Many times, I have purchased a leather bag, shoe or furniture from a sales person who practically swore on his/her dead granny’s grave that I’ll not regret the purchase. However, some weeks later (or somtimes the very next day), the leather product starts to peel off, wearing a tacky look that makes you want to discard it right away.
How then, can we tell the difference between real leather goods and faux leather goods? Here are some easy ways to spot the difference.
Try smelling the leather goods. (Try not to look awkward sniffing through furniture in a furniture shop) If it doesn’t have that distinct “leather” scent, you can be sure that it’s a fake.
Another way to identify real leather is to check for pores (where the animal’s hair was). Pores on fake leathers will be in a repeatedly consistent pattern, whereas pores on the real leather will be more irregular. It is skin after all.
Also try feeling the leather, especially if it’s a bag or outfit. Faux leather feels smoother and harder but real leather feels softer and thicker.
Consider trying the fingernail test by digging into the material with your nail tip. If it’s real leather it will leave an imprint that fades very slowly as it would if you did it on your skin. However if it’s fake leather, it won’t leave an imprint at all.
For leather goods that have the back exposed, check if it’s a fabric-like backing or if it is like suede. If it is like suede it’s most likely real leather. Fake leather will have either a cloth backing or it will have a plastic backing.
The sure way to avoid all the trouble is to purchase your leather goods from a genuine, well trusted leather shop. That way you don’t have to sniff or feel anything. SioD handcrafted leather for instance has a leather factory right here in Nigeria. You can be rest assured that whatever you are buying is genuine.
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