Bonded Leather

Does your bonded leather furniture look like this?

If so, you have bonded leather and unfortunately, most of the bonded leather furniture out in the marketplace is not repairable.Peeling bonded leather furniture

What Is Bonded Leather?

An eco-friendly way to make use of recycled leather, bonded leather products are comprised of leather scraps that would otherwise be discarded. The leather pieces are joined to form the base of the material, which is bonded with a strong adhesive to a fabric backing. The polyurethane overlay seals the leather’s surface and is given a textured finish to look like leather. According to Leather Repair Pro, the finished product contains about 17 percent genuine leather, and its products are a fraction of the cost of genuine leather.

Don’t Waste Your Money: Woman’s ‘leather’ couch peels apart after 3 years


bended leather peelingWhy Is It Peeling?

The value of bonded leather is not only reflected in its cost, but in the durability of the leather product itself. It is a short-lived product that cannot withstand the wear and tear that durable genuine leather can, especially as a highly used furniture piece. Bonded leather does not have the “give” and stretch of genuine leather, due to the non-elastic fabric backing and the adhesive glues. Once stretched to its maximum, the strips of leather and polyurethane start to peel away from the backing.

DuraBlend is a proprietary material similar to bonded leather, made from leather shavings, fabric and polyurethane. While this substance looks like leather for a while, it may crack and peel over time. We can fix this type of damage if it is caught early and starts with only a small area, but severe cracking or peeling affecting the entire couch may require a lot of work and may prove to be too expensive to repair.  But keep in mind that this type of upholstery only lasts for a few years and if the outer leather-like coating is completely gone, the couch may be beyond fixing.

Peeling bonded leather couch

How to Preserve a Bonded-Leather Sofa

  • Position bonded leather sofas away from direct sunlight from windows or skylights. While bonded leather is durable, it is vulnerable to fading when exposed to sunlight.
  • Perform regular cleaning and conditioning of your furniture.  Wipe with a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt and body oil. For tough dirt or stains, clean with approved leather cleaner or a mild nonalkaline, nondetergent soap and a soft cloth. Test the cleaning product on a hidden area of leather to make sure it won’t cause discoloration or damage to theleather.
  • Repeat cleaning with a damp cloth every two to three weeks to remove dust and to prevent staining. If your sofa gets a lot of use, you may have to clean it more often.
  • Blot spills up with a soft, dry cloth or paper towel as soon as they occur. Do not rub stains or spills. This can cause bonded leather to wear rapidly.
  • Apply  leather conditioner for use with bonded leather products to a soft cloth. Leather conditioners are available at most leather furniture stores as well as by purchasing from us at Creative Colors International.
  • Test the conditioner on a hidden area of the sofa to ensure it won’t cause discoloration of the leather.
  • Massage the conditioner onto the bonded leather, but avoid rubbing. Pay attention to the areas that get the most wear, such as the seats and arms.
  • Wipe away excess conditioner with a dry cloth. Bonded leather should be treated with a conditioner about twice a year.


  • Do not use saddle soaps to condition bonded leather. These can damage, discolor or cause soft leathers to crack.
  • Avoid using oils or polish, abrasives, detergents or solvents to clean bonded leather.
  • Make sure your sofa is at least 12 inches away from heat sources such as radiators or heating vents to prevent cracking.