I’ve talked about patchwork leather jackets and items before. But some still ask me why it’s bad, or am I sure that it’s not that great? Patchwork leather can also be called bonded leather, although it is put together a bit differently. Rock design, Italian brick work and a few other fancy names are used for it too.
When leather is cut to make a leather jacket, purse or any other leather item, small pieces of left-over leather are made. At some point someone decided that instead of throwing it away they would try to put it together and make a big sheet of it so they can use it for more leather products.
The way they smash it together is done in two ways. In one, the leather pieces are sewn together, with some glue also used. Then they usually coat it with crap to give it an even, smooth feel and try to waterproof all those needle holes. The other way is called bonded leather.
In this way, the pieces of leather are fed into a machine that heats them and melts some plastic type of stuff on them. The heat and chemicals used “bonds” the pieces together. Often it is hard to tell from a normal sheet of leather unless you really know about leather well.
Imagine if they made fancy suits this way. Once they cut the fabric for a suit, there is pieces left over. Say someone decided to sweep them up and sew them all together to make another suit. I bet they would not sell it fast huh! But it’s even worst when you try to do that with leather.
That’s because leather is organic and needs to breath. When they shove those pieces together and spread glop on them, they basically are turning it into a stiff piece of plastic. I’ve cut into those patchwork leather jackets and peeled them apart. They are bone dry inside, nothing but brittle layers of dead cells crumbling off.
Plus when they scoop up that leather, they mix different thicknesses and parts of the hide together. So a bonded leather jacket can have pieces of the shoulder, stomach, side and ass end all mixed together. Not to mention a patchwork leather item weights twice as much due to the thread, glue and glop that holds it all together.
Of course soon that coating over all that thread wears off, and you get water soaking into all those needle holes. If you try to waterproof it, the stuff will plug up all those holes and make,,,,,,, mildew! So now you have a Frankenstein jacket of thread, poor quality leather, plastic, glue and now living fungus!
Hell, your much better off just buying a fake leather jacket than a patchwork or bonded one. In fact if you don’t want or can’t afford a quality leather item but want something that looks like leather, a leather-like jacket is what you want, not a bonded or patchwork leather one.
It’s just a matter of time before all those thread seams or bonded edges start to get weak and separate. Think of a bonded leather item as plywood verses pure wood. Actually cork-board is a more fitting comparison! So please, DON’T buy a patchwork, bonded, rock design or any other fancy name type of leather. It’s junk. Unless you own a patchwork dress suit!