What is Artificial Leather?


Artificial leather is exactly that, it’s a material that’s been made to look like leather.

Due to leather being a costly item people produce products that imitate the genuine thing to try to fool people to believing they have a genuine leather item.

Artificial leathers are becoming very well made today compared to 50 years ago, they are so well made it’s becoming difficult even for the worlds finest experts to tell them apart.

An item that has more than 0.15mm thickness on the surface cannot be declared legally as leather as it contravenes the leather industry standards and regulations.

Once you know its easy to tell fake leathers from genuine leathers, the grain pattern is one of the easiest things to spot. On artificial leather the grain pattern that’s put in the fake material is very uniformed, it’s identical all over the surface of the material. When you look at a genuine leather item you can spot the difference at once, genuine leather has a random structure to it that’s not uniformed on the surface like artificial leather is.

In most cases artificial leathers have a material backing to them, but production is getting better and better, you can get artificial leathers with a fibre structure backing to them, this resembles leather even more, as genuine leather has a fibre backing to it, whereas the front to genuine leather is coated if it’s a pigmented leather or dyed if it’s an aniline leather with very natural grain structures and scars visible.

Having fake leather in some areas is more beneficial than genuine leather, for instance on boats, or speed boats and jet skis it would be impossible to use genuine leathers on these items due to the adverse weather and conditions they are put through.

The one thing artificial materials can’t do is breath like genuine leathers do, it can’t replicate the haptic values that genuine leather has, it doesn’t feel as warm on leather and it can’t be repaired as easily as leather. Genuine leather will naturally age and wear, whereas artificial leather will crack rather then wear.

Fake leather is used in almost all sectors today, even artificial leather is made from pineapple leaves.

Artificial materials never wears like genuine leather items, these car seats demonstrate what happens to fake leathers, they never tear like leather does and they crack against the grain, whereas genuine leather will split with the grain, not against it.


Artificial Leather Damaged Seat

Artificial Damaged Car Seat


Artificial Leather Car Seat

Artificial Car Seat

Genuine leather items will never crack the way these two seats have cracked above, they will not feel as warm, they often feel much colder, stiffer and have a plastic feel to them, they also stretch very easily when you pull the material.

A question we get asked a great deal is how do you tell if you have genuine leather? This video will help you to identify if you have genuine leather.


Genuine Leather Identification