Usually found on the inside of a leather product, the quality could be labeled as full-grain leather, top-grain leather, or genuine leather. Many who are not familiar with the established fashion jargon, often mistaken genuine leather for quality leather, translating it to mean its literal meaning. But what exactly is genuine leather? Is it worth buying at all? This article would explain what exactly genuine leather is, how its made, the advantages and disadvantages of genuine leather and if it’s worth buying.
Genuine LeatherAccording to the dictionary definition, genuine means anything real, authentic, unfeigned, original, and unadulterated. No wonder people might be fooled into thinking they’re going for a quality product. Unfortunately, many brands use this to their advantage, selling an inferior product for a very high price because it’s labeled genuine. So what exactly is genuine leather?
When it comes to leather products, you need to know and understand the different grades of leather. The quality of the leather is divided into four different grades: Full-grain leather, Top-grain leather, Genuine leather which is also known as corrected-grain leather, and Bonded leather. Even though the grades of leather could differ based on quality, durability, and price, the first three leather grades are technically genuine leather, meaning they’re real leather. Compared to full-grain and top-grain leather, genuine leather is an inferior product. Genuine leather is several layers of lower quality leather bonded together and painted to look like better quality leather.
How is Genuine Leather Made?The ability for a hide to be divided into different layers all depends on the thickness of the hide. Genuine leather comes from the intermediate layers, between top-grain and suede. Genuine leather is gotten after the top-grain layer of the hide has been taken off.
Although other leathers can be processed to varying degrees, genuine leathers undergo heavier treatments. Genuine leather at times could be coated with polyurethane and embossed with artificial grains or even spray painted to create different leather optics just to have an illusion of quality leather.
Quality of Genuine LeatherYou don’t have to worry about buying fake leather when you buy genuine leather. It’s just not the full-grain or top-grain leather you’re buying. Although the quality of genuine leather cannot be compared to that of full-grain or top-grain leather, it is leather nonetheless.
While it could have a deceiving look of high-quality leather, genuine leather isn’t as durable as other high-end leathers. So it would not stand up to ongoing tear and wear and would wear out in a matter of time.
Genuine leather can be used for a wide selection of products ranging from handbags, backpacks, briefcases, belts, shoes, and jackets.
AdvantagesShopping for genuine leather has its peak. Here are some advantages of genuine leather.
- Genuine leathers are not only cheap, but they also look and feel like real leather. So if you don’t want to invest in a high-end leather product, but still have that beautiful and unique look, then genuine leather would be a good alternative.
- Even though genuine leather might not last for a very long time, it’s quite easy to maintain. With proper care, you can prolong the life of the leather to last for several years. And in cases of wear, it’s easy to repair too.
- Compared to high-end quality leather, genuine leather isn’t quite durable. With time, the leather would begin to stretch and its once good look would start to deteriorate.
- Unlike other quality leathers that can adjust to body temperature, genuine leathers do not. During warmer weather, the leather would make you feel very hot and a bit sweaty.
- Genuine leather could pass out as high-quality leather, because of its name and looks thereby making unscrupulous vendors fool people into paying very high prices for it.
How to Care for a Genuine Leather?Granted, genuine leather is not as durable as other leathers, but proper measures can be taken to help extend its life and still look great. So to ensure that your genuine leather lasts for a very long period, you do need to make sure you care for it properly. Here are some tips to make sure that genuine leather stands the test of time.
- Cleaning your leather is key to maintaining the life of your leather. So make sure to clean your genuine leather regularly. Always remember to use a damp cloth and avoid immersing your leather in the water when cleaning.
- Remember that leather tends to stretch, so avoid putting heavy things in your genuine leather products like bags, so as not to stretch out the leather.
- Always store your genuine leather products properly to avoid dirt and dust from staining the surface.
- Leather polish is recommended to ensure your leather looks good. Remember to always spot test the polish in an inconspicuous part of your genuine leather product before using it.
- Remember to condition your leather regularly as this helps to protect and preserve the life span of your genuine leather.
- Leather doesn’t do well with heat and genuine leather is no exception. Make sure to keep away from any source of artificial heat. And always keep away from direct sunlight, as this could cause the leather to crack.