Whether you are shopping for a new leather jacket or looking to evaluate the genuineness of apre-owned piece, it can be delicate to tell the real thing from an reproduction. So how do you know if a leather jacket is authentic? Then is what to look for.
1. Look at the Leather
The first thing you want to do is look at the leather. Leather is a natural material, so it will have variations in color and texture. This can be from different parts of the hide or animal, as well as how it was tanned.
If you see any inconsistencies in color or texture-such as lighter spots in an otherwise dark leather-you may have a synthetic material instead of genuine leather. You'll also want to check for natural defects like scars or blemishes that are indicative of real leather but not synthetics. And if you're looking at suede, look out for different thicknesses.
While some suede jackets might have thicker patches because they were cut from a thick section of cowhide, faux suede tends to be made with thinner pieces glued together on top of each other-so if your jacket has one continuous layer throughout its entire surface area (as opposed to being patchwork), then chances are good that it's genuine suede!
2. Smell the Jacket
You can always tell a genuine leather jacket by smelling it. If the scent of leather is strong and distinct, then you know that the jacket is made from real leather and not just an imitation material. Leather jackets are made from animal skin, so it's no surprise that they have a distinct odor.
It's important to understand that there are two types of animal skin used in making leather jackets - goat (goatskin) and cow (cowhide). Goat leather has a lighter weight than cowhide, but both materials are durable and sturdy enough to withstand regular wear throughout the years.
3. Feel the Leather
If a leather jacket feels thin, light, and flimsy, it's probably fake. The thickness of the genuine article should give it a solid weight that feels substantial in your hands. This is one of those occasions where you can trust your instincts-if a jacket feels thin and delicate, chances are good that it isn't a real leather.
The next test involves touching the surface of the garment to assess its smoothness and flexibility. Genuine leather jackets feel soft under your fingertips when you run them over any part of the surface; if they're stiff or rough to touch then they're likely not real leather either.
Another way to tell if something is made from genuine cowhide is by holding up several different jackets against each other until you find one that matches yours exactly in terms of coloration (or at least close enough). If none seem like viable matches for yours then this would support an assumption that what you have may be fake after all.
4. Tug on It
If you've never had the opportunity to touch a real leather jacket before, it may be hard to tell if your new purchase is genuine or not. However, with practice, you'll learn what real leather feels like.
When you run your fingers over the surface of a genuine leather jacket, it will feel smooth and supple. It won't have any rough spots or scratchy bits. Instead, it will feel soft and pliable under your touch.
If a piece of clothing feels too hard or too stiff, then this is usually an indication that it isn't made from genuine materials. This can happen because someone has treated their garment in order to make them look more authentic (and sell for more money), but these treatments tend to wear off over time and leave behind something that looks quite different than real leather.
5. Check for Scars on the Hides
Real leather has scars. It's a sign of quality and craftsmanship, and you can tell the difference between real and fake by looking at them. If the scars on your jacket are too clean, it's probably not real leather. And if they're too deep, then it's also likely not genuine leather.
The best way to identify if your jacket is made from high-quality hides is to look for small imperfections like these-they indicate that the hide had been carefully selected for its quality before being processed into your item of choice (in this case, a jacket)
6. Check out the Stitching
There are a few things you can look for when examining the stitching of a leather jacket. First, look to see if the stitching is straight and even. Next, compare the width of each stitch to those around it to make sure they're all uniform.
Make sure that there aren't any large gaps between stitches on any area of your garment (if there are, this could mean that someone tried to hide an old repair). Finally, take note of how close everything is to being perfect-this will help you determine whether or not this leather jacket was made with care and attention or if it's just another cheap knockoff.
Given the right information, it should be relatively easy to tell if a leather jacket is genuine or not. If you are shopping online and do not have the chance to feel the jacket in person, then make sure that you can view multiple photos of it from different angles.
In general, designers will use only real leather as they know it is a premium material that helps maintain their brand's reputation. If possible, ask a friend with more experience in this area for some guidance.