What is Genuine Leather? When you are shopping for a leather briefcase, leather jacket or leather shoes, you should know exactly what to look for in your leather product. Genuine leather is generally not as durable or beautiful as high-quality leather. Typically you'll find it in belts at supermarkets, in shoes in low-priced supermarkets, and in handbags or other products in the low-priced leather segment. Products marked with Genuine leather will have several layers of poor quality leather glued together, then painted to look like high-quality leather. This leather segment is acceptable if you are looking for something cheap and don't care much about quality. It won't last very long, so you shouldn't use it every day.
Top-grain leather is the leather segment that you will find in “good” leather products and is in the “good” quality level in leather types. It is widely used for women's wallets, including small products for men such as men's wallets, which are sold by famous designer brands. It is separated from the outer “top layer”, above the “top-grain” layer, and the skin imperfections are removed by light sanding, some products are stamped with “fake grain” on the surface. Usually, it is then treated and dyed to give a product with a uniform (blemish-free) skin. The finished product will not last as long as full-grain and will end up looking old after being used for too long. However, the finished product of this leather segment will be excellent, if you don't care too much about longevity or resistance to dirt.
What is genuine leather? What Does Full-Grain Leather Mark Mean?
To answer the above question, let's study skin structure. As commonly known, the quality of the hide depends on the quality of the tanning, the age and the nature of the animal’s skin. Like the structure of all types of epidermis, animal skin is a collection of layers. To avoid any confusion, please notice that the word “top” does not refer to top quality, but to top layer. Top-grain has been rubbed or lightly ground the top cuticle to reduce scratches and achieve a certain softness, so the name top here is only relative. So what is the top?
FULL-GRAIN IS THE ANSWER. Looking at the structure picture above, we can see that Full-grain is the original state, the nature of the leather, without grinding or smoothing. So Full-grain is thicker and rougher, more natural, including scratches or unevenness on the leather surface. Of course, the price for this type of leather is also high. If you are a leather purist, this is what you are looking for. Full-grain is the top-grain full version. But isn't it the first standard of leather? Well, you probably already know how to rank skin types.
Real leather is skin taken from animal hides, but this type is not recommended because of the call not to kill animals for skins. PU leather sofa: is a high-quality, soft leather material and if you don't check carefully, many people will think it is real leather. However, the nature of PU is still a form of artificial synthetic compound, so it can peel off over time. Look closely at the product: It is necessary to carefully observe the product model to buy, if it is real leather on the surface there will be slight protrusions. The skin is not too smooth, the skin feels wrinkled like real leather. Poor quality industrial leather will be flat, high-grade leather will have small pores.
- Touching the product: put your hand on the surface of the product and feel it. If the leather is of poor quality, the surface will certainly be smooth, with the highlight of a layer of plastic created by synthetic materials when they are made shiny. This will be more obvious when you touch this surface in winter, you will feel cold. With real leather you will feel soft and smooth anytime you touch. Moreover, real leather never feels cool even in winter.
- Smell the product: If it is animal skin that smells on fashion accessories such as wallets, clothes, bags, shoes, it often has the smell of animal fat (smell). As for industrial leather, there will be a smell of synthetic resin.
- Press on the product: This method will make it easier for you to identify. Use your thumb and press on the surface of the product. If the leather is real, it will leave a dent around your thumb. However, when you remove your hand, the indentation will disappear, showing that the skin elasticity is quite good.
- Look closely at the product: If it is animal skin, the default is that the fibers will be uneven. If you try to use your fingers to scrape the surface of the skin, (try to make scratches) they will not make any obvious changes. While with industrial leather, they have an inherent woven texture, not solid mass so they will scratch.
- Wet the product: Put a few drops of water on the surface of the product. If it is real leather, after a few minutes, you will see the water streak spreading, penetrating the skin through the pores. Real leather always absorbs moisture. Not fake leather.
- Burn or heat the product over a fire: If it's genuine leather, you'll smell a burning smell like burning hair. The fake leather will give off the smell of burning plastic.
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