If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.
As you make your choice of leather products, you need to know that they may be of different qualities. Bonded leather is one of the commonly used types of leather. In order to determine whether or not it is a good option, you need to figure out how good it is.
Table Of Contents
How Good Is a Bonded Leather?
Because of the way is made, bonded leather is not as good as genuine leather. It is less durable, it wears and tears over time and is easily flaked, peeled and scratched. Finally, it may release its bonding chemicals after a while, which may be toxic.
Bonded leather is commonly used to make bags, furniture upholstery and in bookbinding. It is essentially a combination of fibres of ground leather and a mixture of plastic (polyurethane). Once the mixture is smooth, it is attached to objects like fiber backing or papers.
Stages in Manufacturing of Bonded Leather
This is the first step in case you intend to achieve the finest bonded leather. You need to find fibers or even scraps. A source of this is collecting leather that doesn’t meet the required standards of pure leather.
Once these raw materials are collected, you begin the process of shredding them. This is simply a process that will tear all these items into shreds that can be used to manufacture it.
Once the items have been shredded, they are mixed with a specific type of plastic called latex. This is what will actually put all these shredded scraps together as one single unit.
One thing you need to understand is that the items you use during the mixing process will have a huge influence on the final material. Basically, the end material can either be strong, soft or hard. It all depends on the ratios you used.
This is normally the third stage and it’s very complex. After mixing, you need to pour the mixture onto a flat backing. This can be done using machines or gravity so that they can help pushing the material to a flat backing evenly.
Another thing that you should understand at this stage is that backing is very essential since it facilitates the drying of the bonded mixture.
After the bonded mixture has finally dried up, you need to find a suitable dye for it. The dying is necessary as it allows you to have different final products.
The colouring process doesn’t go deep into the bonded leather but it’s majorly on the surface. Thus, it may fade over time.
Embossing or stamping is a compulsory stage because it gives the manufacturer an opportunity to apply all the finishes you intended to for cosmetic purposes. This could involve changing the final texture so as to meet the clients’ needs. However, these textures are determined according to the type of goods they intend to use the bonded leather on.
This is the final stage when creating bonded leather. This is basically where they apply the final touches to it.
The finishing mainly ensures that the appearance of its’ surface is shining. This is done using a polyurethane treatment which also acts as a protectant of the material.
Simple Ways to Take Care of Bonded Leather
- Avoid direct sunlight. The sun has negative effect on it and this could result in lessening the lifespan of your bonded leather products.
- Cleaning regularly. Wipe weekly with a dry soft cloth to remove dust. You can also wet clean it every so often to prevent dirt build-up, which may cause scratches on your bonded leather.
- Avoid using any toxic chemicals that can react with its’ surfaces. Since it is sealed with plastic, use of these chemicals can remove the bonding which may damage your products.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will a Bonded Leather Couch Last?
Bonded leather has been known to have a lifespan of two to three years. The lifespan isn’t certain since different circumstances will influence how long the bonded leather couch will last.
For instance, if your bonded leather couch is exposed to children or pets, then the lifespan will be less as compared to someone who uses it for guests only.
In the case of damages on your leather couch, you could fix a large hole on it yourself or even better when you decide to reupholster it. Basically, if you take proper care of your couch, then you will get the best out of it.
Bonded leather is not as good as genuine leather, although it is used to make common household items such as bags and couches. It is made using its own scraps to polyurethane plastic.
If you want these items to last and get the most out of its price, always take care of them by using leather cleaners more often. Never allow pets to play on them as this will lead to the peeling of top surfaces.
Brett E. is the Owner of BarterDesign.co. Brett comes from a long line of craftsman and foreman, and has been involved with the construction and renovation world ever since he was a boy while working for his families construction and remodeling company. After graduating with a a degree in Interior Design, Brett is the go to guy for any interior design or remodeling questions!