Real leather is a wholly natural product. It breathes, is warm and durable and has individual characteristics which make each hide unique. Leather will always bear the marks of its natural origin and these characteristics can show as scratches, growth marks, areas of differing fibre density and hair pore structure. These characteristics in no way detract from the wearing qualities of the leather. With use it develops a patina which enhances its beauty.
In the UK a definition of leather is set out in the British Standard Glossary of Leather Terms (BS 2780) and this definition is used as a guide in applying consumer protection legislation such as the Sale of Goods Act and the Trade Descriptions Act. In short, if a product is made from reconstituted leather fibres or if the surface coating is too thick then it cannot be sold as 'leather'.
BS 2780 Definition
Hide or skin with its original fibrous structure more or less intact, tanned to be imputrescible. The hair or wool may or may not have been removed. It is also made from a hide or skin that has been split into layers or segmented either before or after tanning.
Note 1: If the leather has a surface coating, the mean thickness of this surface layer, however applied, has to be 0.15mm or less.
Note 2: If the tanned hide or skin is disintegrated mechanically and/or chemically into fibrous particles, small pieces or powder and then, with or without combination of a binding agent, is made into sheets or forms, such sheets are not leather.
For further information on leather visit: http://www.all-about-leather.co.uk/what-is-leather/what-is-leather.htm