Bonded Leather Basics: Facts, Features and Care

Published February 26, 2021
black leather handbag

A bonded leather handbag is not 100% leather. In fact, you may have a small amount of leather in a bonded leather handbag.

Bonded Leather Handbags

When you shop for a bonded leather handbag, you may be surprised to discover the bag smells like leather. The smell of leather may be due to a larger percentage of leather that is used in making the bonded leather. However, that percentage as a rule is never more than 20%.

What Is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather is also known as blended leather. Another name for bonded leather is reconstituted leather. The leather used in bonded leather is the leftovers from the processing of genuine leather. These are usually shredded into fibers to be reconstituted, hence the name.

Bonded Leather Scraps

The leather fibers are first mixed with polyurethane. This acts as a binder for the shredded leather fibers. The mixture of shredded leather and binder are placed onto a cloth, fiber, or paper backing. Once the leather and binding are processed, the bonded leather is embossed with a texture that resembles leather. The purse color is usually applied only on the surface, so it doesn't go all the way through the bonded leather and polyurethane.

Is Bonded Leather as Good as Real Leather?

Bonded leather isn't as good as real leather. In fact, bonded leather only contains about 10% to 20% genuine leather (scraps). The rest is usually polyurethane, although it could be a mix of other synthetics.

How Long Will Bonded Leather Last?

Many bonded leather handbags will last a couple of years. However, your bag might not last a year if you use it every day. How long your bag will last depends on the bonding process.

Is Bonded Leather Durable?

Bonded leather isn't very durable. The durability factor depends on the manufacturing process. Some bonded leather manufacturers keep their bonded leather process a secret, especially if their product has good durability ratings.

Does Bonded Leather Crack and Peel?

Unfortunately, bonded leather tends to flake, crack and peel. You can lessen the chance of this happening by keeping your bag out of direct sunlight for extended periods. There are few other things you can do to prevent the bonded leather from eventually breaking down.

Advantages of Owning a Bonded Leather Handbag

There are a few economical and environmental advantages to owning a bonded leather handbag. The first is an obvious advantage of using the leftover leather. This reduces potential waste and landfill resources.

Disadvantages of Owning a Bonded Leather Handbag

The biggest disadvantage of owning a bonded leather handbag is the poor durability factor. The other disadvantage is that you simply don't know what you are getting when you purchase a bonded leather handbag. If the manufacturer has a quality leather bonded bag, you might get several years of use from it before it begins to flake, crack, or peel, but if the bonded leather is poor quality, you may only get a year of use.

Care and Maintenance of Bonded Leather Handbags

You should never use harsh cleaners on bonded leather. These will strip away the handbag coating and finish. Instead, you can use a damp soft cloth to remove any dust, dirt, or oils.

Where to Find Bonded Leather Handbag

You can find bonded leather handbags in all price ranges. You will even find some produced by well-known designers and others, such as from Michael Kors or Novica.

The Basics About Bonded Leather Handbags

You can learn about the basic facts of banded leather. Not all bonded leathers are the same, and you may discover a designer or company that uses a high quality bonded leather.

Bonded Leather Basics: Facts, Features and Care