Real leather?

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Choosing properly

If you type 'leather iPhone case' into eBay you get a bunch of results. 

Unfortunately, there is very little in the way of 'real' leather on the first few pages of the search. 

These pages are inhabited by Powersellers who import cases very cheaply from China, and then sell to people on eBay. 

Most of these cases are not leather at all but PU leather. PU leather is man-made to look like the real thing. It is rubbery and shiny and stretchy and doesn't last. It is not unique nor original and looks cheap and also damages the environment. Do people know that they aren't buying real leather? Should sellers be able to use the word 'leather' in their titles and not clearly label their products as PU leather? If you don't mind PU leather, that's ok, just  don't read on. 

How can you tell if you're buying something substandard? 

1. The price. If you are buying a 'leather' case for £3.99 then chances are that it is not real leather. If it is real leather then it should be at least £8.99. That's being generous, it should be at least £20, but this is eBay. eBay is known for bargains, so let's say with a case between £9.99-£19.99 you are at the top of the price range for phone cases and should be getting (but aren't guaranteed) real leather. Cow's are expensive to feed and slaughter and tanning is a time consuming process. If it is made by hand, then you should expect considerably more due to the man hours involved in hand stitching and finishing.

2. First impressions. If you look at the leather and see that it is shiny and cheap looking, then it is PU leather. PU leather is available in many colours, so if a seller offers many colours then this is a giveaway too. Real leather is more likely to be available in more neutral colours, for example:  tan, black or brown. If you can't tell, ask the seller directly, or alternatively message litheleatherco for an estimate. 

3. The hair follicles. Can you see any hair follicles? I don't mean does it look like leather, as PU leather imitates real leather. What I mean is, look at your hand or arm now and look where the hairs leave the surface of your skin. Can you see the little holes where the hairs come out? Well, your real leather should have these holes exactly the same as you. Try to zoom in on pictures to check that it has hair follicles. 

Why should you care?

Why would you settle for Asda Smartprice when you can have Sainsbury's Extra Special for that little bit extra? Sainsbury's extra special not only looks better and provides you with more satisfaction, but it actually lasts longer anyway and gets better with age. Not to mention, supporting real leather on eBay ensures that leather tanning and hand made production is kept alive in this age of mass production of rubbish. Fight against those selling rubbish by seeking out real leather when you buy your phone case. Ask questions and use your head. Try searching for 'handmade leather' rather than just leather, as these are more likely to be made from real leather, but again there is no guarantee, so find out for yourself. 

Happy Hunting.

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