Tag Archives: Bonded leather

What Crafters Should Know About Using Leather

The average hobbyist or craftsperson who visits AGBInc.com may have a desire to find the best leather products to complete projects. This desire is magnified if the project involves items he will eventually sell to customers. The key to making quality products that are durable is knowing which leather types are best for which products.

Bonded leather often looks and feels like genuine leather. It is not authentic leather. Instead, it is made from a mix of materials and only 17 percent leather. Manufacturers create this material to give buyers less expensive alternatives that feel like the real thing. It is sold at prices comparable to fabric. Hobbyists should know this before pricing end products in the same range as real leather.

Bycast or split leather is made by combining other materials, just as the process for bonded leather. However, the genuine leather is split into layers. The top layer is usually polyurethane or some other material that is stain resistant.

Leather matching uses 100 percent leather in places on the final product that the customer will touch. For example, if the final product is a chair, the headrest, arms and seat may be made of real leather, while the back and side panels are made of some other material like vinyl. This gives users the satisfaction of touching real leather, but there are other drawbacks. Leather is breathable and retains sweat and moisture. As a result, it may patina more quickly and change appearance and smell.

Leather gives craft and design many possibilities. The true craftsperson will use these facts about leather products to determine the type of user experience he wants to design for his customers. Sometimes, real leather is the only real choice. For some applications, though, anything other than real leather is more functional.