Genuine Leather


Definition of Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is a type of leather obtained from the lower layers of animal hide, which usually lack the full grain found in the top layers.

These lower layers are processed to remove imperfections and maintain a smooth texture.

The term “genuine” shouldn’t be confused with real leather. A product with a “Genuine Leather” label simply means it contains more leather than products with bonded leather.

While genuine leather is affordable, it’s not as durable as full grain leather. Genuine leather is treated with chemicals and later coated to make it more resistant to wear and tear, but this results in a less-than-natural appearance and a lack of breathability.

Another disadvantage is that it’s difficult to distinguish genuine leather from bonded leather due to their similarities. The inability to do so confuses consumers who may believe they’re purchasing a high-quality leather product when in fact it’s a lower quality product.

The table below compares the features of genuine leather with other leather types:

Type of Leather Durability Maintenance Requirements Notable Features/ Considerations
Genuine Leather Moderate Regular cleaning and conditioning Affordable option, suitable for occasional use
Full Grain Leather High Occasional conditioning, natural aging Durable, develops a unique patina over time
Top Grain Leather High Occasional conditioning, resistant to wear Smooth and uniform appearance, long-lasting
Bonded Leather Low - Moderate Minimal maintenance, prone to peeling Lower quality, less durable, may have a synthetic feel

American Bench Craft leather products are made from full grain leather. They have a natural grain and markings that distinguish them from cheap leather. 

Despite its low quality, genuine leather is still used in a variety of leather products, including jackets, wallets, and belts. It’s a good choice for those on a budget or those who only need a leather product for occasional use.

Example of Genuine Leather in a sentence

“I bought a belt labeled genuine leather and it lasted only a few months.”


Split leather, imitation leather.

Related terms for Genuine Leather