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What Is Faux Leather

What Is Faux Leather? The Exact Meaning of Faux Leather?

Introduction to Faux Leather

Faux leather, is also known as synthetic or PU leather, it is a petroleum-based alternative to real leather. Although faux leather looks a lot like genuine leather but it is made from synthetic material and does not involve natural animal skin.

While synthetic leather may look alike like real leather but it is not so durable like real leather and lack the growing patina over time. Faux leather is also soft to touch and water resistant so it is easy to clean and do not get stained easily. Faux leather can be made in any color, pattern or texture because it is man made so it can be used for variety of products.

What Is Faux Leather Made Of?

Faux leather is usually made from a variety of materials, mostly it made from polyurethane which is abbreviated as PU leather or polyvinyl chloride is also used for making faux leather.

These materials are mixed with other materials like fabric or foam to give it desired texture and structure. Faux leather is designed to copy the appearance and texture of real leather while being more affordable and vegan option.


What Is Faux Leather

What Is The Difference Between Faux & Real Leather: Fake Vs Real Leather

While it is clear that faux leather is made from synthetic materials and the real leather is made from natural animal hide. Let's see what further differences are there in faux and real leather.

1. Look and Feel:  Although both of these leather are very similar but when you look closely you can spot the difference in them in terms of feel and look. The real leather is made from natural animal skin.

You can feel the unevenness and imperfections on the surface of leather when you touch the leather. While the faux leather is more smooth and even when you touch it. You will feel that it is soft and the texture is same all over the leather.

Each product made from real leather will look unique and slightly different from the other because of the unique imperfections and texture of each product. The faux leather products look same and lack the unique texture.

2. Leather Smell:  Another differentiating feature of faux and real leather is the smell of leather. The real leather has a distinct smell of natural skin which can be clearly identified. The faux leather have a chemically smell due to its manufacturing process.

3. Environment sustainability:  While it is still debatable that faux leather or real leather which is more environment friendly. For people who prefer vegan products, faux leather is more desirable option but the making process of faux leather uses chemicals and it uses plastic base, which is do not decompose easily and adds to the plastic waste on earth. Whereas the real leather is made from natural animal skin so it is bio degradable and more sustainable option.

4. Price:  Another differentiating feature can be price. The manufacturing process of real leather is more complex and lengthy and hence it is more costly than the faux leather. Which is why the real leather products are more expensive than the faux leather products. But the extra price paid is also worth it because the real leather products are more durable and premium in look and feel.

5. Maintenance of leather:  Although real leather is water resistant but it is porous in texture and hence it absorbs liquid very quicky leading to stains hence maintaining and cleaning real leather is complex as compared to faux leather which do not get stained easily.

What Is Faux Leather

Do luxury Brands Use Faux leather?

The simple answer to this question is they do and they don’t. There is no specific standard or rule that any brand follows. Many luxurious brands use only real leather to make there products while some brands use vegan leather only. Many brands also use a combination of both, depending on the price sensitivity of their customer base.

How long Will Faux leather last?

The life of faux leather depends greatly on its quality and how it is maintained. Generally, faux leather can last anywhere between 3-6 years with proper care and maintenance. The faux leather require very less maintenance and can be cleaned easily. It need to be kept away from direct sunlight and harmful chemical treatments.

Does Faux leather crack?

Yes, the faux leather will crack overtime, specially it is a not a good quality leather. If it is used extensively or in harsh conditions exposing it to direct sunlight for long time then it will eventually start to crack and peel off.

Is Faux leather Soft or Hard?

The texture of faux leather can vary depending on the desired usage and its manufacturing process. The faux leather can be made both hard and soft in texture.

If the leather is intended to be used for clothing, bags etc then it is made soft so that it is comfortable. For shoes and furniture, the leather is supposed to be more durable and hard so it is made according to the purpose of leather.

Also Check : Best Leather Backpack for Men in 2024

Benefits Of Faux Leather

The faux leather has many benefits which makes it very popular among people.  

  • Pocket friendly: The faux leather is more cheaper in terms of price as compared to real leather, making it a pocket friendly option.

  • Animal friendly: The faux leather uses plastic base and do not involve animal skin so it a preferred option for vegan people.

  • Easy to clean and maintain: The faux leather is easy to clean and do not absorb the liquids avoiding stains and making the leather easy to clean.

  • Wide range of variety: The faux leather can be made in a wide range of color and texture, providing a wide range of selection.

Also Read : How to Clean Leather Bags at Home

Disadvantages of Faux Leather

While there are many advantages of faux leather, there are also some disadvantages of faux leather.

  • Less durable: The faux leather do not last long. It starts to peel off and crack after a few years of usage and hence it is not very durable and strong.

  • Environmental impact: The faux leather is made from plastic base which do not get decompose easily and leads to increasing plastic waste hence it is not a sustainable option.

  • Lacks natural feel and texture: The faux leather has a very uniform texture and it lacks the natural texture, smell and feel of the real leather. It has a synthetic and unnatural feel which is not desirable by many people.

  • Less Comfortable: The faux leather is not breathable and when used in clothing, it can be very uncomfortable to wear.


The faux is very popular among people due to its price and affordability factor. It does have many benefits and disadvantages as mentioned above but the end use of the product determines the suitability of faux leather and real leather.


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