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The other day, we were all talking about buying new furniture and about how to distinguish real leather from fake leather. I had never given it much thought as I am not interested in my furniture being leather although it does have it's benefits. My boss told me she looked into a real leather sofa and the gentleman helping her told her you could be sure you were buying real leather by how many seams it has in it. I looked puzzled, so she continued to explain that fake leather has fewer seams because real leather was taken from hides and there was no animal alive that could cover a whole sofa. Sure made great sense to me. So if you are in the market for a real leather sofa or chair be sure to check how many seams it has in it.
By maphisx7 from Gordonsville, VA
The "sniff test" usually does the trick. If the sofa is vinyl (polyurethane) it will smell like plastic.
If your sofa has a very high gloss and feels very stiff/inflexible, it is very likely that it is bi-cast and not genuine leather.
By COLORCARE from Malaga, Spain
Editor's Note: Here is a link to a Wikipedia entry on Bi-cast Leather