How to Tell a Fake Chamois

Fake vs Real Chamois

Unfortunately, there is such a thing as a “fake” chamois.  These fake chamois’ are occasionally found on the market and are represented as genuine chamois’, but do not meet the legal definition of “chamois” (see “What is a Natural Leather Chamois” section for the legal or technical definition). They are either made from the wrong materials or tanned with the wrong chemicals.  A fake is relatively easy to identify based on color, smell and texture.  A fake chamois will usually have a greenish tint, will not smell slightly fishy and will not be soft and stretchy, but will feel stiffer and will not stretch when pulled.


How to Tell a Genuine Leather Chamois

There are three simple characteristics of the genuine chamois that you can look for at the time of purchase:

  • The chamois cloth is a creamy beige color.  Although it may be darker or lighter in different areas, has no tint of green, which would indicate tanning by another chemical.
  • The Chamois has a slight fishy smell to the chamois, which is a result of the fish oil tanning
  • The chamois cloth should be soft to the touch and have some stretch and give to it.