There are several imitations of leather available in the market. These are actually very difficult to differentiate from genuine leather. Bonded leather is one of the top alternatives of leather widely used in many industries, including shoes, bags, clothing, and home chair.
Pure synthetic leather or genuine leather is available in the market. Still, most commercial standards use a combination of these leathers to attain the benefits of both of them. Although, using genuine leather increases the quality of products but it not highly customizable or budget friendly.
What is bonded leather?
Bonded leather is a combination of faux leather and cowhide, which is leftover from the production of genuine leather products. Several chemicals are used in the production of bonded leather, which is soldered with adhesives and polyurethane binders.
Bonded leather has a small fraction of real leather, which is commonly 20%. Still, the actual percentage of genuine leather varies on manufacturers and quality grades. For the product to be classified as a leather product, the portion of real leather must be more than 20%. Products with a lesser percentage are considered artificial leather or faux leather. They have many names in the market, such as LeatherSoft, Faux Leather, and Vinyl, reconstituted or composite leather.
Is bonded leather durable?
Bonded leather is less durable than genuine leather but is better than pure synthetic leather, such as PU leather. Real leather is a large piece of the animal hide, which is natural and much durable while adhesives give a quite firm grip, but are not the same.
The actual strength of bonded leather depends on the fraction of real leather used. A higher percentage means better quality and more durability of the product. If you want to know your product’s strength, check the product’s manual for more in-depth knowledge of materials used in it.
How long does bonded leather last?
The life of any leather product depends on its quality and maintenance. If bonded leather has a high percentage of real leather, is adequately maintained and is kept away from heat sources or direct sunlight, its life will be greatly elongated. While poor maintenance can ruin leather product in less than a year.
In the case of bonded leather, shredded cowhide is collected from production units of leather products. They are joined together to form one large sheet. These connect points can be defective areas when the surface is damaged. This brings down the life of bonded leather products. Carefully maintained bonded leather products such as Sofa’s last more than 3 years without any defacement.
Does bonded leather peel?
Bonded leather does start to peel after a particular time. We can increase the life span of bonded leather by proper maintenance. After years of use, the fabric becomes weak, especially if exposed to direct sunlight or any other heat source. As the leather contains industrial chemicals, the sunlight will cause these chemicals to dry out and ruin the adhesive binders.
It is a slow process. You can avoid the peeling by applying good leather polishes or safe adhesive friendly, cleaners. Gently vacuum on the surface to get rid of dirt and debris and apply fresh polish to make it more tolerant.
How to keep bonded leather from peeling?
Bonded leather starts to peel due to specific reasons such as heat, weakening of joined points of cowhide due to scratches, or exposure to certain chemicals. Preventing these complications will prevent bonded leather from peeling.
To prevent peeling of bonded leather, avoid exposing it to heat sources such as fires, hot stoves, or sunlight. Regularly clean the surface of your furniture to remove body oil or dirt. Only apply feeble cleaners on the leather, which are free from alcohol or harsh chemicals. These chemicals can react with adhesive properties of bonded leather. Use leather conditioners to protect the surface from specific circumstances.
How to clean bonded leather?
You must be very careful about anything that comes in contact with the leather. Any detergents, cleansing agents, or soap can cause peeling or striping of the leather. Even some leather conditioners are not recommended for bonded leather. Still, you must use specific leather conditioners to protect the surface from any easy damage.
Regularly clean your leather furniture with a damp cloth, and rinse off the dirt. Scratches will cause the fabric to slice and release other chemical bonds. This can also cause giant slits in the material or create a bad smell. Avoid alcohol-based cleaners that are very reactive with industrial chemicals and are used to clean machinery.
Pros & Cons of the bonded leather
These are all the good and bad features of bonded leather that will help you decide according to your priorities if you should choose bonded leather over real leather for your home or office design or wearable leather products.
Bonded leather is much more affordable than real leather. Only a small portion of genuine leather is used, and synthetic leather is cheaper than real leather.
Due to a large portion of the material used is synthetic leather, it is highly customizable. It has a large variety of structures, colors, and designs. This feature has significant importance in theme-based restaurants and offices.
Bonded leather is more lustrous and attractive due to imitated charm from polishes and perfectly crafted texture. This is more clean and detailed than genuine leather that has its own imperfections.
Bonded leather is less durable than real leather, which means it has lesser tolerance to harsh conditions and a shorter lifespan.
Wear and Tear
Bonded leather starts to tear off when it is exposed to any heat source or direct sunlight. The leather begins to peel off and cause chemicals to smell.
Color of bonded leather is quickly faded due to cleaners, heat, or just over time. This is due to artificial fabricated coloration that does not last very long.
Not a vegan product
If you are looking for a pure vegan product, bonded leather is not viable. It contains a fraction of real leather. You should look for genuine PU leather that is 100% vegan.
Bonded leather with a good fraction of real leather is still cheap, but it is not reliable. To attain better quality, you might want to choose pure genuine or synthetic leather. Some companies choose a combination of natural and artificial leather to regard their products as leather products at a low price and gain more sales.
Bonded leather starts to peel off after a certain time and requires a lot of attention. This is a good option for leather, among others. Still, alternatives are not very reliable in the case of leather products. They do not last long, even aftercare and maintenance.
Genuine leather is way better than bonded leather in terms of durability and longevity. The only aspect where bonded leather is advantageous is the budget. And repairs and maintenance will eventually cost more than the real leather product.
Check these real leather chair for your office.
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