Leather furniture gives off a sophisticated and rustic feel. Anything made from genuine leather – furniture, shoes, bags, belts – is generally more expensive than others because it is a natural material. The processing of animal skin into leather is an arduous process, hence the hefty price tag that comes with it. Buying leather furniture requires a keen eye for spotting if it is made of genuine or synthetic leather. Some retailers may dupe you into buying faux leather that they disguise as authentic. Here are some ways of making sure that you are purchasing the real thing.
The first indicator is the price. If you think that you are getting a good deal for “genuine” leather at a meagre price, think again. Some furniture stores sell cheap leather sofas for the cost of real leather. It is better to shell out more money for the real thing than pay for a fake.
Your sofa maker will happily oblige with the information you will require regarding the material used for the sofa. Reputable furniture makers will not hesitate to supply you with all the information you may want to know; otherwise, you can ask. If they sell genuine leather sofas, they will not think twice about telling you what type of leather it is. When reading labels, look out for these terms: rub off, antique, nubuck, soft grain, saddle, full-grain, and aniline. These terms indicate that the leather is of good quality.
Feel the material of the furniture. Turn the cushions inwards to look at the backing. These may not be enough to tell if the item is real, but leather has a distinct feel and smell that you can differentiate from others. Genuine leather is also much softer than synthetic materials.
Do you know that musty smell of leather? That is the distinct characteristic of genuine leather. If that particular smell is missing, then it is probably a fake. Have a good smell of the material so you can tell if the scent is there. Try pushing on the leather to if it sinks a little. If it does, it is most probably real. Synthetic leather is usually rigid.
Manufacturers of synthetic leather print the surface, so the patterns are uniform. Check the leather to see if the patterns vary. It indicates that it is genuine. Real leather does not have uniform patterns because they are naturally occurring.
The backing of leather is a good indicator of its authenticity. The back should look like a coarse suede. If it is woven, then it is fake.
Do not go unarmed when buying a leather couch. If you are buying from a not-so-well-known maker, make sure to exercise more caution in examining if it is real or fake. Because, with today’s technology, it is very easy to make a counterfeit item and pass it off as original, if you don’t take a close look, it will definitely dupe you. Better yet, buy only from a reputable furniture maker. It may cost more, but you are sure that you are purchasing a genuine product.