By in Frances Hunt Furniture News, Furniture Glossary

What is the Difference Between Leathers and Suedes

Genuine, faux, bycast, bonded…confused? Well hopefully this will help to fill in a few of those information gaps and give you a clearer understanding of our genuine and faux leather products and what they have to offer.

Bycast Leather

Bycast leather is created using a cut of genuine leather known as ‘split leather’ whereby the cut is separated into two layers; the under layer is the one used in Bycast leather. Special glue is then melted onto the leather layer and covered with coloured polyurethane giving it a finished look.

The good thing about Bycast leather is that is has a consistent and uniform appearance. There are no colour variations on the surface giving an even look, although this does mean it loses the natural tones and blemishes authentic leather has.
Easy to clean and maintain, bycast leather can be wiped with a damp cloth and will not scratch or tear easily.
The downside of Bycast leather is that it has a plastic like appearance, a stiff plastic feel and reduced breathability.

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather (aka Reconstituted leather) is made up of left over pieces, or that which is not in its original form, pressed together and fused to other leather with a bonding agent.
Bonded leather can come with varying degrees of genuine leather present within it; for example, a piece can be 100% genuine leather but will still be referred to as bonded leather simply because it is not in its original form.

Bonded leather is cheaper than natural genuine leather and often holds similar properties such as smell and overall appearance. For those wanting something as close to genuine leather as possible, but for a fraction of the price, bonded leather is the best option.

Faux Leather

Faux leather is a synthetic material, usually made of polyurethane, designed to imitate genuine leather. Due to it being a synthetic material, faux leather is far cheaper than genuine leather, is easier to maintain and can be made to any colour making it ideal for boutique furniture.

Compared to genuine leather, faux leather will feel and smell differently and lacks some of the charming characteristics of natural leathers such as pores (although some faux leathers will have pores printed onto it, they will appear regular and pattern like), tonal variations and the ability to age with authenticity.

Suede / Faux Suede

Genuine suede is made from natural leather whereby the flesh side is brushed to create a textured surface. The brushing process breaks open the surface of the leather resulting in a naturally soft and delicate feel.

Faux suede is creating using synthetic polyester and, although it is not genuine, is often favoured over genuine suede. Not only is it more affordable, but is more.