Faux leather is a clone or synthetic form of pure leather. Manufacturers prepare this type of leather artificially to copy the look of genuine leather and look like it; thus, it does not require animal hunting or killing for its preparation.
Even though both the leathers look the same, and no doubt faux leather is prepared to look precisely like or at least feels like a genuine or natural Leather still there are some differences that one can observe. Faux leather isn’t rough like natural leather. It gives a smooth look which is the only main difference between them.
Another specialty in faux leather is that, unlike natural leather, you can obtain it in several different colors.
History of Faux Leather:
In the beginning, the manufacturers used to call it “Presstoff,” and manufactures are still producing this material nowadays. Germany was the first country to manufacture the first sample of such leather. After that, it got famous due to its cheap cost and many similarities with genuine leather.
After getting so much fame, other companies started to manufacture this material, and after a short amount of time, another rubber-based leather got famous, which was called Naugahyde. And the U.S. was the one to manufacture it in 1920. At the start, people overlooked this new rubber-based innovation of leather, but it got famous between 1930 to 1940 and more and more demand for this material increased over time.
Manufacturing of Faux Leather
Faux leather does not have a specific method of preparation. Different production companies might use unique ways to manufacture this innovative product. For example, Presstoff, which, as discussed earlier, is manufactured by some resin-releasing plant, and manufacturers add the paper pulp to increase its thickness and sturdiness.
And it also has a different after-production mechanism. Companies use multiple machines to give the faux leather colors and texture for that they treat it with different kinds of waxes, dye, and polyurethane.
Following are the steps involved in the manufacturing of faux leather.
Obtaining the primary materials
There are many different techniques to manufacture faux leather, but the bais is to select all the materials and to process in such a way to produce a sumptuous looking artificial leather
Strength to Faux Leather
After its manufacturing, the next step is to give excellent strength to it. One of the significant steps while providing stability to faux leather is to select the plastic that works perfectly to provide just the perfect amount of thickness and sturdiness to the leather.
For that, the plastics that the companies use are Polyurethane or Poly Vinyl Chloride. Both of them increase the adhesive nature of leather and gives it the perfect strength.
After the production or manufacturing of faux leather, the next step is to give it the required design and color, and for that, specialized staff in a company use computerized software like Coral Draw.
After completing the whole process, the next step is to summarize the entire work by giving it a final form. You can make wallets, handbags, shoes, and many other things and decide what the leather will use. The designers make the product design at Adobe illustrator CC14.
Importance of Faux Leather:
Due to remarkable technologies and machines, the companies can create the perfect clones and best-looking artificially prepared fake leathers. It looks exactly like genuine leather and also feels quite the same. Set aside its ability to look like natural leather, it can also resist splashes and stains.
It has also got its fame due to its insulating abilities. It also acts like natural leather and can insulate heat, making it practical to manufacture jackets and coats.
Features of Fox Leather
Like natural leather, it has many features that have become one of the most famous fabrics used nowadays. Following is the description of them.
Looks and Feel
One of the prominent features of faux leather is that it looks and feels precisely like genuine leather.
You can manufacture many different materials just from using this single material as it isn’t difficult to manufacture and does not require and animal hunting and killing. You can manufacture jackets, coats, handbags, wallets, shoes, boots, and many different things.
Ease in maintenance
Faux leather is also easy to deal with material because of its ability to resist splashes and stains. One can clean it just by wiping it with a clean cloth and do not need to wash or dry-clean it again and again.
Cheap in cost
Being one of the most demanded materials, it is also relatively cheaper than the original leather. Due to less production cost, the selling cost is reduced many times compared to genuine animal leather. Which also makes it a valuable material.
Due to increased demand, many companies just started to make copies of this material, and to find perfect faux leather, you should go for leather that meets the following requirements.
- It should show consistency in both texture and feel.
- Should have excellent resisting characteristics and should not crack or crease.
- It should be good in strength and sturdiness.
- Should have perfect elasticity.
Uses of Faux Leather
Being one of the most valuable materials, it finds many applications, and covering furniture is one of the most common applications of faux leather. Many people prefer this leather to pad many sofas, chairs, car seats, and some tables.
Due to its great look and feel, it also finds its application in fashion accessories, like handbags, wallets, and also in watch straps. You can customize this material in your favorite design or color as it is a versatile material which also makes it a pretty famous fabric.
