Genuine Leather vs Synthetic Leather – How To Detect?

With the arrival of the rainy and cold season, we look for products that protect us from water and maintain our body temperature, which is why, year after year, we resort to leather for the reasons that we all know, as well as being always fashionable, but not Sometimes we know how to distinguish genuine leather from imitation or fake leather; Here are 6 keys to differentiate them.

Many times it has happened to us that when choosing a certain hand glove or footwear, we always stop to examine if this one is made of leather or imitation leather. However, some of us do not know how to recognize the difference between these two materials and we can only choose the design or color, in short, it is not always so easy to identify the difference between a genuine leather product and a synthetic leather product. And ordinary people find it difficult to distinguish whether a product is real leather or not … so, what is real leather and what is synthetic?

To begin, let’s comment in summary what each one is in itself:

Genuine Leather vs Synthetic Leather

Genuine Leather:

It is made of animal leather, through the tannery, and contemplates any animal that has enough leather to work the product, cow, ox leather, crocodile leather, ostrich, etc.

Leather is always preferred because of the quality it has and the benefits it offers such as:

  • Leather is a natural material.
  • The leather is an absorbent material, allows perspiration, and is porous, for this reason, it can be used in summer and winter.
  • Leather reduces irritations and the proliferation of fungi and bacteria, your feet will smell less if you wear leather shoes.
  • Leather shoes adapt and mold better to different foot shapes and that happens because the leather is more flexible and elastic than synthetic materials.
  • Leather resists rain and can be waterproofed.
  • In the winter, leather shoes keep the temperature of your feet.
  • Leather footwear can be changed if you wish.
  • Leather shoes are more durable and spoil less than synthetics, it is estimated that they can at least 4 years.

Synthetic leather:

Synthetic leather is man-made or artificial leather that looks like real leather, has a surface similar to the leather, is dyed and treated to look like real leather with its texture; Synthetic leather is often used as a substitute for real leather because it is less expensive and does not require killing animals to obtain leathers. What are the ways to identify the difference between them anyway?

Difference Between Synthetic and Genuine Leather

To avoid future confusion when choosing the type of leather, we will show you some methods that will help you to recognize and differentiate them:

Price: The genuine leather is usually more expensive and the reason is you have to go through many processes before reaching the final product as it is taken alive, salted, and preserved with chemicals animals and disinfecting for health certificates for being able to manufacture, import, export … as is to be expected, it takes more time and money and that is why it is more expensive.

Texture: Legitimate leather is recognized because it usually has a smooth and soft surface, as opposed to synthetic, which is usually rigid, in addition, if you spider some of it and do not return to its previous state, it means that it is not legitimate.

Genuine leather to the touch conveys warmth while the artificial leather gives the feeling of something cold, lifeless. In addition, leather has better elasticity than synthetic leather, because if we press the surface of the leather with our fingers we will notice small wrinkles that will disappear naturally, which does not happen with the leatherette.

Odor: The smell of a piece of clothing or leatherette is plastic and not characteristic as they do leather, which according to several people emits a natural smell, which would be difficult to explain but you surely know what we are talking about.

When Burning: Although it is impossible to make it in the store when burning the back fiber of the garment you can identify what kind of leather it is; In short, when burning, the synthetic leather has a smell of burnt plastic while the natural leather smells like burned hair because it is made of living beings.

Appearance: The legitimate leather can be recognized by being able to see the texture and pore of the leather, very different from synthetic leather. Turn the leather over, if possible, and notice if it presents suede or fuzz on the back. If they exist, then it is almost certainly real leather. We can’t do this if inside a bag, for example, the leather has a lining.


I am an Architect Engineer by profession with great interest in web and content creation. I have used leather products for a long time, which has increased my enthusiasm, knowledge, and understanding of leather. I am here to shed light on the leather and guide you on choosing the best leather products.

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