We have often been asked that question, especially by those who want to be sure they they are purchasing an item made of real leather. They don't want to be caught out buying a product they didn't actually want in the first place.
Faux is the French word for false.
So faux leather is false leather and is made from materials other than real leather. It is artificial leather.
One common faux leather product is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). There are many other man-made faux leathers.
Faux leather may look like real leather, it may even feel like real leather.
To determine whether your material is real leather or not may well require you to apply the odour test. If it doesn't smell leathery, it may well not be real leather.
The other major indicator is the fact that faux leather can easily be mass produced for a much lower cost than natural leather. If it is low cost, it is most probably not genuine leather.
Be especially careful if an item is advertised as 'leather' because faux leather is sometimes described as leather. PU leather for example also falls into the faux category.
So our advice when purchasing a handbag (or for that matter any other 'leather' product) is to first of all establish whether the leather is actually real (genuine) leather or faux leather.
In other words, when buying a leather handbag the buyer must truly be aware of what it is that they are purchasing - real leather or faux leather!
If you are wishing to purchase a real (genuine) leather handbag don't hesitate to ask questions of the seller. When you inspect the handbag make sure you read any attached print material, see whether it smells like real leather, and if in any doubt ask more questions about its authenticity from whomever is selling or has sold you the handbag.
On the other hand, if a handbag is specifically advertised as a genuine leather handbag you have less reason for doubt - it should be genuine leather made from cowhide (or possibly sheepskin). The leather for a handbag made from genuine Italian leather will most likely have been sourced from a tannery in the region of Tuscany between the towns of Florence and Pisa. The leather for all Bella Charis handbags, like many other luxury handbags, is sourced from the tanneries in Tuscany.
If you are told the truth that is fine. You will then have every confidence that what your are getting is what you asked for.
Have you ended up with a handbag you didn't really want because it wasn't genuine leather?
Have you had a good experience and treasure the purchase you made?
Can you tell others how to avoid falling into a marketing trap?
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Jan & Dean