Given that a leather sofa can be sourced from five unique types of leather, it can be hard for amateur shoppers to pick apart what is genuine and what is fake.
We begin with top and full grain profiles which are considered immaculate and best in class. Retailers then venture down to more affordable alternatives including nubuck sueded and embossed grain before leading onto budget options via fibre and split suede.
These options could sound foreign to homeowners who simply want a nice comfortable and aesthetically pleasing seating arrangement.
The good news is there are some tests that are readily available to the average consumer to see whether or not the brand is selling the real thing or a knockoff masquerading as the genuine article.
Side Panel Test
The saying that the devil is in the detail is never more apparent when testing the authenticity of a leather sofa in store. Here is where a shopper can look away from the signature qualities at the front and take a closer glance of what is lurking to the side and back of the item. If the panels are produced with materials that are smooth, flat and wide – chances are this is faux leather. The same can be said for the back where a lack of grain is on full display to expose the brand for what it actually is: a fake. What consumers should be keeping an eye out for is consistency across the design, and that includes what is occurring at the sides and the back.
Touching the Sample Swatch
Any shopper who is on the lookout for a leather sofa in store will be spoiled for choice at the options. With lovely red and maroon styling to blue or clean white, there will be brands that cater to everyone’s needs. Yet to get a better gauge of what the material is like for durability and consistency, accessing a sample swatch is very helpful. It can be produced on request from a customer service representative. If it is lightly stretched, it should illustrate one way or the other if it can stand up to continued use through tightly woven materials that won’t be compromised.
Checking for Imperfections
A genuine leather sofa can be identified by its bumps and bruises that give it character. Smooth synthetic types give away the game when it comes to examining its authenticity because it has been processed in bulk without any individual care given to it. Natural grain will be bumpy and include small grooves that make for an uneven feel. The patches also happen to be small and condensed, ensuring that the designer has cared for a crafted a product that is made for long-term investment and comfort.
It is an uncomfortable fact but it is one that has to be confronted for shoppers of a leather sofa– if they have never heard of the brand before, chances are they are looking at a faux item. Businesses in this industry spend decades building up their profile and innovating to supply the best possible sofas and seating arrangements for homeowners. That creates scenarios where cheap knockoffs emerge under the guise of a well-known provider, leaving customers to rush through the transaction because the price is too enticing to turn down.
The Water Test
The final test that a shopper can take to pick out a genuine leather sofa from a faux item is to pour water on the seating. Now admittedly this is not possible in some circumstances around a busy retail outlet, but if there is a chance to run this test, it will become clear in the aftermath of this scientific experiment. Genuine materials will see the water soak into the fabric as the h20 slowly seeps into the pores. A fake will see the water just sitting on the surface because the synthetic design is not made to soak.