leather workding

How to identify quality leather

What Makes Good Leather?

Most people know that leather is generally identified as the hide or skin from an animal. But what most people don’t know is how to tell the difference between poor quality leather and top quality leather that will last you for a long time.

Usually, we assume that our expensive designer labelled items will have used the finest quality leather to produce their products, however certain fake products or ‘knock-offs’ may, in fact, be made using poor quality leather and may even use plastic, PU or faux leather instead. Whilst there isn’t anything wrong with these materials – providing they aren’t passed off as real, genuine leather – if you want to be sure you’re getting a top quality leather product here are a few things to look out for:

1. Keywords

Certain words are an instant sign that a product is not genuine, good quality leather. These can include words like ‘bonded’, ‘coated’ or ‘laminated’. If you see any of these words on the label of your product, you can be sure it isn’t the best quality leather and in fact, may not be genuine leather at all.

2. The touch

Another great way to tell the difference between real and fake leather is by touching the product. If the material on an item feels really smooth or if it feels at all like plastic, it is most likely fake. You can also tell the quality of real leather by touching it. Good quality leather should feel tough but flexible, but poor quality leather will feel smoother and more similar to fake leather.

3. Smell

Real leather has this particular smell. If you own a piece of genuine leather please stick your nose on top of it and you know what we mean. Plastic will not have any smell at or it will be very chemically smell. Although some sprays do exist to give the genuine leather smell to plastic. But they will wear off quite quickly.

So, now you know more about identifying good quality leather.

Good Leather Can Last A Lifetime

If leather is of a good quality it will last forever. This means that while it may often come at a higher price than poor or fake leather products, it is usually worth the investment as the item will last a lot longer. Top quality leather will also age well, whereas fake leather makes start to crack, peel or flake over time.

Quality leather workmanship

The Leather Working Process Takes Time and Care

Real, top quality leather is often priced higher than poor quality leather because the process that must be taken to make products out of good leather is so extensive. The process takes a lot of time and care and so is often worth much more than a poor quality product.

In the simplest terms, to make a leather product, the outer two layers on each side of the hide are removed before the leather can go through the tanning process. This is called liming.

Because the skin of an animal often becomes thicker with age, the skin of animals of different ages will often be used for different products. For example, the hide from a mature bull is often the toughest and thickest hide available and so these are only used for very specific items. Cowhide is the most commonly used hide when producing leather products.

However, sometimes a hide may be too thick for the product it is set to make. In these cases the layers of the hide are split- this is called grain leather or flesh split. Flesh split is much thinner than leather and is more commonly known as suede.

Leather at Yazzy’s

We always provide high quality leather items and will never let something pass for what it is not. To view some of our beautiful leather handbags, take a look at our online store.

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