What is leather? What are its types and characteristics? Are there differences between fake and real leather? These are some of the commonly asked questions regarding this material. Here, we will answer all these queries and clear your doubts regarding the same.
Leather is a durable, flexible textile from the skins of animals. It is used to make various articles such as clothing, bags, shoes, jackets, car seats, interior designs, etc. There are many types of leather but we will discuss two common ones- genuine and cheap imitation leathers.
Table of Contents
What is leather?
Leather is a durable, flexible textile made of tanned skin. Typically, it is made by the process of tanning. Tanning is the process to produce leather which involves treating animal hides or skin.
Though leather is mostly made from the skins of animals, it can be produced from vegetable materials too. The leather is made by first removing the outer layer of the skin (epidermis), then soaking it in water and next putting it under pressure, that is, turning it into leather.
The dew that is present in herbs and trees is also used to create leather. Nowadays, artificial leathers are also being made which are made of different synthetic materials.
Characteristics or properties of leather
There are many unique qualities of this material. Let us discuss these in a little detail. The following are the characteristics of leather:
- Adhesive friendliness
Leather is a highly adhesive-friendly material; this quality makes it suitable for use in making shoes, bags, belts, and so on. The reason it works so well with adhesive is that it is made up of proteins and fats that are similar to the properties of human skin. This substance is resistant to heat and cold and thus it remains stable in all seasons.
This is the most important characteristic of leather. It is due to which leathers are used to make bags, shoes, furniture, musical instruments, belts, clothing, suitcases, etc. This is the reason why leather is used in the manufacturing of car seats and seats in airplanes. Due to its durability, it can be used over and over again.
- Easily mouldable
Leather is pliable, and soft and has the ability to be easily molded into any shape. So, it is used in making shoes, purses, bags, jackets, etc. Leather is also used in making car seats and seats in airplanes due to its ability to be easily molded.
The leather is elastic and can be stretched and contracted. This property is used to make shoes, belts, bags and many more
- Oil Resistance
Leather does not easily tear and split when oiled. Due to this property, it is used in making upholstery and car seats.
- Water Resistance
As the name suggests, leather is resistant to water; this property makes it suitable for use in making shoes, bags, car seats and so on.
- Fire Resistance
Leather does not burn easily; this quality makes it ideal for use in making upholstery, shoes, furniture, car seats and many more.
- Wind Resistance
The leather is windproof and protects the product made of it from the wind. This quality makes it ideal for use in making upholstery, shoes, furniture, car seats and many more.
Types of Leather
Types of leather include:
- Full Grain leather
Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather available. It is made from the top layer of the hide and has not been sanded or buffed to remove imperfections. Full grain leather is durable and will develop a patina over time.
- Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is the highest quality leather that can be used for furniture. It is made from the top layer of the hide and has a natural grain surface. The grain surface is what gives the leather its unique look and feel.
- Nubuck Leather
Nubuck leather is top-grain cattle leather that has been sanded or buffed on the outer surface to give it a velvety nap. It is strong and durable, yet soft and flexible.
A suede is a type of leather that has been buffed or sanded to create a velvety nap. It is often used for clothing, upholstery, and other textile applications.
- Faux or synthetic leather
Faux or synthetic leather is a material that is made to look like leather but is not actually made from animal skin. It is usually made from a plastic or fabric base, and then has a coating applied to it that gives it the appearance of leather.
What is genuine leather?
Genuine leather is natural leather. It is made from the skins of the animals and the finishing is done using the natural oils from the animal. Due to the natural nature of genuine leathers, they have a unique and attractive look. Genuine leathers are not only more expensive but also more natural.
What is fake leather?
Fake leather is a synthetic material that is used to make fake leather. This type of leather is produced in various colors and designs. The finishing is done with chemicals and the color is not natural. The colors of these leathers are due to the dyes and are not natural. The fake leathers are also not made of the skins of the animals as they are produced using synthetic materials.
Difference Between Genuine and Fake Leather
The difference between genuine and fake leather cannot be clearly explained in one sentence. So, let us discuss the difference between the two. Fake leathers are imitation leathers made from synthetic materials.
According to an analyst from Poprey.uk, “Due to the low costs, fake leathers are widely used in the market. They are available in a very wide variety of colors and designs. The quality of fake leather is not good. Due to their poor quality, they may tear or crack easily. The fading is frequent too. The shine of fake leather gets dull over time. Due to these reasons, it is advised to only use genuine leather.”
Leather is a durable, flexible textile from the skins of animals. It is used to make various articles such as clothing, bags, shoes, jackets, car seats, interior designs, etc. It is a durable material that is used to make shoes and bags. Due to its natural color and touch, genuine leather is referred to as real leather. It is produced from the skins of animals. Imitation leather is a synthetic material that is used to make fake leather. They are produced in various colors and designs. The finishing is done with chemicals and the colors are not natural. Real leather is the natural material of leather. It is produced from the skins of animals. Imitation leather is a synthetic material that is used to make fake leather.