What Is Faux Leather? Pros and Cons, Cleaning, Comparison, Repair, Durability, Cost
What is faux leather?
Faux leather has many names like synthetic leather, artificial leather, leatherette, koskin, polyurethane leather, or polyvinyl chloride. Faux leather is 100% animal friendly and it is made from fibers of polyester, cotton, or leather shreds and then treated with polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride to give a better finish. It is called artificial leather or synthetic leather because of the usage of synthetic in it. Other than these basic names synthetic leather is also given some of the names depending upon its end usage, faux leather for a sofa or chair upholstery, leatherette for auto upholstery and clothing, and koskin for consumer goods. Then it is further classified depending upon the material, the major types are polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
What is Polyurethane upholstery?
Polyuretahne upholstery looks like genuine leather in terms of overall appearance, and surface feels when touched. When polyurethane upholstery is tufted it breaks like genuine leather. It doesn’t start cracking or peeling too early, it is soft and supple, doesn’t release dioxin chemicals which are bad for health these qualities of polyurethane are due to the no plasticizer being used in it. Polyurethane can be printed in any color, style, or pattern. It is cheaper than real leather.
Polyurethane upholstery is made of?
Polyurethane upholstery is made of a base fabric and flexible polymer. This backing fabric is coated with a flexible polymer after that it is treated to give it the looks of real leather. The fabrics can be cotton, polyester, and shredded leather, etc. No plasticizers are used to make polyurethane upholstery this is due to the usage of softer polymers in polyurethane.
What is Vinyl upholstery?
Vinyl upholstery or polyvinyl chloride upholstery also has an appearance like real leather. The major advantages of vinyl leather are, it can be easily cleaned, maintained and doesn’t require special care. It is great material where moisture should be repelled as it is more water-resistant material. However, the major drawback of vinyl upholstery is it becomes hot in summer, unlike real leather which becomes cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Due to this, it sticks to the skin making it uncomfortable to sit. Vinyl leather is lesser durable than polyurethane and can start cracking or peeling with time. Vinyl is not as breathable as polyurethane.
Vinyl upholstery is made of?
Vinyl upholstery is made by coating the strong polyester fibers with polyvinyl chloride and plasticizer (phthalic acid). This vinyl (polyurethane chloride + plasticizer) is melted onto the surface of the strong polyester fibers which seals them and makes a waterproof surface that is still flexible and tough.
How to tell if its faux leather?
Although faux leather looks like real leather in terms of its appearance however you can easily identify it that whether it is faux leather or real leather by simply touching it, real leather will have a grainy surface however faux will have a smooth plastic-like surface other than that faux leather is lesser flexible and can be lesser stretched than the real leather. The other major difference between faux and real leather will be its price, faux leather will be cheaper and real leather will be expensive, just by looking at the price tag you can identify it’s faux leather or not.
Why buy faux leather?
Faux leather has a low price, more durability, easy to clean, more realistic appearance than bonded leather. Faux leather has a lot of colors, style, and pattern options available.
How durable is faux leather?
Faux leather is not as durable as real leather. It can start cracking or peeling easily as compared to real leather however it more durable than bonded leather and it can last up to 3 years without cracking or peeling if properly cared for. However, due to their lesser durability and shorter life span you might have to replace them after some years.
What causes faux leather to peel and crack?
Faux leather can start cracking or peeling when it gets too much exposure from sunlight, heat, and water. Faux leather may also start cracking with its continuous usage and time that’s why it has a shorter life span however if you properly take care of it, and keep it away from sunlight, heat, and water you can easily increase its life span.
Faux leather is of good quality or bad?
Faux leather is a good type of leather in terms of its affordability, low maintenance, easy cleanliness, and a lot of colors, pattern, style, and design options. It also does have more durability than bonded leather however as compared to real leather it has lesser durability and lesser life span.
Is faux leather animal friendly?
As faux leather is made from synthetic and doesn’t use any of the animal hides in its manufacturing that’s why faux leather is considered a vegan or animal-friendly product. Due to this reason faux leather is also called vegan leather.
Is faux leather environment friendly?
Faux leather requires large amounts of petrol and energy to make it this energy produces a lot of pollution and reliance on fossil fuels. During the production of vinyl leather phthalate plasticizer is added to seal the fibers and make it flexible and soft material. Due to this plasticizer dioxins are produced which remain in the environment even after manufacturing vinyl leather, which is bad for humans and animals. After its usage, it also does not decompose easily and can release dangerous chemicals into the soil and water. However, as polyurethane (which is also a type of faux leather) doesn’t use any plasticizer that’s why it puts lesser environmental impact.
