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When purchasing leather furniture knowing the difference between Bonded Leather and Genuine Leather can be essential. While Bonded Leather is marketed as “real” leather, we’re going to highlight some of the many differences that set it apart from Genuine Leather and the longevity that real leather can provide your furniture.

What is Bound Leather?

The leather is not produced in equally sized squares the same way manmade materials are. When real leather is cut and shaped for use scraps and leftover material remain. Bonded Leather is made when these leather scraps are mulched and glued together to form a composite material. The result is a multilayered material that presents several problems for furniture shoppers.

Often the surface of Bonded Leather furniture is a polyurethane material similar to plastic over a layer of ground leather and glue. Because it is a real leather mixture, Bonded Leather can be marketed as leather despite being only twenty percent real leather or less. And of that twenty percent the majority will most likely be present in the underlayer, away from skin contact.

Over time the two layers pull apart and form cracks in the material. Because of this Bonded Leather does not last as long as Genuine Leather. There are ways to preserve Bonded Leather, but even the most well-maintained furniture will have a shorter lifespan than Genuine Leather. As a result, it is often difficult to get as much value out of Bonded Leather upholstery.

If you wish to buy Bonded Leather as a temporary furniture solution, there are ways to slow the peeling in the material. Wiping down the material with a dry cloth to remove body oils can slow peeling. Dabbing spills with paper towels or materials can reduce permanent damage too. But Bonded Leather will break down over time regardless, so these are not permanent solutions.

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What is Genuine Leather?

The term Genuine Leather is used to describe any product that is true leather, unlike leather mixtures like Bonded Leather. Genuine Leather has a second meaning though. When real leather is separated more valuable Top Grain and Full Grain leather are taken first, leaving only Genuine Leather behind. But don’t be dissuaded, as Genuine Leather is still a significant improvement.

Companies craft Genuine Leather by binding several layers of leatherbound together without other products added to the mixture. The result is that this pure layer of Genuine Leather is more resilient to liquids and spillage. Even if you do less maintenance on your furniture or put it through significantly more use, you are less likely to find cracks and wear similar to Bonded Leather.

If you wish to buy Bonded Leather as a temporary furniture solution, there are ways to slow the peeling in the material. Wiping down the material with a dry cloth to remove body oils can slow peeling. Dabbing spills with paper towels or materials can reduce permanent damage too. But Bonded Leather will break down over time regardless, so these are not permanent solutions.

Top Grain Leather Sofa

In Conclusion

Bonded Leather and Genuine Leather furniture can both be beneficial when the owner takes proper care, but the difference in quality is apparent. Bonded Leather’s susceptibility to damage and the ravages of time mean you rarely save money in the long term. But don’t be dissuaded from using Bonded Leather furniture in the short term until you acquire a more permanent addition.

Genuine Leather can be more expensive, but the cost is well worth the additional years you will get out of your furniture. Because it does not have a mixture of layers like Bonded Leather, it will not peel and will be more resilient to spills and other forms of external damage.

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