Is Bonded Leather Real Leather?

bonded leather

Bonded leather, is known as reconstituted leather or blended leather, is a synthetic upholstery material made from animal hide.

 Bonded leather has a layered structure with a fiber or paper backer, shredded leather fibers mixed with polyurethane binder or natural rubber, and a leather-like texture embossed on it.

Now the question is, is the bonded leather real Leather?

Bonded leather is not real leather, although it has real leather in it.

Bonded leather advantages

  • Ecologically friendly-reuses unused leather, reducing the need for additional farming and resource use.
  • Product consistency – there are no natural flaws and little variation from batch to batch.
  • Cutting yield is high, resulting in cost savings and waste reduction.


  • Repair or reconditioning after wear and damage is difficult or impossible.
  • Plasticizers and other chemicals “sweat” out of poorly formulated materials.
  • Genuine leather is usually more durable.

Differences between real leather and bonded leather

Check the label

Real leather: Real leather seems obvious, but check the tags or labels. If it’s genuine leather, it’ll openly mention it. You’re on the correct track if you notice terms like “100% leather,” “genuine leather,” “top grain leather,” or “full-grain leather.”

Bonded leather: If the material isn’t mentioned on the label, it’s most likely bonded leather (or even faux leather, which is synthetic).

  • Full-grain or top-grain leather, as well as genuine leather, are always proudly mentioned in the tags. Check the price tag as well. We all love a good deal, but high-quality leather, particularly full-grain leather, is far more expensive to work with than bonded leather, so if the price sounds good have more chances of real leather.


  • Look at the surface of the leather to see if it’s genuine. Real leather is a natural product created from the skin of an animal. Its surface structure will have faults and blemishes and will not be fully uniform. Therefore flaws are the good indicator of real leather.
  • Full-grain leather is the best quality of leather. It includes the full thickness of the skin and is not sanded to remove natural marks.
  • Top grain leather is a split layer that has been sanded and given a finish coat to hide flwas better than full-grain leather.
  • Real leather is made from the scraps left behind after the top layers of top grain leather have been split off. Genuine leather (also known as corrected grain leather) has an artificial grain pattern put on the surface, making it more uniform in look and making it harder to distinguish from bonded leather.


  • Genuine Leather Is Longer-Lasting more than Bonded Leather.
  • The distinction between genuine and bonded leather is like night and day.
  • Genuine top grain leather is 4x more durable than other textiles and is scratch resistant.
  • Bonded leather damages over time, and parts of the “leather” will brush away.
  • Furniture of the genuine leather is the way to go if you want to make a long-term investment.
  • Bonded leather, on the other hand, continues to hold a good position in the market.


  • Bonded leather is less expensive than genuine leather.
  • Bonded leather have same appearance of genuine leather at a fraction of the cost.
  • Because genuine leather comprises a higher percentage of real leather, its material price are substantially more than bonded leather.
  • Genuine leather is 100% leather.
  • Bonded leather is made up of 5-10% leather.
  • Buying bonded leather furniture will save hundreds of dollars.
  • Saving money and purchasing genuine leather furniture will prove to be a better long-term investment in a long time.


Real leather: If you’ve ever smelt real leather, you’ll know it has a distinct “leathery” scent – it has a natural, organic skin scent that can’t be replicated.

Bonded leather: There is no way to copy the scent of genuine leather. Bonded leather will have varying degrees of a plastic chemical smell because it’s merely the pulp of leather scraps mixed with chemicals (if any odor at all).

Buying guidelines for leather

  • Make sure you understand what you’re buying, as with any investment.
  • If the type of leather isn’t marked on the product, inquire with the salesperson.
  • If you have any questions, go to the manufacturer’s website. Contact their customer service department.
  • If no one seems to know what kind of leather is being used, it’s probably of poor quality.
  • If you insist on good quality, you’ll be rewarded with a product that you’ll be able to enjoy for years and then pass on to a family member.
  • We’ve seen far too many bags given up, often fast. A bag should be able to withstand the test of time and tell stories of adventures and travel.

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