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What is Bonded Leather?

warning about bonded leather

Bonded leather isn’t really leather. It’s the particleboard of the leather world. But that’s insulting to particleboard.

How is Bonded Leather Made?

Bonded leather is usually shredded bits of leather reconstituted with chemicals, plastics & bonding material into something that is supposed to look like leather but is really more of a plastic/paper product than a leather product. It is often made with a paper or cloth backer. It is then stamped, embossed or imprinted with a fake leather pattern to appear like leather.

Think of it as primarily a manmade chemical experiment with some shredded leather fibers sprinkled in for good measure.

What Does Bonded Leather Look and Feel Like?

When you touch bonded leather, you are literally touching plastic. It will have almost none of the characteristics of quality full grain leather, the stuff we use. It won't age well, it won't patina, it isn't strong, it doesn't have that real leather smell, etc. If you buy a bonded leather product, your really aren't experiencing leather in any real sense. 

It looks, feels and behaves more like a laminated tablecloth.

Unfortunately, it’s extremely common in the fashion industry and furniture industry. It's sad that manufacturing has deteriorated to this extent but it is what it is. What's troubling to me is that people buy it and think they are getting a leather product.  

Final Word on Bonded Leather

I don’t want to spend much time discussing bonded leather because if you’re visiting our site, you probably aren’t interested in bonded leather products anyway. Bonded leather is pretty much the exact opposite of everything we stand for and are doing with our product line. 

A final word of advice: watch out for bonded leather in the products you buy. A lot of people throw leather terms around that can be confusing. Some sales people will sell it as a leather product when it really isn’t. In my opinion, you'd be much better off buying a quality fabric item that a bonded leather item. If you're trying to buy leather, then get the real deal - get full grain leather.

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