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All You Need To Know About Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is the most widely used and misunderstood term in the leather industry. You will find leather products labelled as genuine leather all around the world. These products are relatively inexpensive and enough to lure people into buying them. Customers perceive these products as an exceptional quality, which is rarely the case, and they purchase faux leather in the name of genuine leather. 

We have gathered our knowledge on this tricky topic to increase your awareness about this type of leather.

What Is Genuine Leather?

Two definitions of genuine leather are widely accepted worldwide. First, it can be used for any leather that contains mere traces of animal skin. The vagueness of this definition makes it harder for customers to pick the right leather product. For instance, if you buy leather messenger bags labelled as genuine leather, you might get them at a low price, but there is no insight into the quality you can get from this label. It could be made from scraps and won’t offer you durability.

Another definition for this type of leather in recent years is that it is a byword for split leather or corrected-grain leather. Split leather is the cheapest leather available irrespective of the animal it comes from, it has the worst possible cuts, and it’s not the quality one would want to invest in because of the inferior quality.

Characteristics Of Genuine Leather

Genuine leather lags far behind full and top grain leather, and it is fair to assume that it is made from split leather, which is the cheapest quality of leather and it affects durability. The outer layer of real leather is strongest because it protects the animals from predators and fences in the wild. This is why leather is a resilient material and puts up a good fight with the external environment, but it is not the case with split leather.

Genuine leather is usually sourced from the hide’s inner section, which is not as tightly fibre structured as top and full-grain leather. This affects the material’s robustness, and bags made of genuine leather can hardly last 1 to 3 years with care. However, leather made from higher grades can last a lifetime.

Genuine leather lacks reliance and flexibility, and tanners can temporarily cover these issues with chemicals, but stretch marks are bound to develop over time, and the quality declines further.

Uses Of Genuine Leather

The increasing demand for low-cost leather products has been increasing globally, and the production of low-quality leather is increasing. Manufacturers favour genuine leather because it is cost-effective and adaptable material. They can get a full-grain leather-looking appearance with chemicals, treatments, dye, and embossing. Customers are bent on these products when they want to ace the classic high-street fashion without investing in premium leather goods. Split leather is also used for lining, coverings, and upholstery and is further divided into layers after the initial splitting. It is thin compared to real leather; hence, more versatile and easy to carry.

How To Differentiate Between Real And Faux Leather?


The first difference between real and faux leather is the label on the product. If the label doesn’t specify which leather is used in the process, it is likely faux leather. Do not buy a product labelled with something as vague as genuine leather.


Leather does not look perfect. The texture’s imperfections prove that it is made from natural animal skin; it will contain wrinkles and diversity in grains. If the product is flawless, it is faux.

The smell test

Smell the leather to check if it has any chemical smells. Real leather smells natural, and if you are unsure what that means, you can visit a store that you know sells real leather and smell their products to see the smell of real leather.

Uneven edges

Check the edges of your leather bag. Faux leather has even, perfect edges, whereas real leather has rough and uneven edges.

If you want to buy genuine leather messenger bags or other leather goods, visit Obi Pelle and check out our professionally crafted leather bags, wallets, and accessories. You can also get your bag customised by our experienced artisans as per your liking.

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