Answer (first posted by @DWFII , a bespoke bootmaker): Patent leather is a plastic / vinyl layer permanently bonded to the surface of the leather.
This Q&A was originally posted in our informative Leather Quality and Properties thread. Have a question and can't find an answer? Want to contribute your knowledge to the community? Try here:http://www.styleforum.net/t/354137/leather-quality-and-properties
For more threads and articles on leather properties go here: http://www.styleforum.net/tag/leather
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