Spot The Difference: Fake Vs Real Leather Lounges

Australia has some rather “loose” regulations when it comes to the manufacturing of leather lounges. Consequently, there’s a chance that your sofa might not be as “real” as you once might have imagined. There’s a reason why faux sofas dominate the market, and it often comes back to the fact that leather lounges are often synonymous with luxury, opulence, and high-class. However, because of these connotations, such furniture is often costly. As a result, a lot of customers will choose fake leather lounges to create an allusion of class and style, while saving a lot of money.

If you have the budget and are willing to go the extra mile with a real animal hide sofa or couch, then you should certainly invest in one. They are more durable, easier to maintain, and carry their luster for far longer! Here are a few signs that your couch might not be as real as you once were told!


It starts to peel and sweat

Premium leather lounges should last decades. There might be some minor deterioration; however, for the most part, the furniture should retain its quality, color, and texture. Customers who have purchased cheaper knockoffs often complain that the surface of the sofa begins to peel and deteriorate after only a few years of use.

Some users notice peeling after only a few months, which certainly should not happen with real leather lounges. This often occurs because body oils and sweat can leach into the sofa’s surface, which can peel and break-down if it’s not authentic animal hide. The only other explanation is that the tanning process was not executed correctly.


The description says “bonded”

Be very wary of bonded leather lounges because “bonded” materials are not genuine. A bonded sofa is often made of various plastics and other materials, which is then glued to the animal hide to create a piece of furniture supposedly made with real animal skin. The actual content is closer to a mere 10%.

Indeed, if you have paid the full rate for a bonded leather sofa, you should consider returning it. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) mandates that synthetic materials cannot be passed off as real animal hide, outlining that such advertising is misleading and deceptive.


The price is too good to be true

Woman sitting in a leather lounge

If the price is too good to be true, then it probably is. Authentic leather lounges can and should be thousands of dollars. Anything under $1000 (unless it’s a single chair), is perhaps made from bonded synthetic materials or faux animal skin. If you’re still unsure, ask the salesperson. The cheap price could be because only certain parts of the sofa are made from real animal skin (like the pillows or the cushions). It could also be because of cheap manufacturing processes or low-quality inputs. Either way, it won’t be as durable or supple as real leather lounges.


It mentions “contact” areas

Finally, your chosen leather lounges might not be as authentic as you thought when purchasing if the manufacturer talks about “contact” areas. Some manufacturers will focus on how the sofa is upholstered with real animal skin at “contacts” points, like the pillows and cushions. The purpose of this is to draw attention away from the fact that the remaining components of the couch are made from polyester, synthetic materials, or cotton.


Any advice?

While it can be tricky to find genuine animal skin couches, you’ll be pleased to know that certification organisations validate the authenticity of products. More and more manufacturers and retailers are embracing these certification schemes to validate their products. Be on the lookout for their logos!