What is "genuine leather"?

This term has often been misused. Many mass produced, low quality, leather pieces are dubiously labelled "genuine leather". Legally only a 10% leather content is required to use this label. This "genuine leather" often consists of scrap leather pieces that are shredded, mixed with polyurethane binders or latex and bonded to a fibre sheet (hence bonded leather or reconsitituted leather. Over time the surface may "crack" and peel, the backing is exposed and it is stretched at the stitching.

How do you tell leather is not genuine?

Genuine leather may have creases or scars, and should show spider like creases when you press firmly with your finger. Items with vinyl content will not crease like this but have asmooth indentation. 

The edges of medium and heavy 100% leather pieces, such as belts, bags and book covers are left raw cut and then burnished smooth or finished wth an edge coat. This is not possible with manufactured "leather", so all items are turned under and sewn at the edges. However, this is not an authenticity indicator for lighter leather pieces, such as garments and wallet inners and linings, where the turn under and stitch approach is used whether 100% authentic leather, bonded leather or imitation leather. 

Finally low leather content items may not smell like leather. The price will seem cheap but in reality reflects its low quality and short life.