How To Tell If Something Is Made Of Real Leather

You just bought a new chair from Valencia Theater Seating and its made of the highest quality Nappa leather. But how can you tell if other stuff you own is made of real leather? What if that leather jacket you got is not made of genuine leather? This article is here in order to help you figure out how to identify real leather from fake leather. There are various ways to identify the difference between the 2. We will break down some of these methods in this blog post.

The Label

The easiest way to tell if leather is real is to check the care label. Most manufactures have a tag on their products that tells you how to maintain the material. Since it talks about maintenance, the care label will mention what material the product is made of. Thus, if the product is made of leather, the care tag will say it is made of leather. But this method is not fool proof. There are many companies that lie about what material their product is made. There is a chance that if the tag says that its made of “real” leather, that it could be made of the fake stuff. To make sure your product is actually leather make sure you try other tests as well as looking at the tag.

The Moisture Test

In our blog posted titled “How To Remove Stains From Your Leather Theater Seat” we talked about how detrimental water can be to leather. So you are probably wondering: why would you use moisture to test if your leather is real, would it not damage it? Let me explain, real leather is made of lots of fibers and because of this it kind of acts like the pores in your skin. So real leather has the ability to absorb water while fake leather cannot.

Thus, one way to test if your leather is real is to put a drop of water on the product. This small amount of water won’t damage the product, but It will help you tell if its real or not. If the water is absorbed the leather is real. If it is not absorbed, the leather is fake.

Use Your Senses

You can also tell if you product is real leather by using your senses. Leather has a different smell, look, and feel when compared to the fake stuff. If you know what you are looking for you will be able to tell if the leather is fake using just your senses


Genuine leather has a very earthy smell, may people say it smells like wood chips. Since fake leather is made of synthetic material, it has a very plastic smell. If your leather smells like plastic it most likely is fake.


Since leather is a natural material, it is not perfect. When you rub your fingers across it it should not feel perfectly smooth. On top of this, when you press on it, it should stretch and wrinkle. If your leather feels perfectly smooth and does not wrinkle when pressed, it most likely is fake leather.

Look Closely

Leather has a very distinct grain. When you look close enough at real leather you can notice this leather you will notice that the grain is someone uneven and random. Real leather is not perfect, it has uneven grain and some blemishes. Fake leather on the other hand is completely synthetic so the grain pattern is perfect. If your product has completely perfect and even grain, it is most likely fake.

By doing all these tests you will be able to see if your leather products are actually made of genuine leather.