If you want to shop from reputable vendors, like the ones I tend to link to here, your life is simple. But what if you stumble upon a great piece at a stall, thrift store or a small shop and don’t know whether it’s real leather, fur or silk? That’s why I am gonna now start a small mini-series about telling the real stuff from the fake substance. And now, here’s episode 1: The Leather Menace!
Leather is the best choice for fashionable outerwear, from winter jackets wholesale and coats to accessories like hats, handbags, belts or gloves. But today many synthetic materials are available on the market, sometimes even with manufacturers claiming them to be “genuine leather”. Sometimes, for instance, you can have a fake leather handbag with a thin leather strap – which allows them to legally market them as “genuine leather”. More and more producers and wholesalers deceive customers this way. If you find yourself shopping for top quality leather products often, you need to learn how to distinguish genuine leather for synthetic materials!
If the label on the product says “manmade”, “artificial”, “synthetic”, the manufacturers are at least honest. But if the label doesn’t say anything at all… many manufacturers want to hide the fact that it’s not real leather. Look at the tags for phrases like “real leather”, “genuine leather”, “grain leather”, or even “animal products”, especially when buying it in used goods store.
Speaking of grain, you need to carefully check the little “pebbles” and pores. Synthetic leather is plastic, it is usually smooth and level – while real leather is made from animal skin, and thus each piece is unique, just like animals are. If you notice patterns in grain, regularities, this means that it’s probably artificial – since newest technologies allow manufacturers to mimic leather more effectively. Of course, this method works when you’re able to watch it in person, and buying things online isn’t easy. Real leather might have scratches, creases, and wrinkles – that’s what you should pay attention to on the photos.
If you can watch the objects in person, press into the leather. Real leather will wrinkle, just like your skin does, while synthetics usually just depress under the pressure, but retain their rigidity.If you bend the leather, it will change the color slightly – while faux leather is more rigid and regular, tougher to bend. And of course you can and should smell the leather – leather is skin and it should smell organic, while plastics smell like plastic.
And when in doubt, set it on fire! Seriously though, this should be your last resort – but faux leather is more flammable while real leather burns only when conserved.
This might seem extreme, but one of the reasons I’m writing this text is to warn you, my dear readers – always buy clothes from a reputable supplier of winter jackets wholesale and if possible, examine it carefully before buying.