How to Tell if Leather is Real

How to Spot a Fake: Your Guide to Authentic Leather Goods

Leather goods have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the market for luxury leather items growing exponentially. However, with so much demand comes a lot of counterfeits. If you’re looking for a quality leather item, it’s important to know how to tell if it is real or not. Read on for a comprehensive guide on how to spot authentic leather and avoid fake goods.

Feel It!

Leather should feel soft and supple, not rough or stiff. Real leather should fold easily and flex slightly when you run your hand over it. Faux leather will feel stiffer than real leather and won’t have any give when you press into it with your fingers. Additionally, faux leather may also have an artificial sheen to it whereas real leather will look more natural and matte.

Getting Sniffy!

Yes, that’s right—you can actually use your nose to tell if something is real or not! Real leather has a distinct smell that is hard to confuse with anything else; some even compare it to the smell of wet grass after a rainstorm (not that we’re recommending sniffing wet grass!). Fake leather often has an artificial smell that can be quite strong and off-putting. So, if what you’re sniffing smells like plastic, then chances are it’s not authentic.

Check Out The Label!

Manufacturers must legally print their materials on the labels of their products; so if there isn’t one then the item is almost certainly counterfeit. An authentic label should list the material as “genuine cowhide” or “genuine calfskin,” followed by details such as where the hide was tanned and treated. If you still aren’t sure whether what you’re looking at is real or not after reading its label, don’t be afraid to ask questions—an honest seller won’t mind answering them!


When shopping for genuine leather items, make sure to check for certain markers before making your purchase. Feel the material for any stiffness or unnatural texture; take in its scent; read its label; and don’t be afraid to ask questions if necessary—and voila!

 You’ll be able to spot authentic leather from a mile away in no time at all! With this knowledge in hand, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get the luxurious quality of genuine leather goods without breaking the bank–happy shopping!

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