Genuine leather goods are beautiful and last for a lifetime. Leather is in high demand because of the various products that are made from it. You might be in a fix when it comes to choosing the right leather products. To make it easier for you, here are the most important questions you need to ask yourself before buying leather.
How Does It Look and Feel?
Real leather will not have symmetrical lines, and they will bend easily. If the leather you are looking at is stiff and oily, it is not genuine. Fake leather may even crack when you bend it. Real leather will not be smooth to the touch like plastic. If water runs off the surface very easily, then it is probably faux leather made with synthetic materials.
Which Animal Hide Is Used?
The most expensive leather is taken from lambskin, which is the softest and used to make jackets. The most durable leather comes from cow skin. Calfskin leather is the most popular leather for shoes. The quality of leather products also depends on which part of the animal it is taken from.
What Type of Leather Is It?
The best type of leather is full-grain weather. Full-grain leather is the most natural form which has not been modified. It is resistant to moisture, tears and it lasts forever.
Top-grain leather is sanded down to remove the imperfections of the original hide. It is less expensive than full-grain and is used to make upholstery, and accessories.
Genuine leather is the part that is left-over from the top-grain and full-grain hides. These are inexpensive and can be made to look like good leather. Genuine leather does not last long.
Bonded leather is leather made by mixing the discarded pieces of leather. It is the weakest.
What Kind of Dye Is Used?
Vegetable dyeing is more natural, and chrome dyeing is more durable. Make sure to check with your merchant the type of dye that is used. If you are looking to buy leather belts, you would want to go for durable leather.
Is It Finished or Unfinished Leather?
If you prefer a more refined look, go for finished leather. If you want it to remain and look natural, choose unfinished leather. Unfinished leather is also called aniline leather. Aniline leather is supple and has a natural colour to it.
How Thick Is the Leather?
If you are buying leather shoes or boots, choose thick leather. Leather belts should use thick leather too. Other accessories can be made using thin leather.