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Does Grain Leather Peel off?

By Jeff Frank


I just read your article on bonded vs. faux leather which was very informative! I had some dining chairs that started to severely flake and peel at the edges despite having been in good condition just a year ago. 

The chairs were sold as “grain leather”, but is peeling something that happens to grain leather as well? I had been under the impression grain leather was meant to be quite durable and lasting as a product.


August 19, 2020


The term “grain leather” is not an official furniture or leather terminology. This phrase is typically preceded by the either “full” or “top,” both of which apply to real leather made from hides. Leather made from hides does not peel.

Typically, when new, unfamiliar terminology is introduced (usually by marketing departments), the purpose is to hide a familiar term (such as “bonded leather”) that too many people are trying to avoid.

After 10 years manufacturers and retailers appear to have finally had enough problems with bonded leather.

Many companies have recently started switching from bonded leathers to new faux leathers that are combinations of polyurethane, polyester and sometimes vinyl. These are less expensive than 100% polyurethane faux leathers, especially those with higher percentages of polyester.

The new faux leathers have only been available for about a year and it is too soon to know how they will hold up over the long term, but they can’t possibly be any worse than the bonded leathers.

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