Buying leather is not an easy task. Leather can be genuine, bonded, or blended. Bonded leather is made from the bottom side of leather and applied with a soft final surface. Blended leather is sprinkled leather particles into a vinyl base. Genuine leather is the only kind that will last and be repairable.
Use these 3 easy steps to be sure you are buying genuine leather:
1. Touch Test – Push on the leather with the tip of your finger hard enough to make it say ouch if it were alive. Bonded, blended, vinyl, or non-leather will show a round indent as you look at it. Genuine leather will make a star-type pattern.
2. Check the Label – Look at the label that is usually hidden under the footrest on a recliner or the beneath a sofa. Here’s a tip – if it is underneath, use your smartphone to take a picture so you can read the label or ask the salesperson to show you the label. Make sure the label says “Genuine Leather” or it will show the percentages of genuine, bonded, or blended leather. If there are any percentages of leather – walk away!
3. Ask the Right Questions – What type of leather is the piece of furniture? You’re looking for “Genuine Leather”. Request to see the label to confirm genuine, bonded, or blended leather. Ask about bonded and blended leather, does the salesman know about them? The best salesman will have some knowledge and you can tell if they know anything about what they are selling you!
Genuine leather is the top half of leather that is used on fine furniture. When the leather is split, the bottom half, which is stretchy, is used to make bonded leather. Often this leather loosens and eventually peels. While a salesperson may call this leather, its quality is changed during the bonding, manufacturing process and will only last for about 5 years. When I get calls from customers that say, “My leather is peeling”, it is most often from people with bonded leather. Unfortunately, repairing bonded leather is generally unsuccessful because when fixing a small area, the area around will most likely come apart as well.
Learn more about genuine and bonded leather from this Consumer Affairs article:
Genuine leather and vinyl is repairable. Bonded or blended leather is not.
Choose to enhance the color, presentation, shine, and glow of your leather furniture by
· Repairing leather and vinyl seating, clothing, and accessories
· Permanently conditioning fine furniture to avoid buying new
· Preserving the sentimental value of treasured possessions
· Minimizing waste, while maximizing the longevity of furniture and accessories
Send a Picture . . . Get an Estimate . . . Approve the Work . . . Keep it Looking New!