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Perhaps you have a leather wristband, leather watchband, or another leather accessory you bought from someone for a less-than-reasonable price because it was marked as “genuine leather.” Something tells you that it isn’t right. There are a few surefire ways to ensure the quality of your leather; time to see if you’ve been scammed:
It’s in the Details
As you’d expect, leather is just the skin of an animal. Sure, it sounds morbid and primal, but it’s reality. No surprises here… but beware: any product claiming “genuine leather” is simply stating that the product began from the skin of an animal. That’s like the 99% sugar water with a tad of orange flavoring “orange juice” saying “made from real Florida oranges.” It’s basically a scam and a rip-off. Many suit jackets that say “made from a wool blend” are really just 1% wool and 99% polyester. You don’t need an expert to tell you to stay a bit cynical. It’s for your wallet.
Check for Scraps (Not Dinner Scraps)
High quality leather isn’t made from various scraps of leather sewn together, like many other cheap leather products. If you found a stylish watch band but aren’t sure of it’s true quality, check for signs that it was sewn together in many places to see if you are being ripped off or not.
Check Coloring and Texture
High grade leather is consistent in color and very smooth. It feels supple. Lower quality leather is slightly imperfect, and the lowest quality of leather is not consistent in color, feels stiff, and has excessive coatings used in processing to hide imperfections. You’ll find that a lot of watchbands have this type of leather, yet it is still marketed as “genuine leather.” Trust me, I own enough of these “genuine leather” bands to feel quite ashamed after having done my research.
It’s unfair to use only the softness of leather to judge its quality, because there are many different animals with different stiffnesses of leather. For example, lambskin by nature is a very soft leather. Cowhide, on the other hand, has a noticeable and feels slightly grainy (our wristbands are all cowhide leather). If you notice that it is from lamb, expect it to be soft, and if it is made from a cow, expect it to be more stiff.
Seams & Dyes
When choosing a quality leather wristband or leather watch band, notice the seams and needle marks. If it is colored differently on both sides, the leather was probably surface-dyed—a sign of lesser quality leather. When leather is dyed on both sides, it tends to be higher quality (called aniline-dyed). All of the leather wristbands and watch bands at The Level Collection are aniline-dyed.
Next, don’t be alarmed at some natural markings. They are typically smaller, but they don’t take away from the beauty of the leather as a whole. Larger unsightly blemishes, on the other hand, indicate lower quality leathers. The natural markings of the animal are marks of beauty and shouldn’t be frowned upon. Everyone is beautiful in their own right. After all, they’re providing these stylish and beautiful accessories for us to enjoy! Our leather wristbands and watch bands only come from the highest quality leather, so you will not see unsightly blemishes on this leather.
Smell. Mmmm, yes.
Good leather should smell like leather—rich, earthy, and slightly sweet—not chemicals. You’ll notice that some companies hide the natural smell of leather with harsh and even toxic chemicals, so give it a sniff before taking it off the shelf. Unfortunately, since we are an online-based company, you will not be able to smell our leather before purchasing. However, we can guarantee 100% that none of the leather you receive from us have not been treated with harsh chemicals. Our leather smells EXACTLY like what good leather smells like (because it is good leather)!
Finally, the leather should be smooth, and feel soft to the touch, and without bumps. It should flex easily without creasing much at all. This is because once leather has been treated multiple times by caustic chemicals, the leather stiffens and loses its natural flexibility. You’ll find that with every wristband or watch band at The Level Collection, they are, without a doubt, soft, smooth and without bumps.
Where Do I Find Good Leather?
There are a variety to places to find good leather, such as smaller trade show shops, high-end clothing brands (sometimes they don’t even use good leather!), or from online stores like leather-wristbands.com. We guarantee the quality of every band we manufacture, so we can ensure that you will not be disappointed. We have been in business for 10+ years, so we’ll let that speak for itself!