Tips & Tricks: How To Spot Real Leather

DSC_0447Mention this: you are in a store and the friendly shop assistent reassures you the bag you are about to buy is genuine leather. You’re not sure, but you’ll trust her on her big blue eyes and take her for her word. After a few times of strolling around with it, creases occure and the first fabric comes blistering off. Okay, she fooled you. Next time you’ll be prepared a lot better with these tips & tricks on how to recognize real genuine leather:

  • Real leather has a distinguished smell. Now this one is a tricky one, because how does it actually smell? The closest I could think of is: a deep, strong and musky scent. Tip: try to get familiar with the smell of genuine leather by visiting a store that only sells real leather items.
  • My mom teached me to stick my nose into ‘leather’ items if I wanted to be sure. Don’t be embarassed to do so, most of the shop staff will think you are pretty scholared when it comes to recognizing high quality garments.
  • Feel the fabric. This one is a really important one, because there is definitely a different feel to synthetic fabrics. Genuine leather feels soft like butter or coarse on the opposite. For example: most of the real leather shoes tend to widen after you broke in the shoes. Fake leather is likely to stretch more and feels like plastic.
  • Use those long nails. If you put your nails into faux leather the scratch will last. The opposite won’t.
  • If an item is of genuine leather, this label or sticker needs to be visible (somewhere):


  • Does the label or inscription say “manmade material”? It’s most likely fake.
  • Leave a burn mark: if you put a lighter near faux leather (synthetic/plastic et cetera) it will leave a burn mark. Real leather won’t burn that easily (except when you leave the lighter near the fabric for a couple of minutes of course).
  • Price tag. The price of genuine leather won’t fool you. It’s often way more expensive than faux leather.
  • The back of the garment. Real leather will look the same on the front as well on the back. Synthetic items have a different back consisting out of knitted or woven material most of the time.

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