There’s nothing quite like genuine leather. The aroma, the buttery feel and the warmth. But in the market saturated with faux leathers, bonded leathers and other low-priced alternatives, it is difficult to find a real thing, especially when many of these lower-cost alternatives offer some of the attributes of real leather, including its sleek look and soft hand. So, why is genuine leather is surging in popularity? A realization that there really is a difference in comfort and character? A desire to make a long-term investment? An unexpressed desire to upgrade living space? All of that, plus one more thing – Genuine Leather is a luxury choice, but it’s no longer out of reach. For example, the Baron Sectional Collection by Leather Italia USA is available at FurnitureCartand offers fine furnishings in top grain leather upholstery and features 100% Top Grain Italian Leather on front, sides, and backs.
Bonded Leather has grown in popularity since its introduction in 2007. It is a material made by combining scraps of leather with synthetic fibers, colored and textured similar to the process for Bycast Leather, which is made from an inferior grade hide or the bottom part of the leather after the top-grain has been removed. Bonded Leather process means it is full width material with good yield and consistency, not limited to the hide size and shape. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and is more supple than Bycast. To be marketed as Bonded Leather in the US, it needs to contain more than 50% dry leather. Some other countries, like Australia, do not allow Bonded Leather to be called Leather at all, considering it a synthetic product. One of the lower-cost alternatives similar to bonded leather is DuraBlend trademark by Ashley Furniture. DURABLEND is a Bonded Leather – consist of blended leather or particles of leather adhered together with a coating of PU (polyurethane). Contents: 57% polyurethane, 26% poly/cotton and 17% minimum leather shavings. DuraBlend provides the look and feel of 100% Leather or Leather Match at an economical price. For instance, Windmaster DuraBlend Collection by Signature Design by Ashley Furniture.
The difference between Bonded Leather and Genuine Leather, in terms of quality and look, can be hard to see once a product is upholstered, but still recognizable.