Bonded leather upholstery is a manmade material created to appear leather like. Genuine leather is made directly from the hide or skin of an animal.
Genuine leather tends to be softer than bonded, appearing more natural. Genuine leather is often referred to as being better quality than bonded leather. Bonded leather contains a small amount of real leather, polyurethane and thin layers of fabric. Bonded leather is not as durable as genuine leather, and will not last as long nor will it be as resistant to factors like rain or prolonged wear. Although, it is often dyed and textured to appear as close to real leather as possible. Bonded leather is sometimes called reconstituted leather, leather blend or blended leather. It is made from the leftover pieces of animal skin, which are not as good quality as top-grain leather.
Real leather is most often found in smaller items, such as personal accessories and home goods. If furniture or bigger items are genuine leather, the items tend to be much more expensive. Most furniture is made from bonded leather as it is much cheaper to mass produce. Bonded leather tends to peel, flake or tear in ways that genuine leather does not, so it may fall apart far faster.