How to choose good leather products– tips by Baltic-Domini

| | | Reviewed by: Rose Smith

Products made from leather are natural, rich and elegant. There are many synthetic materials of similar appearance that you can find on the market today. And the low prices are hard to not see. There are also products that are only partly made of leather, but are however labeled as “genuine leather” or “real leather”. These are ambiguous terms that marketers use to somewhat mislead consumers. If you are looking for a premium leather bag or any other leather product for which you are willing to pay quite a bit of money, you should follow these simple steps provided by to be able to distinguish fake leather from the real one.

Don’t say it’s leather, then it’s not

If it is labeled as “human-made”, or “handmade” or whatever else, it is most definitely synthetic leather. However, if there is no label at all, chances are good that the manufacturer wants to hide the fact that it is not real leather. Of course, used goods can lose their labels. However, most manufacturers pride themselves on using real leather and note this as follows:

  • Genuine leather;
  • Real leather;
  • Top or full-grain leather;
  • Animal product.

Press into the product’s surface, looking for wrinkles and imperfections

Any real leather product cannot have a perfectly smooth surface. And if it doesn’t, chances are you have real leather on your hands.

Real leather wrinkles, just like the real skin. Synthetic materials usually just slide under your finger, keeping you firm and in shape.

Smell it, looking for a natural rather than plastic-like smell

If you’re not entirely sure about what kind of smell to look for choosing a leather product, go to a store that you are certain about them selling real leather products and try smelling them. Ask if they have any synthetic products, and smell them as well. Once you become well-educated on the topic, you will not mistake real for fake leather.

Remember that skin is simply treated animal skin. Fake leather is made of plastic. It seems obvious, but for first-timers, it might be a bit confusing.


There are some situations where it is better to burn a product than to leave it be. Checking whether or not you were cheated while purchasing a leather product is one of them. This experiment is suitable if you have a small hard-to-see area that you can try on. It can be a spot such as the bottom of a couch, or even a bottom of a purse. Hold the flame in place for 5-10 seconds to test it:

  • Real leather will smell a bit like burnt hair and might darken very slightly.
  • Fake leather will actually ignite and smell like burning plastic. So be very careful!

Pay attention to the edges

Machine-made leather looks like cut by an actual machine. We mean sharp and very even edges. Genuine leather is made of numerous strands that tear naturally around the edges. So in short – too even edges, too fake of a leather.

Bend the leather

It will work on a smaller leather item like a wallet or a bag. Try bending a couch, it won’t happen. It’s similar to the “wrinkle test” as real skin has a unique elasticity when bent. It actually slightly changes color as being bent. Faux leather is much firmer and more rigid and thus will not bend as real leather does.

Drop a few drops of water on it

If the products are not of real leather, the water will just stay on top. However, real skin will absorb a small drop of water in seconds. That will tell you instantaneously the truth about the material the product was made of.

Watch out of leather goods that are cheap

A product made of real leather will be quite expensive. Amongst all leather types, the skin of a cow is the most expensive one due to its durability and tanning properties (we are not talking about crocodile leather, which is illegal). Split leather, which is the bottom layer split from the top layer is a lot cheaper than top grain or full grain leather.

So, if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Leather is expensive. Guest bloggers are welcome to write for us. Check this link for more info.

Don’t worry about different colors

Green leather purse may not look natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s not made from real leather. Colors and dyes can be added to both synthetic and genuine leather materials. So ignore the color and stick to the feel, smell and texture of the product to pick the right one at the store.


About Amy Smith

Amy, an award-winning journalist with a Master's in Journalism from Columbia University, has excelled for over twelve years, specializing in parenting, pregnancy, nursing, fashion, and health.

Her acclaimed blog, AmyandRose, demonstrates profound expertise shaped by her journey from pregnancy to nurturing a teenager and a toddler. Recognized by several parenting awards, Amy's work has been featured in top-tier health and lifestyle magazines, underscoring her authority in these fields.

Her contributions, grounded in evidence-based research and personal experience, provide invaluable, credible insights for parents navigating the complexities of modern child-rearing and personal well-being.

For Educational Purpose Only! For medical advice, consult your physician.

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