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Real Leather Versus Faux Leather

Leather is easily one of the most timeless materials in all of history. From the beauty and rich color to the soft, luxurious feel, leather is a highly sought-after material full of charm and esteem. Let's take a closer look at real leather versus faux leather to make sure you always get the authentic choice.


When looking to tell the difference between real leather versus faux leather, the appearance alone used to be a dead giveaway, but times have changed, and methods have advanced. This doesn't mean there aren't differences to help the discerning leather buyer steer clear of a fake. Real leather is a made from the hide of a real animal and will have certain noticeable characteristics. The surface will show what are considered blemishes and imperfections which contribute to the natural grain of real leather. The feel of real leather also feels different to the fingers as you will be able to feel raised lines or ridges. Real leather is never completely smooth in the same way faux leather is so this is a quick way to tell. The smell of real leather is also quite different. If you have ever smelled real leather then you already know that the natural smell is impossible to manufacture for faux leather. Faux leather will be uniform and smooth throughout the surface. It will lack the smell of real leather and will often have more of a chemical or plastic smell to it. Faux leather will depress under your finger and stay cold before rising back up to the uniformity of the surface whereas real leather will warm to the touch a bit and can wrinkle or move much like skin.


Another thing to consider with real leather versus faux leather is the durability or life of the leather. Real leather greatly outlasts faux leather thanks to both the nature of the material itself and the way it is treated. Best of all, real leather wears in rather than out unlike faux leather which means it only grows more beautiful with time. A real leather will develop a patina over time which only adds to the beauty of it, whereas faux leather with just break down over time.

Impact on Environment

There has been a lot of talk about leather having negative impacts for the environment. Many opponents of real leather have claimed that it is better for the environment to use what us called vegan leather or faux leather, however, it has been shown that these are more damaging to the environment because they use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane. These materials also do not last as long as real leather which means more frequent replacement to the detriment of the environment. Another point worth noting when people argue real leather is environmentally devastating is that many of the cattle used for leather hides are also used for milk and beef production. In fact, to battle environmental issues, Bosca's tannery uses a state of the art water purification system that insures the Tuscan ground water is protected. We also use vegetable tanning on our leather, which is the process of turning of bovine or oxen rawhide into leather with the use of vegetable tannins to produce a fuller body and improved firmness over options such as chromium tanning.