A Guide to Faux Leather vs. Real Leather from Start to Finish

Leather products are a core feature of any fashion fab life. They are elegant, luxurious, and of course, costly. So, keep looking for leather wannabees while shopping and investing in genuine leather. This guide will assist you in differentiating between real leather and its fake form.  

Faux Leather vs. Real Leather

Let the Tags Talk

Though it sounds pretty obvious, check the tags. If it is authentic leather, it won't hesitate to tell you so. If the titles quote 'man-made material' or something like that, it is faux leather.

Faux leather also goes by the terms fake leather, pleather, vegan leather synthetic leather, man-made leather, imitation leather, alternative leather, among others.

Further, make sure to check the price. Natural leather is more expensive than fake leather, so if the price sounds like a steal, it probably is but the other way around.

Give of Sherlock Holmes Vibes 

Take out your detective gears and examine the surface of the leather. Genuine leather is made up of animal skin; thus, its character will have bumps, blemishes, and many imperfections.

On the other hand, the surface of fake leather is polished too well and is perfected for sale. Hence, if the leather speaks out of perfection with its uniform pattern and looks too perfect, it is probably not real.

Feel it 

Fake leather will feel like perfection, even cold, while genuine leather will not be as smooth as the fake. Also, natural leather has wrinkles when stretched.

Furthermore, look closely at the edges. Genuine leather comprises strands, giving them their classic rough edges. On the other hand, fake leather is not made of any stands. Hence, it will have perfect advantages.

Get a sniff 

Genuine leather has a natural. True leather lovers can sniff the earthy smell of natural leather out of the air. Genuine leather has a distinct raw smell, unlike faux leather has a plasticky or chemical smell. Therefore, you can 100% be sure it is a scam. 


Bend the leather 

The leather should bend easily, change color slightly and form wrinkles. These are the essential characteristics of natural leather. If not, then the real-looking leather has nothing natural about it.

The droplet tests

Pour a few drops of water into the product. The water will not be absorbed on faux leather and will make a puddle on the top. While natural leather will drink the water instantly, ascertaining its pureness.

A wide color palette 

Leather is not just the basic white, brown, or black. It can have a wide variety of colors and be authentic. For instance, bright pink leather may not seem natural, but it may be made of genuine leather; this is possible as color dyes can be added to the natural leather during manufacturing. Hence, the color of the leather is not essentially a differentiating point.  

Examine the pores

When judging if an item is of real or fake leather, be sure to check its pores. Genuine leather has a contrary pattern of pores as they are natural. In contrast, artificial leather has a fixed, repeating pattern.

Check the durability 

Natural leather has a longer lifespan than its copies, and the more shocking thing is that the more you use it, the better it looks. Given the proper care, genuine leather will last for decades.

On the contrary, fake leather does not last long but doesn't require maintenance. Unfortunately, it doesn't look attractive when it begins to wear out. Also, it can be protected to an extent, not like natural leather; fake leather will only be able to last a few years.

Mother Nature & Sustainability

Vegan leather is specifically designed as an animal-friendly leather substitute However, Genuine leather has the potential to be less damaging than faux leather.   Many people do not realize that many vegan leathers are made of plastic; while genuine leather is a natural byproduct of local farming and agriculture industries that would otherwise end up in a landfilled.  


To further enhance your skill, spend time comparing leathers you know are fake and real. With some time, you will be able to see if the product is worth the price or if it is asking for much of its worth.

Better yet, shop with a trusted brand like Chuupul Leather.

Shop, Chuupul a new line of handcrafted leather travel accessories featuring 100% full-grain leather backpacks, satchels, and duffel bags; designed for the distinguished traveler.  Browse our collections!

 We incorporate, even celebrate the imperfections of the hide, which most designers would discard as flaws crating undue waste. We embrace these characteristics as it adds character, and suitability.