Whether Pleather or Leather?
posted 2010 Sep by Merle Snook
By a show of hands how many of you have heard the term "bonded leather?" OK, OK you can put your hands down now. It seems as though the term has gained general acceptance as a type of leather. OOPPS. Well, strictly speaking, bonded leather isn't considered leather at all by the legitimate leather industry. So, is bonded leather really leather at all?
Let's be careful here. "Bonded leather" contains leather but therein lies the key. It contains bits and pieces of leather scraps and cuttings ( sometimes swept from the cutting room floor). These scraps are then often ground into small granules and through an adhesive process (translation: glue) and pressure it is transformed into sheets and passed off as true full grain leather. Wrong!
Depending on who's doing the dilution you may be getting 70% scraps but you may be getting only 20%. You never know, so how can you make an informed judgement when purchasing your scrap leather and glue handbag, wallet or even jacket. How much should you pay for a scrap/ glue accessory?
Maybe the important question should be: does any of this really matter to you? Perhaps not if you're properly informed, are not expecting true full grain leather and you're not paying the price of genune leather. Bonded leather is inferior and the price that you pay should reflect that fact.
Consider this: the glue breaks down under so many circumstances. For example glue dries and therefore cracks easily; putting leather conditioners on it will loosen and break down the bond between the granules and the glue; perspiration, aka salt, will destroy the adhesive quickly, and so on. There's discussion in the legitimate leather industry as to whether you should even condition bonded leather. Are you actually hastening the deterioration by conditioning and breaking down the bonding agents?
Legitimate leather manufacturers and producers will not place a "Genuine Leather" label on bonded leather. Unfortunately not all producers adhere to these strong standards. Be wary of inferior "leather". Now you know. See www.hideoutflorida.com