Fun Furniture Facts: Genuine Leather vs Bonded Leather

There’s nothing quite like genuine leather. The aroma, the buttery feel and the warmth.
But in the market saturated with faux leathers, bonded leathers and other low-priced alternatives, it is difficult to find a real thing, especially when many of these lower-cost alternatives offer some of the attributes of real leather, including its sleek look and soft hand.
So, why is genuine leather is surging in popularity? A realization that there really is a difference in comfort and character? A desire to make a long-term investment? An unexpressed desire to upgrade living space? All of that, plus one more thing – Genuine Leather is a luxury choice, but it’s no longer out of reach.
For example, the Baron Sectional Collection by Leather Italia USA is available at FurnitureCart and offers fine furnishings in top grain leather upholstery and features 100% Top Grain Italian Leather on front, sides, and backs.

Baron by Leather ItaliaBonded Leather has grown in popularity since its introduction in 2007. It is a material made by combining scraps of leather with synthetic fibers, colored and textured similar to the process for Bycast Leather, which is made from an inferior grade hide or the bottom part of the leather after the top-grain has been removed. Bonded Leather process means it is full width material with good yield and consistency, not limited to the hide size and shape. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and is more supple than Bycast. To be marketed as Bonded Leather in the US, it needs to contain more than 50% dry leather. Some other countries, like Australia, do not allow Bonded Leather to be called Leather at all, considering it a synthetic product.
One of the lower-cost alternatives similar to bonded leather is DuraBlend trademark by Ashley Furniture. DuraBlend consist of 57% polyurethane, 26% poly cotton and 17% minimum leather shavings.
For instance, Windmaster DuraBlend Collection by Signature Design by Ashley Furniture.

Windmaster by Ashley

The difference between Bonded Leather and Genuine Leather, in terms of quality and look, can be hard to see once a product is upholstered, but still recognizable. Below are some differences:

 

Bonded Leather   Genuine Leather
Look of Leather

Surprisingly similar to leather in look and feel.

No need to wander…it is real leather!

Lowest Price

About 35% less than Genuine Leather.

Arguably higher-priced, but typically considered the better value for its investment quality and durability.

Recycled Content

Leather scraps from factories and tanneries with synthetic materials are used.

Non recycled, though hides are largely  a by-product of the food industry.

Cleaning

Easy to clean with a damp cloth. More resistant to stains and pet hair than fabric.

Easy to clean with a damp cloth. More resistant to stains and pet hair than fabric.

Comfort

Feels more like vinyl – not as supple and not able to adjust to your body temperature.

Warmer to the touch. It contains natural pores that breath, adapting to your body temperature and creating deeper, more resilient seating.

Character

Lacks the unique animal markings or distinctive characteristic of leather, including its aroma.

Improves with age, developing more patina and suppleness over time. Plus, there’s that leather aroma!

Durability

Easier to puncture. Over time, more prone to cracking or showing wear.

Very durable surface, which is not easy to puncture. Wear and tear is less likely to show, and becomes part of leather’s character.

Repair

Not easy to repair.

Scratches may appear, but they’re accepted as part of the natural look of leather.

 

With help from Ashley Furniture and Furninfo.com

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