Leather has been popular for centuries due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. However, traditional leather production has been criticized for its negative environmental and animal welfare impact. To keep up with the ever-changing tides of animal rights and the health of our planet, a new type of leather has emerged in recent years – recycled leather.
What Is Recycled Leather?
Recycled leather, also known as reconstituted leather, is made by shredding and grinding up scraps of natural leather, such as from furniture, shoes, or bags.
The leather scraps are mixed with a binding agent, such as natural latex, and pressed into sheets or rolls. The resulting material has a similar texture and appearance to genuine leather but is more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Is Recycled Leather Fabric Real Leather?
Yes, recycled leather is made from the scraps and leftovers of real leather sold off by leather makers. However, even though it’s made using real leather, you should remember that recycled leather is not the same as genuine leather.
Recycled leather is made from shreds of natural leather that have been processed and mixed with a binding agent, whereas genuine leather is directly made from the hide of an animal that has undergone a tanning process.
Is Recycled Leather Any Good?
Recycled leather is an excellent alternative to traditional leather if you’re concerned about the environment and animal wellbeing. It’s also way more affordable than the genuine leather and has similar durability and texture. But, it tends not to be as strong as genuine leather and isn’t suitable for specific applications, like heavy-duty furniture or high-impact fashion accessories.
What Is Recycled Leather Made Of?
The leather industry makes this material from leftovers of natural leather, typically sourced from the production of shoes, bags, and furniture. The leather scraps are cleaned and ground into small pieces, then mixed with a binding agent (usually latex) to form sheets that are easier to ship. It’s rising in popularity due to its eco-friendly benefits and durability.
Is Recycled Leather Genuine Leather?
No, it’s not considered genuine leather in the traditional sense, as it is made from bits and pieces of natural leather that have been ground up and processed, mixed with binding agents like glues and dyes.
However, recycled leather does have a similar texture and appearance to genuine leather and is often used as a substitute for genuine leather in fashion and furniture applications. Nowadays, you can barely even tell the difference between the two.
How Do They Make Recycled Leather?
Making recycled leather involves shredding and grinding up scraps of natural leather that would otherwise be discarded, mixed with binding materials like glue and natural latex to form a sheet or roll. The sheets or rolls are then further processed to create a finished product, like upholstery for furniture or fashion accessories.
Recycled Leather vs Bonded Leather
Recycled leather and bonded leather are two different materials that are often confused.
Bonded leather is made from shredded leather scraps mixed with polyurethane or other synthetic materials to create a new material that resembles genuine leather.
But recycled leather, on the other hand, is made from shredded leather scraps mixed with natural binding agents like latex and other glues. While both materials are more sustainable than genuine leather, recycled leather is more eco-friendly and has a more natural texture and appearance.
Recycled Leather in the Fashion Industry
It’s definitely become a popular material in the fashion industry in recent years, with designers and brands using it to create a range of products, from shoes and bags to jackets and pants. Recycled leather is a far more sustainable alternative than genuine leather and offers a unique texture and appearance that can add interest to any outfit.
What Are the Best Uses for Recycled Leather?
Leather that’s been recycled is a versatile material that can be used for many applications, including fashion, furniture, and interior design. Some of its best uses include:
1. Fashion accessories: use this leather to create shoes, bags, belts, and other accessories. It has a unique texture and appearance can add interest and style to any outfit.
2. Upholstery: can be used as upholstery for furniture, such as chairs and sofas. It is durable and easy to clean, making it awesome for those who want a more sustainable alternative to traditional leather.
3. Wall coverings: they can be used as wall covering in interior design applications. It adds texture and warmth to a space and can be used to create a unique and stylish accent wall.
4. Flooring: can also be used as a flooring material in commercial and residential settings. It is durable and easy to clean, making it a practical choice for high-traffic areas.
Recycled Leather vs Faux Leather
Recycled leather and faux leather are two popular alternatives to traditional leather that are often used in the fashion and furniture industries. While both materials are not directly made from animal hides, there are significant differences.
Recycled leather is made from natural leather scraps that are collected from tanneries, furniture manufacturers, and other sources. These scraps are shredded into small pieces and then mixed with a binding agent to create a new material that has a similar texture and appearance to genuine leather. It’s along the same lines as man-made stone countertops; they’re created using a mix of crushed up stone like quartz and granite.
Because recycled leather is actually made from genuine leather, it has a more natural and authentic look and feel than faux leather.
Faux leather, on the other hand, is constructed from synthetic materials like polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It’s often used as a cheaper alternative to genuine leather and can be made to look and feel like real leather. However, faux leather tends to be less durable than real leather and can crack or peel over time.
When it comes to sustainability, recycled leather has a clear advantage over faux leather. Recycled leather is made from natural materials that would otherwise go to waste, making it an eco-friendlier alternative to traditional leather. But, faux leather, is made from synthetic materials that are not biodegradable and can have a negative impact on the environment.
In terms of cost, both recycled leather and faux leather are generally cheaper than genuine leather. However, recycled leather can be more expensive than faux leather because it is made from natural leather straps and requires more processing to create.
Take Advantage of Recycled Leather
In the end, recycled leather is a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional leather that is becoming increasingly popular in the fashion, furniture, and interior design industries. Check out our amazing selection of recycled leather right in the Kovi shop!