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All About Vegan Leather: What Is Vegan Leather?

All About Vegan Leather: What Is Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather is also known by the name faux leather and it is considered a great cost-friendly alternative to the real leather. Vegan leather has improved significantly over the past few years and is being used by many premium brands these days.

In this blog, we will see what is vegan leather and how it is made. We will answer many queries like what vegan leather smells like, looks like, is vegan leather waterproof or comfortable. We will see the comparison between vegan leather and real leather as well. So, let’s get started with our detailed guide on vegan leather.

What Is Vegan Leather?

All About Vegan Leather: What Is Vegan Leather?

As the name suggests, vegan leather is mainly by what it is made of vegan leather is not made from animal skin or animal remains, rather it is made from plastic or plant base. Since many people are against animal abuse and the use of animal-made products, vegan leather is an ideal choice for them as their manufacturing does not involve harming animals.

Vegan leather can be made from plastic-based and plant-based as well. Since plastic-based leather is non-biodegradable, many people prefer plant-based leather.

Also Check : All you need to know about PU Leather

How is Vegan Leather Made?

Vegan leather can be made from a variety of non–animal materials like pineapple, cork, plant waste, or synthetic materials like PVC and they all have different production processes. Let’s see some of the popular vegan leather manufacturing processes.

1. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Leather:  PVC is the cheapest form of vegan leather and is used in low-cost products. It is made by coating a layer of PVC on any base material or fabric and then embossing it with a leather texture to make it look like real leather.

2. Polyurethane (PU) Leather:  PU leather is also made in the same manner by binding Polyurethane which is a plastic-based material to any fabric and then giving it leather texture.

3. Plant-based leather: Pineapple or Piñatex leather is one of the most popular plant-based leather. It is made from pineapple leaf fibres which is a fruit industry waste. Some other popular plant-based vegan leather is also made from apple skin, cork, and Mushrooms which are considered highly eco-friendly and sustainable.

What Does Vegan Leather Smell Like?

Vegan leather made from PVC or PU leather does have a distinct plasticky smell which is hard to get rid of and in some cases, it can be very noticeable. The plant-based leather has a slightly more natural smell the pinatex leather might have a fruity smell and the cork leather can have no smell or some artificially added smell.

What Does Vegan Leather Look Like?

All About Vegan Leather: What Is Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather is made to replicate the real leather texture as closely as possible. The higher the vegan leather quality, the more closely it will resemble the texture of real leather. In some cases, even the pores are added to the leather texture to make it like real leather but unlike real leather, vegan leather does not develop patina and low-quality vegan leather might start to peel off after a certain period of time.

What is the lifespan of vegan leather?

The lifespan of vegan leather depends on the care and maintenance of leather. But usually, it does not last a long life as compared to real leather. The lifespan of vegan leather also depends on the frequency of use and the actual usage of the product. 

The quality and thickness of the leather also affect the lifespan of vegan leather.To ensure the long life and durability of leather, it is advised to take proper care and condition the leather properly from time to time.

Does vegan leather crack?

All About Vegan Leather: What Is Vegan Leather?

For the people considering vegan leather, it might be a big question for them. The cracking of leather is very common in vegan leather especially if it is low-quality and low-grade of leather.

The cracking of leather also depends on the care and maintenance of leather, which can prevent it from cracking. 

Exposure to harsh conditions can also lead the leather to crack very fast like long exposures to sunlight, humidity, and high temperatures.

To avoid vegan leather from cracking, it is advised to use good conditioner and leather protective materials and to avoid exposing them to harsh conditions for a long duration.

Also Check : Leather Bag Myths

Is vegan leather waterproof?

Yes, mostly the vegan leather is waterproof and water resistant. Since vegan leather is made from plastic bases like PU and PVC, they are more resistant to water and do not get damaged with water contact.

Still, there are many waterproofing sprays, coatings, and wax that can be used to make it waterproof.

Is vegan leather comfortable?

All About Vegan Leather: What Is Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather is mostly used in bags and other fashion accessories. The vegan leather can be slightly uncomfortable for apparel like jackets and pants since vegan leather is not breathable and can make your skin feel suffocated.

Unlike real leather which is more breathable due to its porous texture, vegan leather is not very breathable and hence can feel uncomfortable in some cases.

Is Vegan Leather Good For The Environment?

Usually, vegan leather is considered animal abuse friendly but it is not actually environmentally friendly. The plastic-based vegan leather takes a long time to biodegrade and the manufacturing process also leaves higher environmental footprints.

The plant-based vegan leather is considered to be an environmentally friendly and more sustainable option as compared to plastic-based vegan leather. However the idea of vegan leather being a more eco-friendly option in comparison to real leather is a debatable one.

Vegan leather vs Real Leather.

All About Vegan Leather: What Is Vegan Leather?


Vegan Leather

Real  Leather


Vegan leather is made from non-animal materials like plastic bases such as PU and PVC, fruit waste, mushrooms, corks, pineapple, etc.

Real leather is made from any animal skin and can vary in grade and quality.

Look and feel

Vegan leather has a more consistent and uniform texture and feels even to the touch.

Real leather has a slightly uneven and imperfect surface. One can feel the imperfections while touching the leather.


Vegan leather is less durable as compared to real leather.  

Real leather is more durable and long-lasting as compared to vegan leather.


Vegan leather is a low-cost alternative of real leather.

Real leather is costlier as compared to vegan leather.

Water resistance

Vegan leather is more resistant to water damage.

Real leather can be damaged by contact with water.


 How to care for Vegan Leather?

Although vegan leather requires very little care to keep your leather items in good shape it is advised to follow the care instructions mentioned by the manufacturer. You can use a good quality leather conditioner to keep the leather moisturised.

Avoid long exposures to sunlight and water to prevent the leather from damaging. For general cleaning, one can use mild soap water and clean with a sponge to remove dirt and stains.

Avoid using any high-chemical products on the leather as it can cause more harm than good. Always consider using a mild conditioner or cleanser.

Benefits of Vegan Leather

Vegan leather has many advantages due to which it is a popular material in many industries. Let's see some of the advantages of vegan leather.

  • Cost-friendly:  Vegan leather is a low-cost alternative to real leather and can be a great option for low-cost item production.
  • Animal Cruelty-Free: Vegan leather is made from non-animal substances and hence no animals are harmed in the manufacturing of vegan leather.
  •  Versatility: Vegan leather can be made in many colors and textures giving a wide range of options for leather lovers. It can be made in almost any texture and colour adding more possibilities for innovations.
  • Environmentally friendly: Vegan leather made from plant-based substances are great environmentally friendly alternative as they are made from natural substances like plant waste, cork, vegetable waste, etc and it is biodegradable.



To conclude, vegan leather is a great animal cruelty-free alternative to real leather and has many benefits due to which it is used in many industries like fashion and furniture as well.

With our detailed guide on vegan leather, we hope we could answer all your queries and now you can make an informed decision on the usage of vegan leather. 

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