In depth guide to differentiating real leather from synthetic

If you want to belong to the sustainable carrier products arena that complement your lifestyle, then join the leather culture. Leather will amaze you with its luxurious look and feel, elegant finish, and durability.  So, when purchasing a leather bag, it’s important to know the difference between real leather and fake leather.

Smell Test

Do a smell test. Visit the well-established leather shops and familiarize yourself with leather smell. Just entering the shops gives you an understanding of what leather smells like. Then compare it with the synthetic products. Synthetic leather smells like plastic or chemicals. Doing a comparison of the two products enables you to familiarize yourself with the smell of genuine leather.

Texture of the materials used

Leather is an animal product that comes with some inconsistencies. It is not smooth; it has some scratches. Understanding the characteristics of leather will enable you to make an informed decision when buying leather. Synthetic products however, are machine made, they normally look perfect without marks and they look smooth.


To easily recognize real leather, check the edges of the bag. Leather does not have smooth edges, instead it has edges that are rough with some fibers. In a case of a bag with folded edges, check the inside folds of the bag. If smooth, then that is synthetic material not genuine leather.

Water test

Do a water test. Leather absorbs water. Identify a small space inside the bag, pour some water into it, if that water flows and slides away, just know the bag is not made of real leather but it may be synthetic or machine product.


Price is another essential factor. Leather is not a cheap commodity. Carry out research on the price point of leather products by visiting leather shops and look at the price point. It does not have to be tremendously expensive. It is always advisable to look at smaller brand’s products, they usually offer leather bags at a good price.

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