What is bonded leather? Is it real leather? How to care for it?

bonded leather

Bonded leather is known as reconstituted or blended leather, and is made from leather pieces that remain. Hence, bonded leather contains animal hides.

Manufacturing of bonded leather

Bonded leather is manufactured by shredding scraps of leather and then mixing them with bonding materials. After that, this mixture is extruded onto a paper backing or a cloth. Finally, its surface is embossed with the texture or grain of leather to make it look like genuine leather.

The appearance of the bonded leather

Bonded leather looks like real leather at first sight. Bonded leather is thin to the touch and has less softness as compared to real leather. Unlike real leather, it gives off a chemical smell.

Uses of bonded leather

There are many uses for bonded leather, such as being used in the manufacturing of upholstery, bookbinding, making shoe components, belts, handbags, and others. Delicate paper-backed bonded leather can also be used to cover diaries, books, and other desk appliances.

The durability of bonded leather

It is less durable than genuine leather because of the shredding process. If you want to increase the lifespan of your bonded leather items, you should take care of them.

Pros of bonded leather

  1. It is a cost-effective option to reduce waste.
  2. Bonded leather is formed by remnants, which is why it does not require more farming.
  3. product consistency.
  4. eco-friendly.

Cons of bonded leather

  1. It is less durable and has a shorter lifespan than genuine leather.
  2. Bonded leather is difficult to repair.
  3. color damage due to sunlight.
  4. It is difficult to clean, as some cleaners are not appropriate for it.
  5. Peel it off over time.

Is Bonded Leather Real Leather?

Furniture, car seats, other products, and many other items all utilize bonded leather more and more frequently. 10% to 20% of bonded leather, commonly known as fake or composite leather, is made of genuine leather. Real leather scraps are combined to create composite leather, which is attached to a piece of the paper backing.

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 a 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 flaws 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 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 has the same appearance as genuine leather at a fraction of the cost.
  • Because genuine leather comprises a higher percentage of real leather, its material price is 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.

How to care for bonded leather?

Bonded leather require care and maintenance because of the following reasons:

  • Bonded leather starts peeling over time.
  • The color of bonded leather will be damaged.
  • Bonded leather has less durability than real leather.
  • Some cleaners are not appropriate for the cleaning of bonded leather.
  • Bonded leather can release chemicals over time that were used to bond the fibers.

Cleaning bonded leather

Material required

  1. soft, clean, and damp cloth.
  2. Leather conditioner.


  1. Before you start cleaning, you need to make sure that your cleaner is not harsh. Harsh cleaners can strip the clear coating of the material.
  2. Use a clean, damp, and soft cloth to wipe away any dirt from leather items. With a cloth, remove all debris, oil, and moisture from the leather.
  3. Then allow it to dry naturally.
  4. Take a good quality leather conditioner and apply it to it to prevent damage.

Care and maintenance of bonded leather to prevent damage

Clean bond leather regularly.

Cleaning of bonded leather can be done with the use of a damp cloth twice a week. You can also use a soft brush to clean your furniture.

Keep your leather away from the sun.

Placing bonded leather in sunlight is a common mistake. Sunlight can fade the color of bonded leather as well as cause cracks.

Avoid products that are not suitable for leather.

People use different products to clean their leather, but it is not a good idea. Many ingredients are not suitable for cleaning leather because they can cause drying and discoloration. People use various harsh detergents to clean their leather, and this causes damage.

Use a good leather conditioner.

An efficient way to maintain your leather is through the use of a leather conditioner. To preserve your leather for a longer time, you should apply the leather conditioner at least a few times a month. When buying a leather conditioner, make sure it is appropriate for your leather type.

Keep your bonded leather away from heat sources.

Heaters, stoves, radiators, and other heating sources can cause drying and can damage your leather. So make sure that your furniture is at least 15 inches away from these types of things.

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