What is real leather? Real leather is not man made, it is NOT Pleather or Vegan Leather!
“What, my Vegan Leather is not from an animal that did not eat other Animal Products?” I hear you say.
Well sorry to be the one to give you bad news, but Pleather, Vegan Leather or any of the other names that are currently being used is only Plastic, Vinyl or Material.
On another note, often in the manufacturing process, these other types of materials can cause more harm to the environment than it does in the proper manufacturing of Real 100% Leather. I say proper manufacturing because not all countries have the same strict set of environmental rules as the likes of Europe, USA or Australia.
Ok, so what is real 100% Leather? Well, it is just that, the hide of an Animal, Fish or Reptile that has been treated and tanned allowing it to last a long long time if looked after.
Ok, so now you understand what 100% Leather is, but you also need to know that Leather is not always Quality Leather.
There is leather out there that will not last anywhere as long as other leather. As I mentioned earlier, some countries, use suspect Tanning practices that result in damaging the leather and shorting its life, so it's important to ask Where does this Leather come from and then there is also poor-quality leather as a result of what actual part from the hide it comes from.
The drawing shows the various layers that make up a hide,
Full Grain is usually the best, it is the top layer and therefore shows variations in its looks and often has marks and scars on it from the animal
Then there is Top Grain which is also good but not quite as durable as Full Grain, it is often sanded and treated to provide a very uniform surface with very little or no variations and no scars or marks on it.
And then there is Suede because it has no Grain it has a very even somewhat fury finish to it and is very constant in its appearance and has no marks or scars as well, again this can often be good but it is not as durable and hard wearing as the other two.
Ok, that makes sense, but why is there often such different prices for leather goods that say they are 100% Genuine leather?
Apart from the Brand name and difference in labor costs, with todays modern technology, it is possible to take less durable sections of leather, i.e. Suede and treat it so it looks like it is, in fact, Full Grain leather, so much so that some of these less scrupulous Manufacturers are also even adding imperfections to make it look like Full Grain real deal leather.
This type of leather often has a very shiny almost plastic feel to it and is often thin, I see a lot of this type of leather on sale at Markets and Budget retail outlets.
Now before you start to condemn me for saying that all Leather goods sold at Markets are the cheap nasty leather, please note Than is not what I am saying, I know a lot of highly skilled people who only sell at various markets, but only deal with high-quality materials.
Of course there is so much more to this than what I have put here but my aim is to give you a high-level knowledge about Leather and what makes it high quality so that you can ask more questions when you see that cheap Leather belt or Jacket for sale at a flea market or warehouse department store next time.
As for myself, I only source the best quality Leather from reputable suppliers for all my goods, I have been doing Leather work for over 20 years and love what I do and I want you to love what I do as well and I know that you can't if I send you something that does not last.