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Steve Lange, Director of the Leather Research Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, U.S., participated in a local television programme to help consumers identify the differences between furniture upholstery made with ‘bonded leather’ and genuine ‘leather’.
The live TV programme recently broadcasted by the American WJLC channel, showed the example of a consumer who bought a couch and whose upholstery was labelled in the store as being ‘leather’ but which, six years later, was torn, split, and shredded all over. The disintegrating couch was actually made of bonded leather which, as Lange explains in the programme, means it is made of small pieces of leather, or scraps, that are pressed into place and held together chemically.
"With natural leather, the grain will make little wrinkles. With the bonded leather product, you are not going to have that look at all. It's like a smooth sheet of plastic," said Lange, adding that, “once people know the difference between real and bonded they will want real leather."
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, any items made of bonded leather should be labelled as such.
To watch the TV video featuring Lange, please click here.