7 Ways To Determine Whether That Leather Is Real Or Not

Whether you’re planning to gift a belt to a close friend, or perhaps looking out to treat yourself to a leather backpack, it’s always wise to make sure that the product you’re buying is of the highest quality. Here are some ways you can determine the quality of leather – and also whether it’s genuine or not!

  • Imperfections are good! Since real leather comes from animals, and no animal skin is absolutely perfect, the end product’s surface will typically have wrinkles, scratches, creases and ‘pebble’ formations. This is an indicator of it being real.

However, do note that manufacturers are also skilled at copying these imperfections to make fake products look real. If you see a specific pattern of wrinkles & creases repeating on the product surface – then it’s just a well-made false leather product!

  • Examine the edges. Real leather will have a slight amount of fraying / rough edges and will never be absolutely straight. Machine-made false leather will have edges that are perfectly cut, almost “too good to be true”.
  • Smell the product. Getting that classic, musty natural smell? Then it’s real. A product made with false leather will typically smell like plastic and strong chemicals.

The natural smell is a key part of the experience of owning real leather products!

  • Read the product label carefully. If it doesn’t specifically say one of the following – real leather, genuine leather, top / full grain leather, made with animal products – then it is almost certainly a synthetic product.
  • Wave a lighter quickly across the raw area of the leather. Real leather has good fire resistance, and the worst that could happen is slight charring. Plastic-based materials will shrivel up as soon as the flame hits. Some may even catch on fire instantly!

Note – we don’t recommend using this test unless absolutely necessary, it’ll ruin a small portion of your product.

  • The popular ‘water test’ only works for specific types of leather, and should not be used as a final judgement to determine if the product is real or fake. The assumption behind the test is that real leather will absorb water while fake leather will not, however there are several grades of real leather which do not absorb water either.
  • Finally, note that the colour of leather has absolutely no relation to it being real or fake! Even the best quality real leather can easily be dyed any colour from bright yellow to deep blue to regular brown.

You can be assured that all Camelio products are crafted using 100% real leather. We source our materials from a variety of locations, with leather coming from Spain, Italy, Egypt, India, etc. Our non-leather elements like stitching threads, metal elements and fabric are also carefully chosen for their quality. Our thread is imported from Germany, and is manufactured by Gutermann. Metal elements across our product range are made from a special corrosion-resistant zinc alloy. We can confidently say that our products are durable enough to retain their look and feel for several years of use!

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