Sometimes I'm buying things that look like leather but you can't easily tell. I sometimes use the sniff test. Is there any other test for determining if an unlabeled item is leather or not?

1 Answer 1


Besides reading the labeling and testing the smell, there are some things you can look for:

  • Looking very closely, does it have pores (real) or only a pressed texture (fake)?

    The hair follicles provide the grain pattern that is so much a feature of the value of the leather... In most animals the grain pattern is uniform, in terms of both regularity and distribution over the pelt.

    Covington, Anthony D. Tanning Chemistry: The Science of Leather. Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2009. Page 36. Print.

  • Are the cut edges rough or very smooth (some fake leather will have very smooth cut edges)?

  • Could you please add some source or other form of credibility to your claims? Thanks. Mar 8, 2017 at 19:46
  • I don't know where you would find a source for such general claims. Processed animal skins have pores because animals have pores, and I added a source saying that, but for the second part, it simply has to do with the material science properties of the materials involved. Mar 8, 2017 at 20:13
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    I did not mean scientific literature and research as the only means of making your claims credible. For the smoothness od cut edges this may be your own experience - for example as someone who worked with fake leather or who sold leather and fake leather or even just heard it from the family member who did so. Just some pointer to why you believe this to be the case or how did you come across this information perhaps or anything like that. Your statements were new to me and I wanted to know how you came to know about them. Congratulations to the first post by the way :). Mar 8, 2017 at 22:23
  • Thanks for the introduction :) I don't remember where I learned the second tip, but I'll try to be more complete in the future. Mar 8, 2017 at 22:56

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