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Why "Genuine Leather" Sucks

Why "Genuine Leather" Sucks

Ryan Huron -

Genuine Leather is a Good Thing... Right?

"Genuine Leather" has always been touted as a high-quality material used for making furniture, clothing, and accessories. However, the truth is far less glamorous. It turns out that genuine leather is not as high-quality as it's often made out to be. In fact, genuine leather is often the lowest quality form of leather available, and its marketing as a premium product is often misleading.

Where Does it Come From?

To understand why genuine leather is not a high-quality material, it's important to first understand what it actually is. Genuine leather is made from the lowest layer of animal hides, also known as the split layer. This layer is typically thinner and less durable than the upper layer, which is used to make higher-quality leather products like full-grain and top-grain leather. To compensate for the lower quality of the split layer, manufacturers often treat genuine leather with artificial coatings, such as polyurethane, to make it look and feel like higher-quality leather.

The problem with these coatings is that they mask the natural texture and grain of the leather, making it look uniform and plastic-like. Over time, they can crack and peel, leaving the leather looking worn and cheap. Additionally, because genuine leather is made from a lower-quality layer of the hide, it is more prone to stretching, warping, and cracking than higher-quality leather types.

It's a Marketing Tactic

Another issue with genuine leather is that it is often marketed as a premium product, leading consumers to believe that they are getting a high-quality item. However, because genuine leather is made from the split layer, it is actually one of the most common and inexpensive forms of leather available. While it may be cheaper than full-grain or top-grain leather, it is also less durable and less likely to last as long.

It Can Get Worse?

To add to the confusion, some companies use misleading terms to market their products as genuine leather. For example, "bonded leather" is a term used to describe a material made from leftover leather scraps that have been glued together and coated with a layer of polyurethane.

While technically made from leather, bonded leather is a far cry from the high-quality material that many consumers expect when they hear the term "genuine leather," but companies will still use the term "genuine" to describe a lower quality leather product. For instance, "genuine bonded leather" can be used to describe cheap bonded leather, but by inserting the word "genuine" you confuse the purchaser as to the quality of the product.

Invest in the Best

So while genuine leather may sound like a high-quality material, it is actually the lowest quality form of leather available. Its marketing as a premium product is entirely misleading, and its durability and longevity are inferior to higher-quality leather types like full-grain and top-grain leather. At Bullstrap, every leather product we produce will exclusively use either full-grain or top-grain leathers depending on the type of product and what fits best. If you want to learn more about why we use different types for different products, check out this article here. Otherwise, feel free to check out our store and get yourself some proper leather.