It’s not uncommon to mistake bonded leather from real leather because of how much they look alike. Bonded leather is an upholstery material that is also known as blended or reconstituted leather. This type of leather is made by mixing shredded leather scraps and fibers with bonding material.
As much as bonded leather looks like the real deal, its durability is not the same. Real leather does not shred or peel like the bonded one. This means that you might have to repair your bonded leather sofa at some point.
Without any pets or children, your bonded leather sofa might last anywhere between two to three years. We shall have a look at how you can repair your bonded leather sofa.
Some of the methods you can use to repair your bonded leather sofa peeling include the following:
- The soft filler method
- Using leather paint or dye
Table of Contents
The Soft Filler Method
Remove the peeling bonded leather from the underlying material so that you can be able to replace it. If you can’t use your hands to remove the materials, then you can use a scissor. Once you’re done, be sure to clean the area with a damp cloth and ensure that the surface is smooth.
Once you’ve already removed the flaking bonded leather, you can now apply the filling compound on your underlying material. Make sure you evenly spread the compound on the bare underlying material.
Be careful not to spread too much of the filler compound on the other part of the sofa that is in good condition as well as in the seams. Once you’re done, give it some time to dry before cleaning the surface once again using rubbing alcohol.
After ensuring that you have a clean surface, repeat the process of applying another layer of the filler compound. To add some texture to the final product, you can wear a plastic glove and gently pat on the surface then let the filler compound cure completely after some time.
Once the compound has dried completely, you can now paint it. You’ll need to paint the base coat first then finish off with the clear to achieve a lustrous finish for your final outcome. Once all this is done, you’ll have your bonded leather looking as good as new!
Unlike real leather, bonded leather is prone to flaking and peeling within a short while. This method will increase the lifespan of your sofa but it will soon start peeling again with exposure to body oils and sharp objects among other things.
Using Leather Paint or Dye
This is yet another method for repairing your bonded leather sofa peeling. Just like the method discussed earlier, you’ll start by ensuring that you have removed the flaking bonded leather from your sofa.
Make sure you’ve removed the pieces completely for a smooth surface and be sure not to overdo it. Once you’re done, wipe off the surface but be wary not to wet the surface.
Using a sponge or paintbrush, gently apply your leather paint on the surface. Repeat the process several times, and give it time to cure after each coat/layer. Make sure that you completely cover the entire damaged area with paint.
Once the paint is completely dry, you can now apply the gloss finish and let it dry for some time, approximately around thirty minutes. Repeat this process and apply several layers of the finish. Remember to let each coat dry before applying the next one.
Advantages of Bonded Leather
- Bonded leather is cheaper than the other types of leather. It’s a great alternative for leather since it is quite affordable.
- It can easily be mistaken for real leather since it looks and smells the same.
- It is an eco-friendly material since it’s made from leftover natural leather.
- It is available in different colors and can be used in making various leather products such as furniture, bags, shoes e.t.c.
Disadvantages of Bonded Leather
- It is less durable compared to other leather types or real leather especially if the furniture is frequently used.
- It is not easy to repair.
- It fades upon prolonged exposure to sunlight.
- It is easily susceptible to wear and tear.
- The quality gets worse with time, unlike real leather.
- The bonded leather sofa can get less appealing with time since the upholstery material starts flaking or falling off.
How do you take care of your bonded leather sofa?
Bonded leather furniture is very delicate and it needs great care to avoid the wear and tear. From the cleaning to the storage method, taking care of your bonded leather will guarantee it a longer lifespan although it will peel at some point.
Highlighted below are some of the ways that you can care for your bonded leather sofa:
- Make sure that your bonded leather sofa is gently cleaned to remove any stains, body oils, or dirt present. You should ensure that this is done often using a soft and damp sponge or piece of cloth.
- For you to protect and preserve the bonded leather, you should make sure that you use a leather conditioner frequently when cleaning your sofa.
- Because of the delicate nature of the material, you’re advised to avoid using any harsh chemicals when cleaning your bonded leather sofa.
- Avoid placing or leaving your bonded leather furniture in direct sunlight, since it will crack and wear faster. This will also make the material fade faster.
What is the difference between bonded leather and real leather?
As mentioned earlier, many people tend to mistake real leather from bonded leather. But they can’t be blamed considering most furniture tend to market the bonded leather as if it were the real deal. We shall have a look at the distinct differences between the two:
- Genuine leather does not peel or flake like bonded leather. Instead, it can fade over time because of frequent use or getting in contact with body oil and friction.
- Bonded leather is less durable, meaning real leather can last for longer periods. The difference in their durability is brought about mainly because of their composition.
- Real leather is easier to repair compared to bonded leather.
- Bonded leather furniture is not the best choice for someone with allergies. This is mainly because of the poor quality of chemical compounds used in its production.
- Genuine leather is also more expensive than any other type of leather. This makes bonded leather the affordable substitute.
From reading the above, it is clear that bonded leather isn’t the same as real leather or any other type for that matter. Well, except for the similarity in their smell and how they look.
It is also important to note that once bonded leather starts wearing or tearing, it can’t stop regardless of the number of repairs. This only improves the appeal but the furniture doesn’t get to last for a significantly longer duration.
Overall, if you’re looking for durability and quality, then real leather should be your choice without a doubt. But in the case that you want an affordable substitute for real leather, then a bonded leather sofa should be your option.