Handbags are loved by all and every girl, lady or woman has at least one. Even if it’s handmade or a sack, having something to put your belongings means having a handbag. The artisan bad market has continued to grow. Some of the most prominent are Ghana Bags (which are handmade by artisans in Ghana), Fiji shoes or Bali dresses. These items are made a lot of times with authentic leather and naturally sourced materials and handcrafted with care and high craftsmanship. This is why Ghana Bags, for example, are quite expensive. When you buy one it lasts for a long time and in addition, it’s usually custom made and unique. So in buying one for an expensive amount, you have to be sure you are getting one with the right quality and made with real leather. Below we discuss the different ways you can check and know if the Ghana Bag you intent to purchase or already purchased is made of real leather.
Different Ways to Test if your Ghana Bag is Leather
The Moisture Test
The moisture test is one of the easiest ways to test your Ghana Bag to see if it’s made of real leather. To carry out this test, you place a single drop of water on a part of the leather bag. If the leather absorbs the drop of water, this means the leather is real. If the water rolls off, then you’ve got fake leather on your hands. Real leather, just like real wood, has thousands of small pores that absorb or release moisture depending on the humidity of its surroundings. Hence, real leather will quickly absorb the drop of water while fake leather would not causing the water to roll off the surface. When performing this test, make sure you use just one drop of water as too much water will render the test useless and also you will end up saturating your leather bag with too much moisture
This test is not 100 percent reliable as certain fake leather could also absorb the water to some degree so you might have to carry out other tests if you need more certainty. It is however known that faux leather does not ever absorb moisture. For a more complete and thorough identification, you’ll need to combine the moisture test with the other methods listed below.
The Smell Test
Another way to test if your leather bag is real is by smelling it. Genuine and real leather smells like wood chips. It has a distinct natural smell that is unique. If it’s not real it will most likely smell like plastic or synthetic materials and chemicals.
This makes sense considering the fact that synthetic leather is made using a variety of harsh chemicals, whereas genuine leather is natural. If you’re shopping for a leather jacket or any other leather item in person, take a few minutes to smell it. Does it smell natural and earthy? Or does it smell like it’s riddled with chemicals? If it doesn’t smell earthy then it’s probably made of fake leather, in which case you should skip it and move on to the next product.
Real leather is usually pliable, and because of this, it tends to bend more easily under pressure. The same cannot be said for faux leather, however, as it’s hard, stiff and difficult to bend. If you need to check if a bag is made of real leather, you should try bending a small area to see what happened. If it is real leather, when you bend it, it will change color and wrinkly a little bit. If it’s fake or faux leather, it will maintain its state and color and will remain hard and crisp.
Check the Care Label
In addition to a care label containing manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and caring for the item, they could also contain a specification that tells you in the product is made with real leather or not. If it’s not made with real leather or made with a combination of other fabrics, the care label should reveal what fabric and materials the item is made of. This system is also not 100% reliable as some manufacturers can be quite dishonest and not reveal the truth with accuracy. There are some companies out there that intentionally mislabel their products to deceive customers. Even if a leather jacket or product says “Made of 100% genuine leather” on the care label, it could actually be made of synthetic materials.
Inspect the Surface of the Leather for ‘Grain’
Real leather has a natural grainy texture on the surface that’s random and uneven. This random, uneven, and grainy texture is usually not found in fake leather. Faux leather does have grain but it’s usually symmetrical and not random. So remember just checking for grain is not enough you have to ensure it has a random feel so ensure it’s not artificially made. When inspecting leather, look closely at the surface to determine if the grain is natural or artificial. An artificially created grain is a tell-tale sign of faux leather, whereas a natural grain indicates genuine leather. Keep in mind that some faux leather products do a pretty good job of replicating the appearance of a real grain, so look closely for imperfections. Natural imperfections are usually found in real leather but not faux.
In conclusion, buying a Ghana leather bag is a good way to invest in a quality handbag that will last you a long time. However, buying a fake one can be disastrous so knowing how to spot fake leather is a handy skill to have. You can usually tell if leather is genuine by performing several basic tests, including the moisture droplet test, the smell test, the bend test, inspecting the surface for natural leather grains, and reading the care label. Also buying from a trusted brand with a proven track record is another way to ensure the quality of product you are getting.
Do you have other ways of testing for real and fake leather?