Differences Between Bonded and Genuine Leather

The differences between bonded leather and genuine leather

Leather is considered one of the best materials, especially when it comes to bags, furniture, clothes, shoes and accessories. It is one of the most durable materials, that is for sure. However, it comes with a price tag. To lower the cost, manufacturers have come up with alternatives which have leather in them, and look like real leather, but are they worth it? Since so many of us have troubles understanding the differences between real, genuine leather and some other types, such as bonded leather, let’s go into details and explain the real differences between bonded leather and genuine leather.

What Is Bonded Leather and How Is It Made?

The law allows for bonded leather to be called genuine or real leather at times. Scientifically speaking, this is true, because it is real leather (or at least it contains real leather). However, the quality is not even close to the real thing.

Most man-made materials come in long industrial sheets, but not leather. People who work with leather have to deal with natural shapes and sizes. Naturally, there is a lot of waste in this case. A lot of cutoffs and small pieces of hides get left behind. In order not to waste these leftovers, people have come up with bonded leather.

These scraps are made into bonded leather with the help of a special machine. Then, all of these small leather pieces are glued together with polyurethane, and that is what we call “bonded leather”.

Both, the look and the smell of bonded leather can be very real and convincing. A layman could easily mistake it for real, genuine leather. The fact that these products can be labeled as “real leather” isn’t helpful at all.

The quality is the main issue, as you would expect. Bonded leather is, in fact, a mixture of leather and glue which holds the leather pieces together. A leather-like texture is what you get, but not high-quality genuine leather. Even though it looks pretty real, you will probably be able to feel the difference. When your skin touches real leather, you get a comfortable and pleasant feeling. This is not the case with bonded leather, as it is a sort of plastic.

What is bonded leather?

Genuine Leather

Now, let’s talk a bit about the real thing – genuine leather. Real leather is durable and flexible, and it is created by tanning animal hides, mostly cattle hide. Various goods are made from leather, especially bags, clothes, shoes, and furniture. There are various types, styles, and decorative techniques.

The process of manufacturing leather is divided into three stages: preparation, tanning, and crusting. A surface coating is optional. Some types of leather require surface treatments, while others don’t. Tanning is extremely important, because it makes the leather flexible, and thus suitable for various uses. The aim of crusting is to thin, retan, and lubricate leather. Sometimes, coloring is included as well.

As you can see, manufacturing real, genuine leather is a complicated process, in comparison to the making of bonded leather. Consequently, the quality is incomparable. Genuine leather is known for its excellent resistance to abrasion and wind, and is cherished for those features.

If you, by any chance, ride a motorcycle, then you know that a leather jacket is a life-saver. Genuine leather products are a must when it comes to driving a motorcycle. The flexibility of real leather is great, and that is why it is used in many sports, occupations, and leisure activities.

Furthermore, a product made from genuine leather is bound to last for a very long time. There is nothing like a real leather couch – if you have it, you know it. Leather has always been associated with quality, and for justified reasons, if you ask us. Real leather products are an investment, there’s no doubt about it. If you are looking for something that will look great, feel great, and last for years to come, genuine leather is the way to go.


To conclude, genuine leather and bonded leather don’t really have much in common (other than the looks). Therefore, the differences between bonded leather and genuine leather are vast.

Real, genuine leather is a product made purely from leather, while bonded leather contains leather, but a lot of glue and chemicals are what makes a large part of it. This makes it weak and a poor alternative for genuine leather.

If you want to enjoy high-quality products, and expect them to last for a long time, opt for genuine leather, and you won’t regret it. Although it is much more expensive than bonded leather, it also has so much more to offer. To find true leather and quality, feel free to browse our men’s and women’s leather bags collection. We assure the quality and the genuineness of every product we sell.

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