How to Tell If Your Leather Wallet Is Real or Fake

There is a continuously growing market of leather goods, notably with the emergence of online stores and marketplaces. With that, issues of real and fake leather products are also rising.

Manufacturers often create some great deals on handmade leather wallets, but our question is, are you getting what you pay for?

Here are a few tips on how to tell if your wallet is made of real leather or not.

1) Look For The Leather Texture

One of the easiest ways to tell if a leather wallet is real is by feeling the texture. Wallets made of fake or synthetic leather will have an ultra-smooth feel on the surface. Plastic-like smoothness is an indication that it's manufactured using artificial materials in an attempt to imitate the appearance of real leather.

Real leather has a slight natural roughness because it does not undergo extreme processes, especially when it's handmade. Although some leather products appear smooth because of the polishing oil that seeps into the leather, making it shiny.

With everyday use, you will notice that real leather doesn't feel too even. Of course, just because it's naturally rough does not mean it's not the best thing. In fact, it's a guarantee that you are buying a high-quality leather wallet that will last you for many years to come.

2) Look For The Leather Scent 

Real or Fake Leather WalletAnother easy way to tell if a wallet is made of real leather is if you can smell the material's natural scent. If others have a good eye in identifying real leather just by looking at it, some people can recognize the leather scent.

It will not be nearly as striking as if the wallet was made from fake leather, but you may still smell something organically distinct. The natural material will smell like freshly-cut leather, which is actually pretty strong to distinguish. Artificial leather usually smells like a combination of plastics and chemicals. 

3) Look For The Brand

You will find that there are various ways to tell if a wallet is made of real leather or not. Many of these are pretty easy to figure out, and you can usually tell by the appearance that the leather has been polished or sanded. But, the brand never lies.

Research on the brand of your leather wallet to confirm if they manufacture authentic products.

Pro Tip: The Water Test

Use the water test to confirm if your wallet is made of real or fake leather.

Place a few drops of water on the material's surface and observe what happens. Real leather will absorb the liquid quickly. It might take a few seconds when it's polished with oil or leather conditioner. On the other hand, the water drops will either flow off to the edge or puddle on the surface of fake leather material.


If you're trying to choose the highest quality handmade leather wallet from many different brands, you'll need to compare prices and ensure authenticity. You can apply the methods we shared above before buying one. Gather all information, consider all your options, and ensure that you're getting the best deal.

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