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.
By gem from Gordonsville, VA
The "sniff test" usually does the trick. If the sofa is vinyl (polyurethane) it will smell like plastic.
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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.