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Real leather products are beautiful and are great investment pieces. In the footwear world, a genuine leather shoe adapts to your foot over time, so the shoe will fit and feel better with more wear. This makes it more comfortable and also gives it unique characteristics. How great is that?!
But how can you guarantee that an item is made of genuine leather and not artificial? There are a few characteristics to look out for and some simple tests that will help guide you to be more assured that you are not being fooled. These may be applied to any type of product in question such shoes, bags or clothing.
A few tips and tests to guide you on how to identify real leather:
Natural leather products have a beautiful and unique ‘leather’ smell that cannot be mimicked on synthetic materials. Products such as leather smelling sprays do exist, but these tend to wear out over time. Boutiques that sell leather items usually have that beautiful and distinct smoky smell that you can sense right upon entering
Scratches, creases and wrinkles are a quality that you usually want to avoid when purchasing a new product, but natural leathers tend to have distinguishable marks and imperfections on them. This is because leather comes from real animals of course, and scratches, stretch marks and veining are a few of the characteristics that you will expect to see on their skins. In saying that, marks will become less visible if a skin is treated (such as with dyes or coatings). A heavily treated natural leather is still real leather, although it will lose some of the natural qualities that may have been on the hide. The quality of life of the animal affects the amount of scarring to expect on the skin, and this is when leather grading comes into play. Leather grades A, B and C are used as an indicator to identify the amount of damage or defect on a skin (this is separate from the actual quality).
B. Color Change
The color of natural leathers will change over time and when exposed to light or when folded, while synthetic materials will remain more rigid and even.
The pores in natural leathers are distributed unevenly and have inconsistent patterns. Synthetic leathers, although may have pores (as manufacturers have found more ways to make them look more like real leather), will have a consistent repeating pattern. These pores, actually stamped onto the material, may look realistic but in fact are not.
Real leather products are unique in character and behavior. The more you can touch and feel the product, the easier it is to identify a product as being made of real versus artificial leather. At the end of it, if a product feels like plastic, it most likely is made of synthetic materials. But if it is smooth, feels and looks luxurious, it probably is the genuine leather product that deserves your attention.
So shop the Rana Cheikha and Wander Collections to invest in a pair of handmade shoes in genuine leather.
Signing-off: The Shoe Advisor
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Well, in a nutshell, shoes are an incredible product. They have history and function, they are a product of design with a need of technical know-how in construction and form. They art an art and a nod to objects of artisanal creation. Stereotypes may place women as being obsessive over shoes, but in reality, this obsession is just as present in men as it is in women. It has become quite obvious that men too can be just as passionate and enthusiastic about them.
You don’t need to have a plethora of clothes in your closet to feel like you have enough to create a wide range of outfits. A good selection of staple pieces can give you enough styling versatility and remain relevant over time. Shoes are a great accessory that you can use alongside a few classic clothing options to take you through the seasons in a stylish breeze. Although I would usually advocate to wear what you want to and feel good in at all times, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts that are quite helpful to consider while picking out shoes for your outfits. These can help make decisions faster and, to some extent, less painful too!