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Leather

Bonded leather started showing up at furniture retailers in 2007. Bonded leather is a plastic material (generally polyurethane or vinyl), backed with fabric and then a layer of latex mixed with a small percentage of leather fibers glued to underside of the material. (Photos below) The actual leather content of bonded leather is minimal, what is more important is that the leather portion is glued only to the surface of the material and that is to the underside of the material not to the upper side. In reality, a person sitting on bonded leather is not sitting on leather at all, only plastic. And unlike genuine leather, the ground up hide and plastic will never acclimate to your body temperature or get better with age.

 

A number of people have been asking what good the ground up leather does to bonded leather. Not a single answer has come out yet. It looks the only logical guess is to 'mislead' people into believing it is a real leather or a kind of leather.

 

In the home furnishings industry there is much debate and controversy over the ethics of using the term "bonded leather" to describe a vinyl upholstery product. Dr. Nick Cory of the Leather Research Laboratory said that calling this product 'leather' is "outright deception, outright fraud". "It's not leather.... It's a synthetic that has leather fibers glued to the underside."

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                       Underside View                                                                         Upper side View

 

Bonded leather is unfortunately used all too often in misleading salesmanship as retailers may try to pass off bonded leather as the real thing in order to artificially inflate the perceived value of the product.. In fact majority of customers purchase bonded leather furniture believing it is a real leather.

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If you surf the internet you can easily find some complaints about people buying "bonded leather" couches and chairs, here is an example.

 

"I bought 3 piece leather sofas [chair, lover seat, and 3 seat sofa] from  xxx on February 09, 2008 at the following location xxxx. I am very disappointed that the product just does not match up to the claims made by The xxx's salesman. It has been less than 3 years and already the leather changed colour as a snake skin and started to peel off like in the following photos.

The interesting point to note is that at home there is no child. All 3 adults living. Imagine this leather sofa used in a 2 children house. This would have been ripped in 1 year. Right now the leather from the seat ripped off on the 3 seat sofa like in the following photos.


                                                                                                                             

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First it ripped along the stitches. As we sit more on it, it started to make it path.

When we tried to have them repaired, a repairman with 25 years of experience  said, "After its torn you can't fix it, and will have to reupholster it againit may not be worth fixing a bonded leather sofa."Whatever you can do is minor and temporary, because you'll continue to sit on it and it'll always be a problem.

 

Plenty of consumers are attracted to the lower cost of a bonded leather couch Many are sadly surprised when they realize the true difference between bonded and genuine leather is its durability, and plenty of retailers leave this important detail out just to close the sale. Stay away from bonded and bi-cast leather!! There is a reason why they are much cheaper than real leather.

                                                                                                                             -Updated Feb. 8, 2013

List of Articles
Subject Date

8. Faux leather image

  • Feb 06, 2013

‘Faux’ means ‘fake’ in French. Faux leather is a fabric that looks like leather, but is actually made out of other materials. It does not contain any, not even 0.0001% of leather at all and still...

7. Bi-cast leather

  • Feb 06, 2013

Bi-cast products have the visual aesthetics of expensive, natural top-grain leather, but at substantially less cost, so it appears very attractive to the unsuspecting consumer. With natural leather, the stre...

6. Bonded leather image

  • Feb 06, 2013

Bonded leather started showing up at furniture retailers in 2007. Bonded leather is a plastic material (generally polyurethane or vinyl), backed with fabric and then a layer of latex mixed with a smal...

5. Synthetic Leather

  • Feb 06, 2013

From early in the 20th century there has been a consistent attempt to produce a leather ‘substitute’. The main motivation is cost cutting. To cut costs and present the consumer a leather product at...

4. Aniline dyed leather vs Pigmented leather

  • Jan 25, 2013

All the leathers(Full Grain and Corrected Grain) are first dyed via immersion in an aniline dye solution. Through this process aniline dye particles penetrate into the leather, accentuating the ...

3. Full Grain Leather vs Corrected Grain Leather

  • Jan 23, 2013

* Full Grain Leather Every Top Grain Leather has some kinds of markings such as scars, insect bites, wrinkles, veining which are natural characteristics of genuine leather. If there are few blemishes in...

2. Top Grain Leather vs Split Leather

  • Jan 23, 2013

All leather hides have to be split because a hide is too thick to upholster or use in any type of manufacturing. The hide goes into a machine where a blade 'splits' the hide into two layers. The...

1. Definition of Leather

  • Jan 16, 2013

Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides(skins of large animals). Although we can process the skins and hides of the horse, pig, kangaroo, sheep, goat, deer, reptile, seal and even th...

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