin is used in a variety of products.
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Favorable features of Real/Genuine Leather
Several features of real leather are adored. Some of them are briefly explained below
Real leather is mostly organic and is decomposed in the environment easily. This prevents pollution, unlike other synthetic alternatives.
The leather develops a patina that gives it antique looks and is adored by most customers. It shows the good quality of the product that it is old and still in fine condition.
Luxurious and style
Leather products are luxurious and stylish. People with offices and houses with royal designs mostly prefer leather products due to the sustainability of their style.
Leather is a very tolerant material and has a long life span. Most leather products such as sofas and couches last for more than 25 years without spoiling.
Leather is a breathable surface that means the seat does not get warm even after long hours of seating.
Unfavorable features of Real/Genuine Leather
As there are many adored features, some qualities of leather are not very pleasing.
Leather is made of animal skin and this fact upsets most people.
Leather is expensive to produce as the raw materials are rare and require management.
Leather is absorbent and water or other fluid causes very tough marks and stains. They can be removed but it is not an easy task.
How to manage Genuine Leather Products?
To clean genuine leather, you must consider it to be absorbent and don’t use much water to rinse it off. Although distilled clean water can be used as that will cause no damage to the fabric. You can make a dilute mixture of soap and water to spray on leather and wipe with a clean cloth.
In the case of oil stains, you can keep a towel to absorb most of the oil and the rest will fade with time. There are several leather polishes and cleaners available, which are free from caustic agents, ammonia, and alkalis. They are safe to apply on your leather product in case of any stains.
It is suggested to regularly apply conditioner on leather products. This will prevent them from drying out and spoiling due to lack of moisture. If the water dries out from the leather, it will be spoiled and in worst cases, it will start to peel off.
What is Bonded Leather?
Bonded leather contains a small percentage of real leather. Most of it consists of synthetic chemicals such as Polyurethane on which, tiny chunks of shredded cowhide (leftover from the production of genuine leather products), are dispersed evenly to give it an imitated, leather-like texture.
Bonded leather that has about 20% of leather content can be referred to as a leather product. Due to this reason, bonded leather seems very attractive to companies that can sell them by referring their products as leather products or using names, such as reconstituted leather, recycled leather, or blended leather.
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Favorable features of Bonded Leather
There are many alternatives to genuine leather, but bonded leather is popular among them due to certain reasons which can be regarded as its pros.
Merging benefits of both real and synthetic leather
Bonded leather contains a fraction of real leather and polyurethane that gives it benefits of both, real and synthetic leather.
Real leather is not very tangible, which means it cannot be molded in complex shapes. It is a cutout piece of animal hide. While bonded leather can be customized in different shapes and colors as per the demand of the product they will be assembled into.
Bonded leather has a smooth surface which is not impermeable, which means water would not be absorbed in its surface. This does not let the product get stained easily and the marks can be washed off with water.
As it is considered a leather product, companies find it very appealing to most customers. The custom designs and colors also play an important role in the customer’s acceptance. Bonded leather fills both of the needs.
One of the most appealing features of bonded leather is that it is easy on the wallet. This attracts more companies and customers to invest in this leather.
Unfavorable features of Bonded Leather
As there are some good attributes, there also some unappealing qualities to every item. For bonded leather, some important contrary features are briefed below
Bonded leather has a high percentage of industrial chemicals which starts to decay after some time. The highest quality of bonded leather might last for around 2-3 years. That is a very short life span for leather products that are considered to last for more than 25 years.
The surface of bonded leather is non-permeable which is also a flaw as the seat gets heated during long seating times. This can make you regret your choice in summers.
Although bonded leather is more manageable and safe from water, this leather is not very durable when it
How to manage Bonded Leather Products?
To clean Bonded leather, you must be careful as it contains several industrial chemicals and leather polishes can react with them resulting in bad smell, or ruining the fabric. So it is suggested to use low-intensity cleaners with the least reactive chemicals.
You should try using a wet cloth rinsing off the dirt on a daily bases. Consider applying leather conditioners to ensure that the leather is protected. This is necessary to increase the lifespan of a normal bonded leather product as they are less durable.
What is Faux Leather?
There are many faux alternatives to leather in the market. Most of these are pure synthetic leather and do not contain any percentage of genuine leather. A popular type of faux leather is PU leather (polyurethane) which is also known as vegan leather. This purely synthetic leather is famous due to many reasons, mainly due to the resemblance of real leather.
Faux leathers have been widely used as an alternative due to their environmentally friendly nature. Leather is animal hide and many organizations are working on reducing the trend of real leather products.
Favorable features of Faux Leather
There are a lot of advantages of faux leather that became a reason for its popularity. Important ones are briefly described below
Faux leather is cost-efficient that brings good profit margins to companies and an affordable price to the customers.
This leather is purely synthetic which means no animals are harmed in its production.
Synthetic leather is highly customizable that provides a large variety of designs and colors of products.
Production of PU leather is free from any wastes or animal cruelty. It is truly clean leather.
Unfavorable features of Faux Leather
As well as benefits, faux leather has some unfavorable features.
Faux leather easily tears or punctures when introduced to sharp tools. It is not even durable enough to stand direct sunlight for very long.
The feeling of this product is considered a sham illusion. It means that it does not feel right when you use the product made from faux leather if you are used to the genuine leather products.
The surface of synthetic leather is non-permeable or non-breathable. You could feel the difference when your seat heats up in a short seating time.
How to manage Faux Leather products?
Faux leather is very crucial to clean regularly but with fewer intensity cleaners. As it is entirely made of industrial chemicals, it can react with detergents or soaps and start to spoil. Faux-leather can start peeling off due to these chemicals, ruining the product.
You can use alcohol-based cleaners or a mixture of bleach and water of 5:1 ratio for formal cleaning. Regularly rinse dirt and vacuum the surface to clean tiny accumulated particles.
Are there any differences between Real, Bonded, and Faux Leather?
Real leather, bonded leather, and faux leather are very different from each other. All of them have their pros and cons and are widely used in market products.
You have learned about the qualities of each type of leather and now you can make a smart decision based on your preferences. The three most cherished features are affordability, durability, and style. Each type of leather has two of these three qualities. You can choose the two you prefer.
If you have any queries or suggestions, kindly let us know below.