It also finds its application in clothing because of its extraordinary insulating abilities. Some of the things manufactured by it are jackets, coats, shoes, and boots.
And because it is also quite good at resisting splashes and stains, so it’s also famous for its use in protective coverings like camera cases, phone cases, and stuff like that.
Where is Faux Leather produced?
Although many local companies manufacture artificial leather, but still if we talk about the critical production site of the best quality faux leather, then it is China. Currently, China is manufacturing the best quality faux leather in bulk and exporting it worldwide and in every country. And China is getting profited from it because faux leather is one of the major exports China is making all over the country.
The Global demand for this material is increasing day by day. And its cheap cost and versatility are a significant cause.
Each sort of faux leather has different attributes, and every kind of this artificial substance is suitable for a selected application:
1. PVC leather
PVC leather is one of the types of faux leather. It has better durability as PVC has excellent strength in it. Faux leather with base material PVC is one of the best types of faux leather as well.
2. P.U. Leather
Polyurethane leather is softer and has a bit less durability than PVC leather because of the difference in the base material. Because it has less durability, is cheaper than PVC leather, and is used to make more affordable products.
It is leather which has some plastic covering over it. It is also artificially synthesized faux leather.
4. Vegetable Oil Leather
it is the last type of faux leather, and it is sturdier than all of the above, and due to its greater strength, it is also the most expensive one. It also an environment-friendly fabric.
Faux Leather Fabric and its impact on the environment
Faux leather production does not require any animal hunting or killing. Resin is the base material for its manufacturing which is the secretion of plants. It is a plastic-like material that reduced animal killing. However, this plastic-like material is non-biodegradable, and even though it does not require hunting animals, its accumulation pollutes the environment.
Production of faux Leather requires many fossil fuel derivatives which and the remaining are released in rivers destroying and damaging the aquatic life. Thus it is another way of harming marine life and the environment.
Also, these derivatives come from different processes like drilling, which also damages organic life.
The significant substance needed for the manufacturing of it is plastic or resin, a non-biodegradable substance, and it remains in the environment and does not decompose. Due to this, there’s life damage happens on earth.
Scientists are still working on research about how long this synthetic fabric remains in the environment, and so far, the only answer is for about 200 to 400 years, which the worst thing for organic life.
The decomposition period of natural leather is about a decade which leaves the polluting power of synthetic leather is approximately a hundred times more than that of genuine leather.
It is clear that this fabric is not safe for the environment and considers the foremost manufacturer of faux Leather in China. Thus many communists are debating against the production of this fabric. Many wildlife workers are also protesting against it. The government is not considering the matter as faux leather is one of their highly exported items and is one of the primary income sources for the country.
Vegitable Based Leather Type
You’ll also find a vegetable based leather type. It is biodegradable and does not cause any harm to the environment. Still, its production cost is so much that its environmental-friendly characters do not stand any importance as most manufacturers need more profit and less production cost, which is the opposite in the case of this vegetable-based leather.
Although many manufacturers are trying to recycle and use it to minimize the harmful effect, it still impacts as eventually, it will become a waste and harm the environment. And many suggestions came to reduce the use of as the amount of plastic is increasing in the ecosystem, and the use of this material will make it worst as no such technique is available to decompose or degrade plastic plastic-originated products.
- Manufacturers use different types of base materials like polyurethane or PVC during their production, which increases its strength, making it a better choice when looking for durable fabric.
- It is easy to maintain as well. It is resistant to any splashes or stains; thus, you can clean it with a dry cloth instead of going through the whole washing process.
- You can choose any texture or design for your fabric, which makes it a versatile material.
- It has a smooth, sleek, and leather-like finish.
- Does do not require large machines to process it. You can cut or sewed quickly with simple techniques.
- This type of artificial leather lacks elasticity like that of actual animal leather.
- Although it can be modified to have any texture and design, Faux leather still does not feel like genuine leather.
- It is a less breathable material than genuine leather.
- It is softer and smoother than natural leather.
It is not very good for the environment. It has been popular in manufacturing clothes and other stuff for a very long time. People used to go for instead of genuine one because it provides better durability and is cheaper than natural leather.
It is famous as there isn’t any other material that can provide all those specifications, being cheaper and can feel like genuine leather at the same time. All these things make faux leather an ideal and valuable fabric.
To conclude, despite all of its disadvantages, Faux leather is one of the significant innovations. It will undoubtedly remain in this hype as long as no we do not discover any other material.