How to Identify Types of Leather
Leather tanning has been around for centuries. It’s one of the oldest industries in human civilization. Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, and Mesopotamians had developed several different tanning processes centuries before industrialization. Leather was used to make intricate clothing articles such as footwear, gloves, and armor and many other products.
There are also products that are made only in part with pure leather but are branded as ‘genuine leather’ or ‘made with genuine leather’. These are ambiguous terms used by marketers to mislead consumers. If you are planning to buy a top quality leather product, which is quite expensive, you must be able to tell genuine leather from synthetic on your own.
Here are some characteristics of Real and Genuine Leather.
Types of Leather
First of all we discuss the different types of leather to make better understanding.
There are many different ways to finish leather and in Fenice’s labs the R&D team works every day to create new fashionable effects with new technology. However, basic categories of leather are bellow,
Full Grain Leather
Top Grain Leather
Now it’s time to explain in more detail these types of leather
Full Grain Leather
Full–grain leather is the most valuable, beautiful, pleasingly tactile and durable leather. But what exactly is full–grain leather?
Being the strongest, outermost layer of the hide to be used, and keeping the grain in its entirety, rather than being sanded away to look more ‘uniform’, full grain leather lasts much longer. As it ages, it develops a patina, which is the change in color over time.
Top Grain Leather
Top grain simply means it is the outer most part of the hide, and that it is not a split or under part which has less strength and durability. When the processing is started the top of the leather is sheared from the hide leaving a split. A split is good for a back or side, not a place where you will sit as the hide will stretch and lose its shape.
Genuine leather doesn’t just mean that the product is made of real leather (which it is), but it also means it is the lowest quality of all products made out of real leather. Genuine leather generally doesn’t last as long or look as nice as higher-quality leather.
Genuine leather is the catchall term for anything that is technically leather. Over the years, this definition has gotten so stretched that it is almost meaningless for consumers. It’s also perhaps the best-kept secret in the industry. Unfortunately, the vast majority of consumers still believe genuine leather is the “best” or at least a premium product that warrants a higher price. The opposite is often the case.
Bonded leather, also called reconstituted leather or blended leather, is a term used for a manufactured upholstery material which contains animal hide Bonded Leather is neither fish nor fowl, as they say. It starts out with real leather scraps – the leftover pieces that would normally become waste from tanneries. These are sent to a mill that grinds them into very small pieces. These pieces are then spray glued onto the back of a man-made material like PU.
Other terms might use for leather but actually these are not leather.
Faux leather is one of several names given to artificial or synthetic leather. These names are often used to describe specific end uses of synthetic leather products such as faux leather (sofa, chair and headboard upholstery), leatherette (auto upholstery, clothing), and koskin (consumer goods).
Bi-cast leather is also known as laminated leather or reconstituted leather. In some countries, this material is also referred to as leatherette.
Bi-cast leather is not 100% leather; strictly speaking, it is not even leather, but a leather by-product, and is made from split leather which is then laminated and strengthened with a polyethylene top layer. It has been made available thanks to modern technology, which lets leather be split into a number of layers. The layers used to make bi-cast leather are of the most inferior quality, and without the coating, they may not have been of any use at all.
After the polyethylene coating is applied, grain patterns are embossed into the surface to make it look more leather-like. For someone who is not really aware of the characteristics of real leather, it is very easy to mistake it for the real thing.
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