What Is Bonded Leather?

Leather is an extremely diverse commodity that comes in a variety of skins. However, due to technical and scientific breakthroughs, it is now quite simple to reproduce the texture and grain of genuine leather. There are several sorts of leather, including calfskin, faux, sheepskin, lambskin, goatskin, and cowhide. Whenever it pertains to bonded leather, which is not genuine leather but rather a synthetic upholstery material including animal skin, It is composed of shredded leather fibers combined with rubber or polyurethane as a basis and composite material fibers on top that imparts the leather-like texture.

How is Bonded Leather produced?

The leather is derived from the fibers of leather scraps. It is then bonded to the fiber or paper backing, covered with polyurethane, and impressed with a leather-like grain for a realistic appearance. It is essentially 10% to 20% genuine leather.

Is Bonded Leather a High-Priced Material?

The primary consideration for deciding between bonded and genuine or authentic leather is pricing. Since bonded leather is made from remnants of leather, it is quite affordable. In contrast, genuine leather is regarded as an asset due to its high cost, durability, and upscale appearance.

How to Tell the Difference Between Bonded and Genuine Leather

Now that you’re aware that bonded leather is indeed not genuine leather but rather a composite of genuine leather shreds. Many characteristics distinguish Bonded leather from other types of leather.


Many producers of bonded or faux leather items do not use labels to explain their goods, however, with real or even genuine leather, the product description includes the label and perhaps a scrap of the leather used to produce the product.


The bonded leather surface is consistent and free of deformities since it is resurfaced and printed by a machine. It mimics genuine leather in that it is likewise homogeneous and textured; however, genuine leather has defects inherent in the animal skin.


Whenever we touch bonded leather, it feels extremely smooth and uniform since it is a machine-printed material. However, as we touch genuine leather, which is a natural material with all its defects, it is also smooth but has a grainy texture when we run our fingers over the material. When squeezed with your finger, bonded leather depresses underneath your finger while maintaining its form, but genuine leather functions like actual skin and expands and wrinkles when squeezed.


There is no way to reproduce the organic natural skin aroma given by genuine leather. While bonded leather is often odourless, it may include leather scraps blended with various chemicals, giving a more plastic-like stench.

Leathers: Bonded vs Full Grain

Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather available. It is derived from the upper layer of the skin and contains all of the hair grains. It remains attractive for an extended period of time. The more they utilize, the more attractive the appearance. It contains defects from the skin due to the lack of buffing, and it is also not consistent and smooth to the touch, which contributes to its great appearance. On the other hand, bonded leather will deteriorate in a matter of months due to the glue degrading with time. You might argue that the more you use it, the faster it wears off.

Top Grain Leather Versus Bonded Leather

Top Grain leather is the 2nd greatest quality leather available. It is separated from the top layer of the discolored hide and afterwards polished and sanded to remove any abnormalities. At the same time, Bonded leather is made out of fragments of leather that have been chemically bonded together to form a layer. While top grain leather is enduring, it is more long-lasting than bonded leather due to its gradual wear and cracking.

Genuine Leather vs Bonded Leather

Genuine leather is full-grain leather that has been rectified. It is the most affordable high-quality leather available since it is constructed entirely of genuine leather from the bottom. It is primarily used to manufacture low-cost shoes, belts and handbags. It is composed of layers of high-quality surplus leather that have been bonded together, polished, and then dyed to create a smooth and consistent look. Bonded Leather is essentially shreds of low-quality leather attached with chemical adhesives to a layer of the mixed foundation. Additionally, it lacks the durability and longevity of real leather.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other terms do people use to refer to bonded leather?
Additionally, it is referred to as  Vinyl, Composite, leatherSoft and Reconstituted.

What is the difference between Faux and Bonded Leather?
Not at all! Faux leather is entirely synthetic and made of polyurethane, while bonded leather is made of genuine leather strands adhered to a layer using adhesives.

Is Bonded Leather a Budget-Friendly Material?
Indeed! In comparison to other forms of leather, bonded leather is affordable.

To Sum Up

Bonded leather is a by-product of the leather industry, manufactured from fragments of actual leather fibres bonded to a layer of ripped leather fibres combined with rubber and polyurethane. It is a low-cost, flimsy cloth that is readily worn out. It features a leather-like texture that is machine printed, giving it a consistent and smooth look. It is used to make low-cost shoes, handbags, belts, and furniture.

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Meet Craig, the leather guru behind a store and blog that helps you find the best leather products. When he’s not curating lists of top-tier leather items, he’s hiking Table Mountain or walking his dog. Trust his picks, and you’ll never feel leather regret.

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