What is bonded leather and what are its types?
Sometimes when we buy some things we come across with words we don’t understand. One of which are the words bonded leather. So, what exactly is it about? Bonded leather is also known as reconstituted leather. It is often classified under leather material but is actually not authentic leather but rather manmade leather like material which often comes from scraps of leather manufacturers.
The material is actually composed of ninety to one hundred percent leather filaments in variable degrees of authentic leather attach together with an adhesive bond then covered with polyurethane or vinyl for padding purposes and insulation for furniture making. It is only the back area that is only made of authentic leather for the purpose of reconstituting the feel and appearance of an authentic leather at a much lower cost.
Most of the big time manufacturers called bonded leather products as Dura Hide Plus, Nupelle, Ultra Hide or polyvinyl composite (PVC). What are the types of bonded leather? The type of bonded leather commonly used in furniture industry is polyurethane or vinyl supported bonded with a fabric and a layer of leather filaments to create an authentic leather look at a budget friendly price. However, other retailers use the term “fabric-covered furniture” to refrain from causing confusion among its buyers.
The fashion sector also uses bonded leather for fashion accessories such as bags, belts and others. In addition, educational supplies also have its share of paper supported bonded leather which has a small percentage of true leather on the product’s outer surface for an actual leather smell. These can be found in books, diaries, art books and desk accessories as well.
Pros and cons of bonded leather products
The best thing with bonded leather is its price advantage for its clienteles. Products especially furniture’s that are made of it are budget-friendly. Its feel and appearance is very much similar with authentic leather at a cheaper cost. In terms of cleaning it can be clean easily with no hassle. It can also withstand an average normal usage. Apart from the above mentioned advantages, it is also nature friendly as it uses recyclable materials such as scraps from leather manufacturers where formerly destined to be discarded before the advent of this technology innovation.
Bonded leather also has its share of downside. One of which is, this innovative technology had just been introduced in furniture industry sometime in 2007, and so, there is no exact data on how durable it is after 10 years of normal usage. On the other hand, when it gets scratched it shows obvious color change as the color of the supporting or backing material will show through. With regards to usage and durability, it is recommended for infrequent use since it had been observed by many bonded leather things owner that it’s not as durable as the genuine leather items.
Its Controversial Issue
The controversial issue with bonded leather is often it creates confusion among customers about leather authenticity thereby misguiding customers with the idea that it’s authentic leather.
In Comparison with Bicast Leather
A Bicast leather is also known as bycast leather, PU leather or split type leather. It has a polyurethane or vinyl layer attached to its surface before embossed. It was first used by shoe manufacturers and then later on assimilated by furniture manufacturers. Unlike bonded leather which resembles a genuine leather look and feel, bicast leather does not exhibit characteristic of genuine leather such as the feel of suppleness as it aged. With frequent use its polyurethane layer may split.