What is bonded leather?


I am often asked what bonded leather is and if it really is leather. Well first and foremost, I suppose it depends on how you define ‘leather’. But officially yes it is regarded as leather.

If you think of bonded leather as the Chicken McNugget of leather then it is easier to understand. Just as a Chicken McNugget is made of bits of chicken squashed together to look like a piece of chicken, bonded leather is made of bits of leather squashed together to look like a piece of leather.

Continuing the Chicken McNugget comparison, bonded leather is not the ‘fine dining of leathers’ but you get what you pay for and it is usually not expensive.

Hope this helps!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

4 thoughts

  1. I agree completely with your analogy of Bonded Leather. Almost fraud, but not quite – 50/50% Makes me not want to eat McNuggets! LOL I don’t anyway but other things probably as bad or worse. We used to do leather work as a hobby in the early to mid 80’s (another lifetime 🙂 ) which was tons of fun. We haven’t done it in years – no time and when we moved here almost 17 years ago, the movers would not carry liquids (dyes) because of safety risk so we left the dyes behind. I had no idea Filofax were using Bonded Leather. Any time I have seen it, it has always been marked/stamped as Bonded Leather. I am really glad I have my three old ones and the newer two look pretty good. I could not believe poor Josh and his orange Mini Cross. Even now, they should replace it.

  2. The Filofax Dakota is bonded leather and it sucks! It’s hard and dull and just isn’t like real leather at all!

    1. That is really a surprise to me that Filofax is using Bonded Leather on anything! I am really sorry to hear that it is not what it was supposed to be. Would any type of conditioner like Lexol help. Allison, I don’t know if you are in Canada, US or Europe. If you can’t find it at a shoe repair/cobbler, check tack/ riding shops as it was originally meant for saddles and tack. Really sorry that you were disappointed. It seems to be happening on a regular basis with just about everything these days.

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