Leather is one of those materials that instantly adds a luxurious vibe to an object, be it a designer handbag, a trendy jacket or a sofa. We often equate it with high quality and durability. Plus it’s been around for centuries. Therefore it’s understandable if you want to have leather upholstered furniture in your home.

However, leather has one drawback – it’s made from animal skin. Therefore, not everyone is enthusiastic about it. Today, advancements in technology have created a great option or those who object to cruelty towards animals and want an eco-friendly alternative instead – faux leather.

Read on to understand how the two differ from each other and which one’s right for you:

Real vs Faux Leather Furniture: Texture

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Soft suppleness and slight unevenness are markers of real leather

Real Leather: Real leather is soft, with an unmistakable feel to it. Ideally, you should feel fat wrinkles, as well as a soft suppleness and a slightly uneven texture.

Faux Leather: Faux leather typically feels cold and smooth to the touch because it isn’t like real leather, which tends to have an irregular placement of pores. Instead faux leather is manufactured with pores in an unusually even and repetitive pattern.

Real vs Faux Leather Furniture: Appearance

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Faux leather is smoother

Real Leather: Genuine leather can feel soft or coarse depending on the type of animal it came from. It looks unique, ages well, and becomes softer with use.

Faux Leather: Faux leather tends to feel smooth or plastic-like with perfect edges while rough, uneven edges are more prevalent in genuine leather. Apart from that, it lacks the distinct leather smell.

Real vs Faux Leather Furniture: Varieties of Leather

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Pigmented leather is commonly favoured due to its even colour

Real Leather: Genuine leather can be broadly classified into aniline, semi-aniline and pigmented. Aniline leather is high-quality leather with no protective coating, while semi-aniline leather comes with a light coating that protects it from scratches and stains. Pigmented leather is the one commonly used for leather upholstered furniture due to its even colour and ability to withstand scratches, stains, and spills.

Faux Leather: Faux leather has two primary types of leather- Vinyl and polyurethane or PU. Both these synthetic leathers are used in upholstery and product covers. PU is softer, more flexible, and breathable, while Vinyl is not as breathable, but compensates with its ability to repel moisture. Nowadays, you can even find leather made from cork, kelp and pineapples.

Real vs Faux Leather Furniture: Durability

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Leatherette furniture comes in colours of your choosing!

Real Leather: Real leather is durable and is not prone to cracking or peeling. Neither does it get torn easily. But it fades over time when exposed to sunlight.

Faux Leather: Faux leather, on the other hand, is not durable and is damaged easily.

What About the Cost?

Real Leather: Genuine leather is an investment and therefore costs more with prices starting at Rs. 250-300 per meter.

Faux Leather: Faux leather is cheaper and costs Rs. 40-100 per meter.

We hope this helps you decide on the kind of leather upholstery you want for your furniture! If you want to maintain your furniture right, take a look at How To Clean Leather Sofas?

Send us your thoughts and suggestions.

— editor@livspace.com