How do you tell real leather wallets from fake leather wallets?

Real leather wallets

How to ensure that you are getting quality leather and not a fake?

I recently visited a foreign country which had a marketplace which had an assortment of various goods. Now, I am not really one of those people who have an idealistic view that you can buy a $1000 watchfrom a flea market vendor for $20. And so my expectations being low, I waded through the merchants and eventually came across a vendor who looked somewhat reputable.

However, when he started his sale pitch with “these are not fake and will not turn your finger green” I knew that I had best move on. However, when he started hissale pitch with “these are not fake and will not turn your finger green” I knew that I had best move on.

The point is this, we generally have an indicator to tell us what is real and what is not. IKE or MIKE is not the same as NIKE. Yet, when it comes to spotting fake material such as leather, especially in a wallet, our gauges get a little off. Here are a few ways to quickly spot a fake leather wallet.


Look at the tag

Wallet tag

It may sound a bit redundant but the first thing which a person should check when they are looking to see if they have a genuine leather slim wallet is to check the label if one is present. A company cannot state that a product is 100% leather if it is not (as that would be fraud or at least theft by deception).

Ifyou see that there is a mix of leather with anything other than silk for the interior lining, the odds are pretty high that you are buying mostly synthetic materials. The best way to ensure that you are getting authentic leather is to get a wallet from a professional leather artist.

Look for the pores in the leather

Leather is animal skin. We tend to forget that. But it is an important thing to note when you are looking at a wallet. In today’s market, the fake leather has the textures and the look and feel of real leather.

However, there is one thing which the machine cannot reproduce (as it would be cheaper just to use real leather if they tried) and that is to put the thousands of tiny skin pores into the material. When checking for pores, look for a variation in the pore/hole sizes. Look for personality within it. Skin must breath and so the skin must show this.

Check for imperfections

One of easiest ways to spot a genuine leather slim wallet from a fake leather wallet is to look for the imperfections. Mass produced fake leather wallets will have very precise and clean cut edges. Real leather will have a bit of a ruggedness to the edges, though these will be masked by the skilled leather artisan. In addition to the edges, looking at the surface imperfections of the materials will show you whether or not a wallet is genuine leather or not. Real leather will have a randomness to the pattern.

Granted, if you are using alligator leather or something of that nature, there may be a pattern to the skin. However, the wrinkles, pores, pattern orientation, etc. will not be universal throughout. On a fake leather wallet, you will be able to see that the pattern, texture, and “imperfections” are printed and repeated.

Crazy Colors

While there have been advancements in the dying process, there are still a bit of restrictions as to what real leather can take and what it cannot. Wallets which have extremely bright colors and a glossy appearance may be more plastic then they are leather. Consider it this way.

Have you ever seen a kid draw on his or her arm with a permanent marker? If you have you will note that even if they use the brightest of markers, there is a dulling to the hue. When looking for a genuine leather wallet over a fake wallet, I would keep this in mind.

Finally, look at the sales pitch

You can tell a lot by the way a person pitches their product. If the first words are “this is not a fake” then the odds are that it is or at least part of it is.

Artisans will not start with that statement, they assume that you know that they work with quality products. Instead, they will talk about the craftsmanship and how the product is luxurious and crafted.

If you really want to test an artisan’s credibility, ask to see a sample of the leather which the wallet was cut from. Leather artists do not buy one piece of leather at a time and so if they have a ton of genuine leather lying around which they are using for other products, the odds are in your favor that they used genuine leather on your wallet.


    My name is M. K, owner of this awesome blog. Passionate on leather forces me to write this blog. Hope you can find a lot of good information. Enjoy.

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