Real vs Artificial Leather

Almost everyone knows what leather is and how it is being made. Mostly all of us own at least one item be it clothing or any accessory made up of leather. Leather is one of the oldest materials that man knows used to produce tons of products ranging from an old school classy vintage clothing piece to elegant furniture. Almost everyone knows what leather is but does everyone know the difference between faux leather and original leather.

Another name for real leather can be full-grain leather, which basically means the highest quality of leather that you can get. Real leather comes from the uppermost layer of the animal hide which has many natural imperfections. It can be difficult for the manufacturers to work with full-grain leather due to its thickness, however, still it is known to be the most durable. On the other hand, faux leather is also known as PU leather. Faux is a term used for artificial or synthetic leather produced from thermoplastic polymer. Complete PU leather is fully vegan unlike some other kinds of faux leather such as bi-cast which has real leather.

With a wide variety of leathers available in the market, one might get confused while shopping and it must be challenging for them to differentiate between real leather and artificial leather. There are some basic differences between both kinds of leather which might help you pick what you’re actually looking for.

Cost Differences

One of the major differences between faux leather and real leather is the difference in costs. Real leather is comparatively more expensive as it is said to be composed of authentic leather and is difficult to produce. On the other side, faux or artificial leather is relatively cheaper and easier to produce than real leather.

Durability Differences

Another factor that might affect your choice when picking up the right leather is durability. Due to its thickness, real leather is more durable and long-lasting as it doesn’t peel or crack. Real leather doesn’t wear out, instead, a patina is being developed on its actual surface. Comparatively, faux leather is less durable than real leather. Artificial leather can easily crack or peel due to less breathability.

Appearances & Texture Differences

In terms of appearance, real leather appears to have a natural appearance. You won’t have a wide range of color options for real leather. Appearance-wise, the texture of real leather is somewhat inconsistent. Unlike artificial leather, real leather offers a very smooth and soft texture. However, appearance-wise, the texture of artificial leather is very consistent, but it might look synthetic or forged sometimes. Faux or artificial leather can be said to be closest to real leather as in some cases it might even appear or feel like the original leather. Artificial leather has a wide range of color and style options to offer, unlike real leather which has limited options.

Sustainability Differences

In terms of sustainability, real leather might not fulfill all the levels of sustainability since it’s not vegan material and comes from animal skin, it can be a big turn-off for some people. Comparatively, real leather is difficult and expensive to manufacture. On the other side, artificial leather is completely vegan and uses fewer resources in its manufacturing. However, it is made up of plastics that aren’t environmentally friendly due to their non-decomposable nature.

Care & Cleaning Differences

Due to its natural absorbent quality, real leather makes a very good absorber of liquid. Due to this property, it can easily get stained and could be challenging to clean. In order to keep it tidy, soft, and in its natural form, real leather needs to be treated two times a year. Make sure to not use rough cleaners on real leather. Artificial leather, on the other side, cannot absorb liquids at all, hence are easy to clean. The durability of artificial leather can be increased if taken proper care.

Smell Differences

Although smell preferences depend upon the individual to individuals, many people aren’t fond of the smell of artificial leather. Artificial leather smell like chemicals or plastic while real leather has a natural odor that doesn’t feel artificial.

The above-mentioned differences between artificial and real leather will help you pick up the right thing when you’re shopping next time.

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