How to Spot Fake Leather

Whether you're in the market for a new leather jacket or sofa, you should be able to distinguish the difference between fake and real leather. Here are five tips on how to spot a fake:

Check the Label First

This is the most obvious way to find out if a piece is made from real leather, yet some people don't even think to look. If you see the words "synthetic" or "polyester" on the label, that means the product isn't made from real leather.

Do a Touch Test

You may be able to tell just by touching the piece whether the leather is real or fake. Fake leather feels smooth, almost like plastic. Real leather will feel soft and flexible, but it will also have a grainy feel. You also won't be able to stretch faux leather, but real leather can be stretched. Lastly, real leather will feel warm, while fake leather feels cool.

Do a Smell Test

Leather has a distinct, oaky smell, while faux leather does not. It may help to smell something you know is authentic leather first to ensure you know what type of odor it emits.

Look for the Pores

Leather comes from animals, so the hides used to make furniture, jackets and other products will have visible pores on them. If you don’t see any pores, you’re dealing with fake leather.


With these insights, you should be able to figure out when a leather item is a fake and when it is real. If it's the real thing, you'll need to care for it with specialty items such as our Leather Care Kit. You can get free shipping on our products when you spend at least $25. You can also explore our e-Learning Center to find DIY tips.