If you read our Types of Leather article, you’ll know that we at Signature Leather feel that Bonded Leather is inferior in quality for furniture, but what is Bonded Leather in actuality?
Bonded leather, also called reconstituted leather or blended leather, is a term used for a man-made upholstery material. It is made by shredding leather scraps and leather fiber, then mixing it with bonding materials. The mixture is next extruded onto a fiber cloth, or paper backing, and the surface is usually embossed with a leather-like texture or grain. Color and patterning, if any, are a surface treatment that does not penetrate like a dyeing process would. The natural leather fiber content of bonded leather varies. The manufacturing process is somewhat similar to the production of paper.
Lower-quality materials may suffer flaking of the surface material in a short period of time. Because the composition of bonded leathers and related products varies considerably, it may be difficult to predict how a given product will perform over the course of time.
Peeling of Bonded Leather after only a short period of time
There are two major drawbacks that can occur with Bonded Leather that really makes us feel it is inferior, especially when it comes to furniture. Outgassing and "sweating" of plasticizers and other chemicals may occur from poorly formulated products. Most importantly, though is the fact that Bonded Leather is difficult or impossible to repair or recondition after wear or damage.
We at Signature Leather do not sell Bonded Leather for all the reasons above. We only sell quality leather furniture from quality manufacturers that will last you for many years to come.