How to Check Real and Quality Leather Bags from Fake Ones

Vintage Leather Sydney

Leather is one of the most sought-after materials in the bags and accessories market because of its versatility and durability. High-quality leather has been used for ages in luxury goods since it connotes a distinguished level of style, taste, and sophistication.

Because of the demand for leather designer goods and accessories, there are many options in the market today made of imitation or plastic “leather” material. Real, authentic leather, however, is made from raw animal hide treated with chemicals in a process called tanning. After undergoing treatment, the hide becomes stronger, sturdier, and can be shaped into a variety of bag styles. These include leather handbags, backpacks, duffels, and satchels. 

The long-lasting, hardwearing, and flexible properties of leather make it a superior product to work with. Likewise, because of the effort that it takes to produce it, it can cost more than several cheaper alternatives.  

If you’re in the market to invest in a high-quality leather bag, but you’re not sure what to look for, here are several things you should keep in mind that will help you distinguish real from fake: 

  •  1. Sniff the scent 

Real leather has a distinct, pungent smell. Some say it has an earthy, sweet scent. Find a piece of genuine leather to familiarise yourself with. Synthetic leather is made of plastic and will smell like such. The higher quality of leather, the richer and stronger the scent. 

  •  2. Check the constitution  

Inquire with the seller or check the product label to see what part of the rawhide was used in the construction of the bag. Some labels will indicate “synthetic” or “manufactured” leather, meaning it was produced to mimic the appearance of leather.  

These types of material are made from plastic and tend to have a shiny, uniform appearance. Meanwhile, full-grain leather, which is the highest quality leather, bears natural markings and variations on texture on its surface. Additionally, authentic leather will become soft and supple, but not saggy, over time and with gentle care and use. 

  •  3. Inspect the product’s stitching 

Fine leather products will be stitched together by skilled craftsmen who pay close attention to this detail. The product stitching should have fine, straight lines appropriate for such a luxurious material. Sometimes, cheap or imitation products will have messy or jagged lines, and these bindings may fray easily.  

  •  4. Feel the surface 

Depending on which layer of the animal hide it was made from, real leather can have either a coarse or fine texture. If it feels too smooth, however, it may be faux or synthetic leather. Real leather is made from animal skin and will, therefore, have natural bumps and folds, though these are often smoothed in the tanning process. Still, if you run your hand over the material, you should be able to feel fine to coarse pores along its surface. 

  •  5. Examine the hardware 

Hardware, such as clasps, locks, rivets, and eyelets, are used to accentuate the beauty of the leather material. They are used to secure the mens crossbody bag together or to other parts, such as a shoulder strap or a pouch. The clasps on a fine quality leather handbag are usually made from brass, copper, zinc, or bronze. 

Leather is a beautiful and supple material that will surely last for many years. Scrutinise the products carefully while keeping these key tips in mind, and you will be able to make sure you’re investing in the real thing. 

Browse our Australian-based store for a selection of handmade and carefully crafted leather products in a wide range of styles. We offer leather handbags and accessories that are perfect for any style and preference! 



Vintage Leather takes great pride in introducing its range of duffle bags that last a lifetime. Capsule shaped large capacity bags come packed with Zip-top closures, side pockets, and twin handles. Only the top of the line leather is used that makes the duffle durable and robust. Get yours if you are planning to travel soon.

** Note: The cleaning and leather care tips provided here are general suggestions. It's crucial to consider the specific type of leather and the individual item. For personalised guidance and to address specific concerns, always consult with a professional or refer to manufacturer recommendations. The information offered here is for informational purposes only and may not be suitable for all situations.