What is Flaking Leather?

Leather Jacket Front Flaking

Leather Jacket Front Flaking


Flaking Leather is where the surface coating on the leather is flaking off and breaking down, this is a very common fact with items like bonded leather or by cast leather.

This happens because they are not genuine leathers and have a surface coating that’s normally like a plastic embossed finish to represent grain in leather.

Flaking leather can be a daunting thing to happen to your expensive leather items, this happens when people are sold items that they believe to be genuine leather and they are in fact fake leather.

Flaking Leather Cushion Top

Leather Cushion Top Area Damaged


Not all fake leather flakes like in some of these pictures. Peeling of the surface coating is more common on bi cast leather.

Some cars have flaking interiors and so do some furniture in some of these cases it’s caused by the use of crosslinkers being added to colours and clear top coats to make them harder wearing, it’s very common on lighter coloured leathers, they add in crosslinkers to make them harder wearing to help stop stains happening but it brings its own problems with it as the leather coating can become brittle, crack and flake off.

Flaking leather does not happen to just leather chairs or furniture more and more leather jackets are coming out that people believe are full leather and are in fact fake leathers. Boss do a lot of leather jackets that are a polyester material with a plastic coating that’s embossed with a grain that represents lamb leather or goat skin.

Leather Jacket Back

Leather Jacket Back Surface Coming Off

Flaking leather on fake materials is impossible to repair like a pigmented leather can be repaired.

Repairing this type of damaged leather is never as successful as other types of natural leather as once it has started to flake it means the embossed grain pattern has been removed as well, replicating the grain pattern is impossible on such large areas, all you can do in these instances is to sand the areas down, apply a fibre binder and fillers and colour, it’s going to be better than before but you will be left with a noticeable repair.

On pigmented leather that’s had crosslinkers applied this is much easier as your not removing the grain just the coloured pigmented paint that sits on the surface of the genuine leather.

Signs of leather breaking down are shown in the below pictures.

Leather Fake Leather Chair Base

Flaking Chair Base

Flaking Leather Cushion

Leather Cushion Breaking Down

Leather Cushion Fronts

Flaking Leather Cushion Fronts

in Leather Tags: bi cast leatherbonded leatherfaux leatherflaking leather