Looking for real leather but often disappointed with the faux you got? It can get quite frustrating when you pay good money for a leather bag or a pair or shoes only to realise later that they are synthetic.
There’s a world of fake leather or ‘pleather, out there and telling the difference has now become significantly tougher. We caught up with Helen Grisdale, owner and designer at Seran Ghetti to find out how to tell between the two and make sure you have invested in a good long-lasting piece.
1. If it says Man – Made, then it is just that
As you do with food, make it a point to read labels when you buy accessories too. If it says manmade material, it is unquestionably faux leather.
2. Surface grains should not be perfect
Check the surface grain on the leather item. If the pattern is even and perfect, that’s a red flag for a machine-made material. Real leather tells a story - it has wrinkles, scratches and imperfections.
3. Smell it. Yes really!
There’s bound to be a natural smell if it’s leather – unlike plastic or chemical smelling odour. Unsure of what leather smells like? Go home and smell the real leather bits you own.
4. Press and bend the leather
Real leather wrinkles like skin. Press into the material to check if gets wrinkled. Bending the leather also demonstrates elasticity, something that faux leather lacks.
5. Don’t be afraid if it’s coloured
Coloured leather is real. Colouring agents and dyes can be added to both real and synthetic leather so don’t make bright colours turn you off.
6. Ask questions
If it’s real leather, the shop or brand seller will be keen to talk about the history behind it. “For instance, the leather used by Seran Ghetti is ethically sourced. I absolutely love to get behind the story of our brand and how I make sure the right leather makes its way to my products” says Helen. If on the other hand, the seller isn’t keen to talk about it or seems unsure of the source of the product, go back to point 1!
Seran Ghetti is a Singapore based company specializing in beautiful, ethically obtained African animal hide products ranging from cushions, exotic floor coverings and unique tribal clutches. To shop their fabulous products, visit www.seranghetti.com