3 June 2024

Automotive - Qualities of leather by Pangea Made

Did you know that genuine leather is often more reliable (automotive ready), sustainable, and durable than synthetic products? What’s interesting is Leather is also more bio-based than new, trendy alternatives as well.

So how to you spot a genuine material?

Your first stop should be the label on the product. If you’re not a buyer or designer, this can be difficult in the automotive world. However, you can also look for some other features:

  • Smell – it should have that unmistakable leather scent. Even very low VOC products will smell different between leather and plastic alternatives. If it doesn’t, it may well be fake.
  • Appearance – although different leather finishing processes can alter the look and feel of the surface, most of them allow the unique nature of the specific piece of leather (what we call the grain) to show through. The structure will not be completely uniform and it is possible there will be blemishes and imperfections.

If the surface is extremely smooth and consistent then that could be a sign that you’re actually looking at PVC, PU, or in other words, plastic.


  • Feel – most real leather will have a sense of depth and some flexibility, meaning that it has a bit of give and you can gently scrunch it. PCV or PU fake leather will also flex, but it will feel different, maybe a bit “harder” and no grain will show along the fold or crease line.
  • Price – while real leather can be extremely affordable, it usually comes in at a higher price point than PVC or PU based leather alternatives.


For more information on the material differences in luxury and sustainability check out this leather buying guide or contact one of our team members today.


About APLF

We bring leather, material and fashion businesses together: an opportunity to meet and greet face to face. We bring them from all parts of the world so that they can find fresh partners, discover new customers or suppliers and keep ahead of industry developments.


We organise a number of trade exhibitions which focus on fashion and lifestyle: sectors that are constantly in flux, so visitors and exhibitors alike need to be constantly aware both of the changes around them and those forecast for coming seasons.


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