Doctor Leather

Leather VS. Leatherette: Know the Difference

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Which will work for me better? Which of these two will last longer? Which of these two is better? And most importantly, how are these two different from each other?

When it comes to leather, it is very easy for us to mistake the real ones to the fake ones. But if you look closely, they are quite different from each other. In this article, we will break down the differences of real leather and fake leather, also known as leatherette or synthetic leather.

Read more and learn from the Leather Expert!

The Differences


Genuine leather is a natural material made from real animal skin hides. Leather’s surface structure has blemishes and imperfections, and its patterns are not uniform. Real leather also doesn’t feel perfectly smooth; it wrinkles and stretches a bit when you press your finger. And it has a distinct smell, a scent that cannot be manufactured.

Close-Up Look of a Leather Purse

On the other hand, Faux Lather or Leatherette or Synthetic Leather is a synthetic and chemically made fabric. It has a uniform pattern and surface which makes it obvious that it is a machine-made piece. Leatherette feels too perfect, too smooth to touch. And it smells like plastic, and the odor of chemicals is noticeable.

Colorful Synthetic Leatherette


Real leather is very durable. The more you use it the better it looks. Given proper care, real leather can last over 15 years in good condition.

Meanwhile leatherette is less durable. It is not made to last. Leatherette does not last as long as real leather does and it can’t be restored or conditioned to its original look. It rarely lasts more than 10 years. Due to our climate and high humidity, leatherette is prone to peeling.


Real leather is composed of biodegradable materials. It is less damaging to the environment than faux leathers.

Luxury Leather

Leatherette is non-biodegradable. Faux leather wears out and need to be replaced more often.

Multicolored imitation leather

Now that you have an idea on what are the differences of the Real Leather and Leatherette, you should also know now the pros and cons of these items.

Real Leather Pros
⦁ Made from animal hides which makes it a biodegradable material
⦁ More durable and could last longer than faux leather
⦁ It gets better as it age
⦁ Breathable material
⦁ Elegant material and is always in style, making it a timeless design

Real Leather Cons
⦁ Can fade in UV Exposure
⦁ More expensive than Leatherette

Faux Leather Pros
⦁ Cheaper compared to the real leather
⦁ Can have a high-gloss color
⦁ Requires little maintenance

Faux Leather Cons
⦁ Not breathable since it is made of PVC
⦁ More prone to tears and cracks easily through misuse
⦁ More environmentally wasteful
⦁ Does not have hypoallergenic qualities
⦁ Doesn’t have the authentic smell of real leather

Both materials have their own share of pros and cons. Choosing the right material will depend on your lifestyle. But one thing is for sure, real leather is the best option for your bags, shoes and clothes.

Remember, leather items will also deteriorate but maintaining it and keeping it in good condition will make its life longer. Keep in mind to always bring your leather items to Doctor Leather. Our leather experts will make sure that your loved items are in good hands and are taken care of by the best.

For your leather emergencies, just go to Doctor Leather!