How To Identify A Genuine Shearling Leather Jacket
Identifying a genuine shearling leather jacket can be a bit tricky, as there are many faux (fake) shearling products on the market that try to mimic the look and feel of real shearling. However, there are several key factors you can consider to help you determine whether a shearling jacket is genuine or not:
Genuine shearling is indeed considered a luxury material due to its rarity and the intricate process involved in its production. Shearling is obtained from the skin of sheep or lambs, and the tanning and processing methods to create shearling leather are time-consuming and require skilled craftsmanship. As a result, genuine shearling products tend to be more expensive than faux shearling alternatives.
If you come across a shearling jacket with a surprisingly low price, it's important to exercise caution. A significantly lower price point than what is typical for genuine shearling might indicate that the jacket is not made from real shearling. Counterfeit or faux shearling products are often priced lower to attract buyers, but they lack the quality and durability of genuine shearling.
Texture and Feel:
One of the most distinguishing features of genuine shearling is its soft and plush texture. When you run your fingers through the fur of a genuine shearling jacket, you'll notice a natural, luxurious softness that's hard to replicate with synthetic materials. The fur strands in genuine shearling tend to be irregular in length and thickness, giving it an organic and authentic feel.
In contrast, faux shearling often feels less natural and can have a synthetic or plastic-like texture. The fur strands in faux shearling might be more uniform in length and density, lacking the variation and depth of genuine shearling.
Genuine shearling jackets have fur on one side and leather on the other, creating a distinct texture contrast. The fur in genuine shearling should be dense, with a consistent length and color throughout the jacket. The density of the fur contributes to the insulation and warmth provided by shearling jackets.
Faux shearling, on the other hand, might have uneven fur density or even a repeating pattern. This can make the faux fur appear less natural and less like the irregular, organic appearance of real shearling.
The leather side of a genuine shearling leather jacket is an important indicator of its authenticity. High-quality shearling jackets are crafted from premium leather that is soft, supple, and has a natural grain. This leather is carefully selected to complement the luxurious fur on the opposite side.
In contrast, faux shearling jackets might have a lower-quality synthetic leather that feels plastic-like to the touch or has an unnatural shine. The leather of a faux shearling jacket might lack the genuine leather's characteristic texture and flexibility.
When examining a shearling jacket, flipping the fur part slightly to check the backing can reveal important information about its authenticity. Genuine shearling will typically have a hide-like backing, which is the skin side of the animal. This backing is the natural underside of the sheep or lamb's skin and showcases the leather's grain pattern and texture. It may have slight variations in color and texture, similar to what you'd find on regular leather.
In contrast, faux shearling often features a fabric backing. This backing might be made of synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, and it may lack the natural irregularities and texture of genuine shearling's hide-like backing. The fabric backing is usually a telltale sign that the jacket is not made from real shearling.
The smell of a shearling jacket can be a strong indicator of its authenticity. Genuine shearling has a distinct, natural smell that's a result of the tanning and processing methods used on the hide. This smell is difficult to replicate in synthetic materials. It's often described as earthy, slightly musky, and reminiscent of the outdoors.
If you notice a strong smell of plastic, chemicals, or anything artificial, it might be a sign that the jacket is made from faux shearling. The absence of the characteristic natural smell could suggest that the jacket is not genuine shearling.
The stitching quality of a shearling jacket can provide insights into its authenticity and overall craftsmanship. Genuine shearling jackets are typically crafted with care and precision. The stitching should be neat, even, and secure. The seams should be well-finished and free from loose threads or uneven stitches.
On the other hand, if you observe sloppy stitching, loose threads, or uneven seams, it could indicate a lower-quality product, possibly faux shearling. High-quality shearling jackets are often a result of meticulous craftsmanship, and attention to detail in the stitching is a sign of authenticity.
The edges where the fur meets the leather are another area to closely inspect. In genuine shearling jackets, these edges should exhibit a seamless and natural transition between the two materials. The fur should blend smoothly into the leather without any obvious gaps or inconsistencies.
In faux shearling jackets, you might notice visible glue lines, unnatural seams, or a more abrupt transition between the fur and the leather. This is due to the challenges of mimicking the complex texture and structure of real shearling. If the edges don't look well-integrated, it could be an indication that the jacket is not genuine shearling.
Label and Brand:
Checking the label and the brand's reputation is a wise step when trying to determine the authenticity of a shearling jacket. Reputable brands are more likely to sell genuine shearling products because their reputation is built on quality and authenticity. However, it's important to note that counterfeit products can also feature fake labels that imitate well-known brands.
Be cautious of counterfeit products that try to mimic reputable brands. Counterfeiters may attempt to replicate logos, fonts, and label designs to deceive buyers. When assessing the label, look for any signs of poor printing quality, misspellings, or irregularities. It's also a good idea to research the brand's official website or contact their customer service to verify the authenticity of the product you're considering.
Some genuine shearling products come with a certification or authenticity tag that verifies their origin and quality. These certifications might include information about the source of the shearling, the tanning process used, and other quality standards. Certifications can be issued by industry organizations or governing bodies that ensure the authenticity of shearling products.
However, it's important to note that not all genuine shearling jackets will have certification tags. While a certification can provide additional assurance of authenticity, the absence of a tag doesn't necessarily mean the jacket is fake. Some reputable brands may choose not to include certification tags, while some counterfeit products might also feature fake certification tags.
Real shearling exhibits natural variations in fur length, color, and texture due to the natural growth patterns of sheep or lambs. This variation is a hallmark of authenticity. Each animal's fur is unique, resulting in a mix of fur lengths and shades. The color can range from slightly lighter to slightly darker tones, and the texture might show subtle imperfections.
In contrast, faux shearling often has a more uniform and consistent appearance. Faux fur is manufactured to have a standardized look, which can lack the organic and unpredictable variations found in genuine shearling.
Genuine shearling jackets tend to be heavier than faux shearling jackets due to the density of both the fur and the leather. The natural fur and leather combination contributes to the weight of the jacket. This weight is one of the indicators of the premium quality and warmth provided by real shearling.
Faux shearling jackets, being made from synthetic materials, might feel lighter in comparison. The absence of the dense fur and leather structure can result in a noticeable difference in weight between genuine and faux shearling jackets.
By considering these final points, you can further enhance your ability to differentiate between genuine shearling and faux shearling jackets. Remember that while each point provides valuable information, a combination of multiple factors will give you the most accurate assessment of a jacket's authenticity.