If you are in the market for a leather sofa, one of the first questions you have probably asked yourself is, how can you tell when leather furniture is upholstered with real genuine leather? If you have done your homework you will find that there are multitudinous ways that leather can be classified. There are also a number of terms that imply genuine leather, but in reality, refer to some type of synthetic material that looks and maybe even feel like leather. This brief article will provide 5 basic tips that will help you become better equipped to tell the difference from synthetic leather and the real thing.

Dispelling the Myth

Before moving forward there a couple of myths that need to be dispelled. First, the myth that you can simply tell genuine leather from synthetic by touch is not true; at least not in the simplest sense. The processes and materials used to make synthetic leather have come a long way over the years and the look and feel of these synthetics are very close to the authentic article. This doesn’t mean that touch and feel does not play a role in being able to determine whether the leather sectional that you are considering purchasing is real or not. It simply means don’t look for touch to be a primary indicator. Now, there some synthetics that are of such poor quality that you will be able to touch them and immediately tell. You don’t need the help of this article to figure that one out.
Second, don’t expect a salesman to be upfront with you in revealing whether an article is genuine leather or not. The leather furniture industry has developed some rather tricky terminology that infers that certain pieces of leather furniture is real leather when actually it is some form of synthetic leather or a mixture of leather and synthetic material.
This article is not an attack on synthetic leather; it serves its purpose in the right situation and under the right light. The thing is that when you are out looking to make a significant purchase for your home, whether it is a leather sofa or a leather recliner, you want to be able to know what you are spending your money on. Being able to distinguish between a synthetic leather sectional and the real thing is paramount in determining true value.

Leather Sofa
Below you will find 5 valuable tips that will help you distinguish between a real leather sofa and imitation leather furniture.

Read the tag

This may sound a little obvious, but it is the first thing that you should do. Many manufacturers, especially those that are reputable, will have the material and construction information on the tag. If it is a genuine leather chair, sofa, or recliner, it may be stated on the tag. The reason that it is a good idea to read the tag is the fact it is illegal to advertise or represent a product to be something it is not. Unless you are dealing with some very despicable dealers, that tag will be accurate. Obviously, this only works if the tag is on the sofa, and all manufacturers don’t verify article authenticity on the tag.

Observe the grain

Leather is a natural material; it should have a number of imperfections in its grain. The grain should not have any consistent or repetitive patterns in it. Look for the presence of natural scars.

Take the time to feel the leather

As mentioned earlier in this article, simply feeling the leather is not always enough to determine if the leather sofa you are looking at is made of real leather. Leather furniture does have a distinct feel. It all depends on how much the hide has been processed. If the animal hide has been embossed, it will not necessarily have a very genuine feel to it, but it is still considered genuine leather. This is why feel alone, doesn’t work. Real leather is pliable and supple. You should be able to press it down and feel it give some.
Check the backing to see if its cloth. Vinyl and other synthetic leathers are always backed with some form of cloth. One of the most simple ways to determine if you are dealing with real leather furniture is to check the backing. Examine the cut seams underneath the sofa. Do you detect animal hide or some form of cloth?

Smell the leather furniture

Leather has a very distinct smell that is impossible to imitate. Find some real leather samples to familiarize yourself with the smell. This way you will be able to recognize the smell of genuine leather.

When you are looking to buy a leather sofa or any other type of leather furniture you want to be sure that you are getting what you pay for. These tips will help you to be better prepared.