A bonded leather sofa is upholstered in a synthetic covering made from scraps of real leather and plastic that are bonded to a hard-fiber backing. While the fabric uses real leather scraps in its makeup, the upholstery is generally less durable than genuine leather.
Bonded leather, which is often called reconstituted leather, is a cheaper alternative to genuine leather. Even though the fabric is manufactured using bits and pieces of genuine leather, it is considered a man-made material. A sofa made with bonded leather wears out and tears much easier than one made using genuine leather. Once torn, bonded leather is irreparable, so the sofa has to be replaced or reupholstered.