6 Differences Between Real vs. Bonded vs. Faux Leather

Have you ever shopped for leather-made materials? If yes, you would have come across great varieties of the same with very clear-cut differences. 

However, you might sometimes find it discouraging having to choose between myriads of options. 

Or even you are just intending to go on shopping and confused about what you should be? 

Fret not again. 

This post shall educate you on the differences between real, bonded, and faux leather. To learn more, check here https://www.leatherstand.com/collections/mens-textile-vests.

Real Leather

Real leather is 100% leather made from animal hides such as cows, deer, buffalo, or horses. It undergoes a tanning process for the rawhide to be prepared into usable leather. 

The purpose of tanning is to remove water from the skin collagen and replace it with a tanning agent. This results in flexible, soft, and supple leather. 

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather as the name implies makes use of leftover hide and dust which are milled into a very flat layer and then spray glued onto the back of hard fiber surfaces. 

For the finishing,  it’s dyed and coated with polyurethane, this gives it a nice sheen and is embossed to resemble real leather. 

But beware! 

Bonded leather is not real leather; though it may contain 10 – 20% leather particles. 

Faux Leather

Faux or Polyurethane leather is made from synthetic materials that are made to mimic the look and texture of real leather. 

To make this type of leather, a fabric made of cotton or polyester is coated with a flexible polymer. Then treated to resemble animal hide. They are artificial leather and are completely vegan. 

Below are six differences between real vs bonded vs faux leather. 

Difference in Durability

The most noticeable difference between real, bonded and faux leather is their durability. As we’ve seen that real leather is made from 100% animal hides, they tend to last longer than other types of leather. They can last 10 – 20 years and if treated properly, can last longer than this. 

Faux leather, though artificial leather but can easily last longer than bonded leather. They are believed to last for two to three years while bonded leather can only last between a couple of months to two years maximum before peeling.  

Difference in Cost

Also, the first thing that will strike you is the price of the leathers as found in the market. 

As we all know what is real will like cost more than anything called artificial so it seems with real leathers too. 

Real leather is the most expensive of the three types of leather due to the expenses of manufacturing the t Followed by faux leather which is a bit costlier than bonded leather. While bonded leather is the est of all as it is made of thin fiber or paper backing coupled with scrap leather 

Difference In Appearance And Texture 

Real leather has the most natural appearance but comes with limited color options but its textures are smooth and soft. 

Faux leather being synthetic leather will have a uniform texture though this may look fake in some instances it is most likely to look like real leather. It can come in a variety of styles and colors. 

Bonded leather is the easiest to spot as it looks more synthetic than faux leathers because of its thinner layer. Also, it comes in a great variety of colors and styles. 

Difference in Smell

Real leather will always have a natural earthy smell around it and is very breathable.  

While faux leather will most likely smell of plastic or chemicals and can be unbreathable. 

On the other hand, bonded leather when treated well and due to its a real leather composite can smell just like real leather. 

Difference in Cleaning 

In cleaning real leather, one needs to be very careful with cleaning agents to be used. It requires only damp clothes for cleaning, and in the instance of the spill, the stains should be blotted. Also, real leather needs treating twice every year. Real leather is the most difficult to clean because it can absorb liquid. 

Faux leather on the other hand is very easy to clean as it doesn’t absorb any liquid whatsoever. 

Bonded leather is so hard to clean due to its texture, it wears off easily. They don’t need any abrasive cleaners and require gentle wiping with a damp but soft cloth. 

Difference in Biodegradability

The decomposing state is quite different due to the materials used. For real leather, it is very biodegradable and can be used to nurture plants when decomposed. 

But both faux and bonded leather are non-biodegradable due to the plasticity involved in making both. Also, both are not hypoallergenic i.e they are not suitable for people who have highly sensitive skin. The process of manufacturing them is not eco-friendly.