Five Tips for Leather Shopping
The Scent: Real leather smells distinctively of cowhide, whereas synthetic manmade items will
smell like plastic or unscented. If you’re not sure what the scent of real leather is, walk into a
highend store and scope out their jackets and boots. Chances are you’ll be able to discern that
specific smell when out shopping by exposing yourself to the real thing in advance.
The Grain: Sometimes hard to tell, especially with shoes, the grain says a lot about genuine
leather. Like most things that occur naturally, they are not perfect. Synthetic materials are
produced in factories and thus have a strict pattern that they follow. Real leather has
imperfection and deviations within the grain. Take a close look and if something looks too
uniform, chances are it’s a knockoff.
The Feel: Real leather is malleable to the touch and when put under pressure, such as holding
down a finger onto a section of it, a change in color will be noticeable. If it feels brittle and
plastic, then it’s fake! If you run your nail along genuine leather you will see marks that will
slowly start to fade, just as your own skin would. Fake leather will not be affected by stretching
Trust Your Gut: While there are a lot of amazing deals, if it seems too good to be true chances
are it is! If you’re okay with getting a great deal for fake leather, go for it! But if you’ll be
disappointed if in a few weeks you realize it’s not real, trust your gut and wait until you find the
Do Your Research: If you’re still not sure you have the skills to tell real from fake, ask around or
search online for reputable sellers in the area! Word of mouth usually doesn’t lie.