Its leather-like but not quite leather! This informative overview should serve as a quick introduction into the world of faux leather upholstery to help you make an educated leather buying decision. Let’s make sure your next leather sofa is the real thing!
Is the leather real or fake? That is the question many leather consumers ask themselves and pose to us regularly. Making the distinction between genuine leather and man-made leather is not always easy based solely on the look and feel of the material. Bonded leather wears much differently than leather. If your leather furniture starts peeling or flaking, then your sofa or chair has all the signs of bonded leather!
Despite the tell-tale signs of this leather imitator, customers often struggle to make sense of the material. We often hear: What is bonded leather? What is bonded leather made out of? Some customers explain that their bonded leather furniture was sold as genuine leather on the sales floor. Others are sold on the affordable price of faux leather, essentially outweighing the durability and quality of leather.
In a home furnishing consumer survey, less than 10% knew bonded leather was an imitation leather,. However more than half (53.3%) believed bonded leather was real leather with enhanced performance, and the remaining 40% of consumers were not familiar with the term bonded leather!
Peeling Away The Truth
Approximate composition of bonded leather
Bonded leather is material with a polyurethane coating on a fabric core consisting of fibers from shredded leather scraps bonded with adhesive. It is not a genuine leather hide rather a man-made byproduct. Bonded leather is on the lower end of the upholstery market and is priced accordingly. Price conscious consumers are sold on the affordability of bonded leather and its similarity to the look and feel of real leather. Premium leather is on the higher end and offers durability and quality. Leather is better!
Bonded vs Real Leather
Flake vs Fade
When comparing bonded leather to real leather, general wear and aging marks the major differences between these two upholstery materials . We always tell customers that bonded leather peels and flakes while real leather cracks and fades! Bonded leather may imitate the natural characteristics of leather but it does not wear the same over time. The integrity of the material breaks down even from normal use. The polyurethane face peels and flakes revealing the fabric core. Please refer to the image for a side by side comparison of bonded leather and real leather.
Can Bonded Leather Be Repaired?
Customers ask about the repair options for bonded leather. The reality check is that most bonded leather furniture cannot be repaired, dyed, or restored or at least with any lasting results. Once the top surface deteriorates available remedies are quite limited. Online leather repair kit makers recommend applying makeshift compound fillers and leather paint to the offending bonded leather surface. We would argue that bonded leather furniture is made to replace rather than restore. Save your money and invest in the quality and durability of leather. Reupholstering in quality leather is an option for those unwilling to split with their bonded leather furniture.
Can Bonded Leather Be Reupholstered?
Bonded No More!
Yes. Some customers value the style and frame of their bonded leather furniture and cannot find a comparable replacement. We have reupholstered countless of bonded leather sofas and chairs. Reupholstering in quality Italian leather adds value, style, and durability to your furniture.
Before and After
Real Leather Transformation!
We have upholstered countless bonded leather sofas and chairs and converted them to full genuine leather. Here are a few examples of our upholstery work:
Bonded Leather Dining Chairs and Bar Stools Reupholstered in Genuine Leather:
Bonded Leather Sofas Reupholstered in Genuine Leather:
Bonded Leather Lounge Chairs and Recliners Reupholstered in Genuine Leather:
Learn more about genuine leather reupholstery service for bonded leather furniture:
We as leather restoration specialists we know better than most the countless names bonded leather goes by these days. Let’s run off the names associated with bonded leather.
Bi-cast Leather or PU Leather often referred, as split leather is another material that does not fall under the genuine leather category
Vinyl: Also beware of vinyl as some furniture manufactures combine leather with vinyl to cut costs. Typically the front facing upholstery is upholstered in leather while the frame side and back paneling or “non-touch” sections are upholstered in vinyl.