Settling the Leather versus Synthetic Debate

Published: 23rd March 2010
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Consumers have long been caught in the debate over synthetic leather versus real leather goods. Many people prefer synthetic items, purely because they cost less, or perhaps due to the "cruelty-free" factor. Others, however, will only purchase real leather goods, on the basis that the quality is incomparable to synthetic materials. Either way, it's important to familiarise yourself with the facts - such as advantages and disadvantages - behind synthetic leather and real leather goods before making a purchase.

One of the first things consumers usually consider before making a purchase is the quality of a given product. High quality products usually offer better performance - not to mention, they also last longer. The same idea applies to real leather goods. Real leather simply offers better quality than synthetic leather. Synthetics are usually thinner, and are prone to cracking - which means the appearance of synthetic leather will diminish much faster than that of real leather. Subsequently, items made of real leather tend to last much longer than those made of synthetics - which means they don't have to be replaced as often.

However, care is another point that consumers often take into consideration. While synthetic leather is easy to care for, real leather requires special care to last - for example, leather needs to be kept clean and treated with leather conditioner to keep the material soft. However, leather can be rebuilt if there is wear from abrasions, whereas the process is often not worth the cost with cracked synthetic materials. So, even though leather requires more care, it's possible to keep leather items looking good for a long time with proper attention.

Of course, cost is another factor. Leather is often more expensive than synthetic materials, which means many consumers might veer away from buying it - particularly during the economic crisis. However, the cost of both real leather and synthetic leather often falls in line with quality; that is, real leather costs more because it's of higher quality and will last longer. If it lasts longer, you won't have to replace it as frequently - which could actually save you money in the long run.

So, whether you're looking into buying a leather jacket, leather purses, a leather briefcase, or even a leather couch, make sure you consider the advantages and disadvantages of both leather and synthetic goods - it can ultimately help you make a better buying decision.

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