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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Fabric.com's "Perfecto Fused Leather -- 100% Cowhide" ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Fabric.com's "Perfecto Fused Leather -- 100% Cowhide"
Soft, supple, convincing -- but it isn't leather!
nancy2001
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Date: 5/17/13 9:32 PM

Last week, I noticed that fabric.com was now offering Perfecto Fused Leather in five colors. The listing said it was soft, supple, made of 100% cowhide, 54" wide, reorderable, and only $15 per yard.

It sounded too good to be true -- after all, real leather comes in hides not fabric rolls. But I turned off my skepticism for a moment and began thinking there might be some new leather cloning process I hadn't heard about. After all, if they're human embryos and Dolly the Sheep, why not Elsie the Cow?

My swatch arrived today, and the Perfecto Leather is actually quite convincing -- soft and supple with very realistic grain -- but it doesn't have a molecule of cowhide in it. I did an online search and discovered it's actually polyurethane. Here's the listing for Perfecto Faux Leather from Hart Fabrics. I believe they're one and the same.

The bottom line is if you're searching for a soft and realistic faux leather for a good price, Perfecto Leather is a great choice. But don't think you're getting cowhide.


-- Edited on 5/17/13 9:34 PM --

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Sew Confused
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Date: 5/17/13 10:08 PM

Are you sure that fused leather and faux leather are the same thing? The description for the fused leather on fabric.com's website says the fused leather has a 100% cowhide face bonded to a rayon backing. That's false advertising if it's not true.

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beth5646
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Subject: Fabric.coms Perfecto Fused Leather -- 100% Cowhide Date: 5/17/13 10:24 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for the post. I think I will have to try this myself. What color did you get?

nancy2001
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In reply to Sew Confused <<
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Date: 5/18/13 8:28 AM

The fabric.com listing is wrong. Real leather is not sold by the yard in a continuous role. Real leather is sold in hides. The swatch I received is a polyurethane faux leather with a rayon backing -- it is not made of cowhide.

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nancy2001
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In reply to beth5646 <<


Date: 5/18/13 8:31 AM

The swatch I received was the Gunmetal Gray, which has a slight metallic finish. However, the fabric I ordered yesterday is the Black, which has a matte finish.

By the way, I recommend that you order a swatch first so you'll know exactly what you're getting.

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Deepika
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Subject: Fabric.coms Perfecto Fused Leather -- 100% Cowhide Date: 5/18/13 8:34 AM

sounds very similar to what I bought from Stonemountain in California at the PR Weekend. Its faux leather but super soft and very leather like. The back is soft knit so it has a little bit of stretch. It really nice.

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vacarisella
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In reply to nancy2001 <<


Date: 5/18/13 9:00 AM

Nancy, Thank you for this info. I just ordered samples of all 5 colors! ~Valerie

mmack66
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Subject: Fabric.coms Perfecto Fused Leather -- 100% Cowhide Date: 5/18/13 10:10 AM

Looks like two different products, though the Fused Leather is likely something like Bonded leather, since it is not possible to have a continuous roll of cowhide.

So the Fused leather may well be ground up 100% cowhide mixed with some medium to create a unified piece.

sewme47
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Date: 5/18/13 2:08 PM

Nancy, this product sounds so interesting. Do you think it would be appropriate for making bags? A little bit of "give" would be ok, but I wouldn't want it to be too stretchy. I like to make satchel and hobo shaped purses, as well as tote bags.

nancy2001
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In reply to sewme47 <<
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Date: 5/18/13 3:01 PM

Yes. The product is very interesting. It looks and feels like a good quality soft leather. I plan to use it to sew a woven "leather" handbag similar to this Bottega Veneta hobo bag. One advantage to weaving the fabric is that this gives an extra layer of durability and strength.

As far as the stretch goes, you can always "kill" the stretch by fusing the backing to another layer of interfacing. That's what I plan to do. When I separated a bit of the "leather" from the backing (and it wasn't easy to do), I was able to stretch the unbacked piece to about three or four times its original length.

One thing to keep in mind is that bonded leather (and I now think mmack66 and Sew Confused are right and that this product is a bonded leather) is not as durable as regular leather. Here's an article about bonded leather from Wikipedia, here's another article that discusses the drawbacks of bonded leather in the furniture industry.

I recommend that you order a swatch or two from fabric.com and see what you think.

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