When you make the decision to purchase leather furniture you may find the process somewhat daunting, as you will have to differentiate between leather look-alikes and genuine leather.
The terms that salespersons, retailers and manufacturers use for this also do not help the process, due to the fact that one term can be used to describe various types of leather. Deciding whether or not you want genuine leather or bonded leather is one of the first factors that you need to take into consideration when purchasing leather furniture.
What is Bonded Leather?
In short, bonded leather is constructed using various pieces of leather that have been
joined using some type of bonding agent, and then covered using polyurethane. The back of this material is made from real leather and it is also different from bycast leather, which is actually leather pieces that have been covered entirely with polyurethane.
2007 was the year when manufacturers started to use bonded leather to make furniture. Salespersons and manufacturers alike revealed that they were uncertain about how the market would accept this type of material, as some believed that customers would think of bonded leather as being of lesser quality. Per contra, due to the fact that it is sold at approximately ⅔ the cost of genuine leather, bonded leather has actually become the most desirable alternative for genuine leather furniture for a number of customers.
Desirable Features of Bonded Leather
Using bonded leather is quite beneficial, and this is not only centered around the price. In fact, this is a great way in which manufacturers can recycle pieces of leather that would not have been otherwise used. Of course genuine leather has more benefits than bonded leather; however, the latter still holds it grounds when it comes to providing customers with stylish furniture, at an affordable price.
It needs to be pointed out that bonded leather is by no means the same as genuine leather. This should be said so that customers do not have any misunderstandings as it relates to the quality of the products. Keep in mind that there are some manufacturers that do not market their products under the name of ‘bonded leather;’ as such, you will need to look for names such as Polyvinyl PVC Composite, UltraHide, Nupelle or DuraHide Plus.
Although it is not of the same durability and quality of genuine leather, because of its affordability, bonded leather is currently the number 1 substitute for shopping for genuine leather furniture. However, bonded leather furniture can be just as attractive and stylish as those made from genuine leather.
If you are trying to differentiate between genuine leather and bonded leather based on appearance and quality alone, then you may have a difficult time trying to do so. When done correctly, the textures and grains of bonded leather can look very much like that of genuine leather. There are instances where the only difference between the two has been the fact that the bonded leather texture is not as pronounced as that of genuine leather. On the other hand, the overall appearance and smell of both are practically identical.
Bonded Leather is not the same as Synthetic Leather
There are some persons that believe that bonded leather is the same as synthetic leather or artificial leather; however, this is definitely not so. There are instances when products made from bonded leather are actually constructed using one hundred percent leather; however, in other instances, items such as upholstery that are made from this material, can be made up of as much as seventeen percent of leather. If you are considering purchasing items that are made from bonded leather, you should be aware of the fact that the products may not always include real leather.
Bonded leather is a type of material that has been used over the years to make a variety of products; however, there are still some individuals who do not know exactly what bonded leather is. Bonded leather is actually the leather material that is left over from its original form, compressed, and is then attach to other pieces of leather by using a bonding agent. Bonded leather is also referred to as reconstituted leather, and it is also the best known substitute for genuine leather.
Bonded Leather is much cheaper than genuine leather
Another primary difference between genuine leather and bonded leather is of course the cost. There are many persons who believe that bonded leather is an affordable substitute for genuine leather. This is primarily due to the fact that if they were not bonded, the leather fibers or leather straps would be of no value. As such, manufacturers think that they are offering customers a good deal when they sell bonded leather at reduced prices.
In case you are wondering about the different types of items that bonded leather are used to make, you may be surprised to know this material is commonly used as the cover for a variety of books, inclusive of Bibles. It is a requirement that items made from this material have the stamp of ‘bonded leather’ placed on the cover; however, without this stamp, it would be very difficult to tell if the material is actually genuine leather or bonded leather.