Is Your Sofa Made from Fake Leather?

Chesterfield Sofa

Leather sofas have a sense of extravagance about them, which is why many people turn to the popular material for their furniture. However, today there are plenty of leather substitutes out there mimicking the leather look and feel. It is important to understand if your sofa is fake or genuine if you were hoping for real leather, and it will help you know how to take care of your sofa properly too. Here’s what to look for when determining if your sofa is made from fake leather or not.


Starting with one of the most obvious differences, the price for real leather far exceeds that of synthetic materials. If you are thinking you are getting a really good deal on chesterfield  leather furniture, you may find that it isn’t actually real leather at all.


Real leather often comes with a distinctive smell, so if your sofa is lacking it, it may be a fake. Nothing else smells like leather, and there will be no mistaking it. The smell can fade over time, but it is often still lingering over the years, so so don’t be afraid to give your sofa the smell test! Getting a weird chemical scent? Then that is more likely from synthetic materials.


Even how the sofa feels to the touch and when you sit in it can help you determine if the leather is real or fake. Real leather is quite soft, so first push your hand into the material and see if your hand sinks. The texture can be a bit uneven due to its natural properties, and it should be a relatively warm too. Fake leather is often stiff and even in texture. It will also be cold when you first go to sit in it.

The Old Boot Chesterfield Sofa in Antique Rustic Leather

The Old Boot Chesterfield Sofa in Antique Rustic Leather. Feature sofa in Antique Tan Leather.


Fake leather is obviously made to mimic real leather, but if you know what to look for in the material, you may be able to determine if your sofa is real or fake. Fake leather is designed to be flawless, so will often be smooth without any ridges or many seams. Genuine leather is sewn together and has plenty of natural marks within it, including “fat deposits” (wrinkles caused by animal fat).


The best way of detecting a fake is just by reading the label, however, the terms can sometimes be confusing for the average consumer as to whether it is describing real leather or not. For fake leather expect to find terms like;

  • Faux
  • Pleather
  • Bonded leather
  • Leatherette
  • Naugahyde

Genuine leather will say it is genuine, or mention “Nubuck”, “Aniline” or “Pigmented leather”. If you can, ask the supplier for information on the type of leather used for more information.

If you are looking for 100% genuine real leather straight from the manufacturer then contact the experts at The Crafter Sofa Company, where we take pride in every piece of leather furniture we make. Have a look at our exquisite collections, including the Chesterfield Collection, and contact us to discuss how we can create something luxurious for any room in your home.

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