How to clean faux leather?
Faux leather can be cleaned easily, all you have to do is just wipe it with a damp cloth to clean your faux leather as it is has the ability to resist stains. However, if the stains are older or more persistent, now damp your cloth with the mixture of water and liquid soap detergent, now apply this affected area to remove the stains, do this gently and apply this from outside towards inside to properly apply the detergent and so that it doesn’t affect the other area. After some time remove this mixture completely by cloth and let the leather dry itself.
How to do maintenance of faux leather?
Faux leather can be easily maintained and cleaned, all you have to do is apply a mixture of liquid detergent and water with cloth on your leather after every 3-6 months to remove dirt and debris from your faux leather. It will make it more resistant against stains and reduce the risk of cracking or peeling.
How to repair faux leather?
If your leather has cracks and peels, the cracked or peeled area must be sanded to remove the bits of leather that are sticking out. After that clean it with alcohol. Now apply a soft filler/flex seal to your couch or chair after that just do the paint on it to match its color with faux leather.
Pros Of Faux Leather
Faux leather is also a budget-friendly leather as compared to genuine leather however it does have more price than the bonded leather.
Faux leather is more durable than bonded leather it is resistant to stains, scratches, and peeling. It can last up to 3 years with proper care without continuous cracking.
Can be easily cleaned
Faux leather can be easily cleaned due to the consistent surface it requires only damp cloth.
Bonded is cheaper but it still has an appearance like real leather. When stitched or tufted it gets wrinkles like real leather.
Style, color, and pattern
Faux leather also has a lot of color, style, and patterns available. Like bonded leather it can also be given different dyes, can be printed with different patterns and textures.
Soft and supple
Faux leather is softer than bonded leather (bonded leather is stiffer).
Faux leather is made from synthetic material so it is an animal-friendly product.
Cons Of Faux Leather
People who have sensitive skin are more prone to allergies when they use faux leather products.
Faux leather does have more life span than bonded leather however it also doesn’t have a patina effect and doesn’t get better with time.
Faux leather is not breathable as compared to real leather due to its coating.
Faux Leather vs Full Grain Leather
Full grain leather is made from the topmost layer of the animal hide. The top layer of animal hide is full of grains that’s why it is called full grain leather. It is considered the highest quality of leather. These grains are finer and densely packed which makes full grain leather durable, strong, and long-lasting material. Due to its natural beauty, it is visually appealing and gets better with time on the other hand faux leather is made of synthetic, it is much lesser durable, can start cracking or peeling after 3 years, doesn’t get better with time. Faux leather can be cleaned easily unlike full grain leather.
Faux Leather VS Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is the same as full grain leather however it is properly sanded and given a finish to remove imperfections and make it visually more appealing however this reduces its strength a little bit as well. Top grain leather has two types of finishes aniline and semi aniline. Aniline leather type is not given any protective coating and is only treated with soluble dyes to keep the natural look it. Semi-aniline leather type is treated with soluble dyes and given a protective coating that’s why it is more resistant to stains. On the other hand, faux leather is made from synthetic. Faux leather has lesser strength, durability, and shorter life span. Top grain leather adjusts itself with your body temperature, it gets cool in summer and warmer in winter this is due to the presence of water (12-14%) in top grain leather. On the other hand, vinyl leather gets warmer in summer and cooler in winter.
Faux Leather VS Real Leather
Real leather or genuine leather is made from any layer of the animal hide to increase it’s visually appealing and finish it also undergoes a sanding and buffing process however this reduces its strength and durability. That’s why it has lesser durability and strength as compared to top grain leather. However, it has much more durability, strength, and long-lasting life than faux leather.
Faux Leather VS Bonded Leather
Faux leather is made from synthetic and 100% animal-friendly. Faux leather is also called polyurethane leather because it is made of polyurethane. It has more life span as compared to bonded leather, it has resistance against water, sunlight, and heat so that’s why it does easily fade or start cracking like bonded leather. Both bonded and faux leather can be cleaned easily. Faux leather is also less environmentally friendly just like bonded leather.
Faux Leather VS Durablend
Durablend is just like vinyl leather has low cost, strength, durability, can easily start cracking or peeling. It is made of 17% leather leftover, 26% poly or cotton, and 57% polyurethane. It is available on Ashley’s furniture.