Faux leather, or artificial leather, fake leather, is a synthetic material used for clothing, furniture, and even in cars, pleather is the name of a fabric that looks like real leather, but it is not.
Faux is a French word that means fake, or not real.
Faux leather is used when the use of real leather is too expensive or unsuitable or even unethical.
For many people, the thought of wearing animal skin is just unacceptable, that is why there are many brands that specialize in making faux leather clothing and accessories.
There is also the question of price, really leather is pricier and more difficult to work than faux leather, which is why most furniture and most clothing is going to use faux leather instead of real leather.
The History of faux leather
Faux leather was created in the early years of the twentieth century, but it was very difficult to work with and also very rigid, it had also terrible smell which pushed people away, he simply remained an unused fabric!
The major fabric of this past faux leather was that it was not breathable, in other words, it didn’t let’s the air flow freely, this means that wearing faux leather fabrics would leave a nasty smell and a nasty feeling!
However, in the sixties a company called dupont invented a new way of manufacturing faux leather, they simply added tiny holes to their faux leather, with this new technique, faux leather became a hit because it was so easy to work with and also so affordable than real leather.
Types of faux leather
There are two major types of faux leather, polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane.
Both of these are made out of petroleum.
Polyvinyl chloride is a result of adding dye and other plastic materials to PVC, this is going to give PVC a more natural look, the color is going to resemble animal skin and the odor can be highly customized in order to simulate real leather.
Another important factor of manufacturing PVC-based faux leather is the fact of focusing on flexibility, this is the major benefits of using PVC-based leather, it looks like real leather.
However, the PVC-based leather is not very breathable, that is why it is will rarely be used for clothing and it is more focused on surface decoration, like car seats and furniture.
The second type of faux leather is polyurethane.
Faux leather Polyurethane is made by coating materials like cotton or wool with a polymer-based substance and then treating it to resemble real leather, this is going to give the finer material flexibility and a breathability compared to real leather, thus it is more used for clothing and for intimate products, those items that are going to get in contact with your skin.
Among the two types of faux leather, polyurethane is probably the most used because it is very tough and also very flexible.
Of course, there are subtypes of these two major faux leather fabrics, here they are:
Vegan: vegan faux leather simply means that no animal products were used in its making.
Koskin: is very stiff and durable faux leather that is going to help protect electronic devices and high-end products.
Leatherette: a very stiff faux leather that does not require maintenance, if she is especially used for making car seats.