Bonded Leather is a mix of real leather and fake Leather. It is made from leftover scraps and fibers made from processing genuine leather and mixing it with a bonding agent, typically polyurethane or latex. Bonding agent is applied to the shredded leather and then embossed with a copy of a real leather grain structure. This mixture is then laminated or glued to a backing material such as fabric or paper creating a sheet of bonded leather.
Most Bonded leathers recipe typically only calls for 10-20% of genuine leather scraps and while it may look like leather, bonded leather is generally less resistant to wear and tear compared to real leather. Bonded leather will not develop a rich patina over time in the same way that genuine leather will, it can also be prone to peeling, cracking, flaking and deterioration over time, exacerbated by heavy use or exposure to sunlight.
Often bonded leather will be marketed as easy to clean giving customers the false impression that their household cleaning products can be used to sanitize however these cleaners will corrupt the adhesion of the laminate and accelerate the deterioration.
Bonded is known by a few additional names that should be listed on furniture tags by law.
- Bonded leather
- Faux Leather
It is important to be aware of alternative leathers and the difference in quality and performance compared to genuine leather. One strong indication that furniture is bonded leather will be the dramatically lower price as compared to an equivalent piece in real leather.
If Genuine leather doesn’t work for the budget we recommend looking for higher quality fabric furniture for your needs as bonded leather should be avoided at all costs.