4. Use of the “Genuine leather” label

genuine leather definition

Genuine leather can be likened to a tough sponge. It is porous and springy. To hot-stamp “Genuine leather” onto leather is to compress those words into it, except that leather does not spring back into its original form like sponge does. Hence it is a good test for identifying leather. Compare the following simple scenarios:

  1. Hot-stamp “Genuine leather” onto leather. The leather is embossed.
  2. Hot-stamp “Genuine leather” onto synthetic polymer. The polymer melts.
  3. Ink-print “Genuine leather” onto a surface. Product may or may not be genuine leather. Other tests such as the cross-section test required.

Not all products hot-stamped with “Genuine leather” are made of leather. “Genuine” necessarily implies that some or all parts of a product is made of actual animal hide, therefore the purpose of this post is to assist customers to identify if a product deserves the label “Genuine leather”.

The most important layer of the animal skin to the leather industry is the outermost epidermis, ie full-grain leather. Next comes the rest of the skin called the split. Therefore, genuine leather products can only be made of these 3 leather variations:

  1. full-grain leather
    • epidermis present
  2. top-grain leather
    • epidermis present
  3. coated split
    • epidermis not present
    • a coat of polymer is glued to the split hence the name “coated split”
    • The minimum acceptable in order to be labelled “genuine”

Identify if a product is made of the above three genuine leather variations here.

Written by Keching

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