When you're shopping for a new leather jacket or trying to figure out if a pre-owned piece is a real deal, it can be difficult to tell an imitation from a genuine article. So, how can you tell if a leather jacket is authentic? Here's what to look for.
1. The Look of the Leather
When looking at leather, the first thing to note is the variations in colour and texture. This is because leather is a natural material from different parts of the hide or animal and how it was tanned.
If you see any areas with a different colour or texture, it may be synthetic leather instead of the real thing. You'll also want to look for natural defects like scars or blemishes, which would be present on real leather but not on synthetic materials. When examining suede, pay attention to the thickness, as that can be another indicator.
If your suede jacket has one continuous layer, it's probably genuine suede! This is because faux suede is usually made with thinner pieces glued together, whereas genuine suede jackets might have thicker patches. After all, they were cut from a thicker section of cowhide.
2. The Smell of the Leather
Smelling is the best way to tell if a jacket is made of genuine leather. If the scent of leather is strong, then the jacket is most likely made of genuine leather. Imitation leather jackets don't usually have a strong scent since they're not made from animal skin.
Two kinds of animal skin are used to make leather jackets: goat and cow. Goat leather is lighter than cowhide, but both materials are tough enough to last through years of wear.
3. The Feel of the Leather
If a leather jacket feels thin and light, it's probably not real. The genuine article should feel thick and substantial. In this case, you can trust your gut-if a jacket feels thin and delicate, it's likely not genuine leather.
To test if a jacket is made of genuine leather, touch the fabric's surface. Real leather should feel soft and flexible under your fingers; if it feels stiff or rough, it's probably not genuine leather.
One way to check if a jacket is made from genuine cowhide is to compare it against other jackets. If it's the same colour (or at least close enough), then it's probably genuine. If there are no matches, then it's probably fake.
4. The Stitching of the Leather
When examining the stitching of a leather jacket, you should look for straight, even stitches. You should also compare the width of each stitch to those around it to ensure they're all the same size.
Look for large gaps between stitches, which could indicate an old repair. Also, notice how close the stitching is to be perfect. This will help you determine if the leather jacket is a cheap knockoff or if it was made with care and attention.
Investing in a quality leather jacket is a great way to see the value of your clothing go up over time. However, it's easy to be fooled by a poorly made imitation without looking closely. When you know how to tell a real leather jacket from a fake, you can avoid being stuck with a discount knockoff that won't last you more than a few months.
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