What is faux leather?

Faux leather is a name for artificial leather, which is any material or finish meant to be a substitute for genuine leather. It can be used for all sorts of purposes and items, ranging from upholstery items such as chair coverings and sofas, to clothing like jackets and shoes or boots, to other items like purses and bags.

There are numerous types of faux leather, many of which are made in different ways or for different purposes. Some of the types produced are below:

Poromeric imitation leather: This group contains synthetic types of leather substitutes, which are generally more breathable. These kinds of faux leathers are sometimes simply called poromerics. The original one was Corfam as produced by DuPont, and introduced at the 1963 Chicago Shoe Show. It was also prominent at the 1964 New York World's Fair. However, in 1971 DuPont removed Corfam from the market and its rights were sold to a business in Poland. One poromeric still available is Clarino, from Kuraray in Japan.

Leatherette: Leatherette is artificial leather normally produced through giving a plastic cover to a piece of fabric. Either natural or synthetic fiber material may be used for the fabric, before it is given a layer of soft PVC. Leatherette is not especially useful for clothes, as it is not particularly breathable and keeps sweat collected inside. It is often used in binding books.

Pleather: A shortened version of the name plastic leather, pleather refers to synthetic leather which is made from plastic. There are different kinds within this group, such as polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The pleather form of faux leather is typically lighter than actual leather, and is also often very cheap in comparison.

Koskin: This type of faux leather is often used in laptop cases and CD wallets. It is given both a feel and look similar to real leather.

Vegan leather: Aptly named, vegan leather is a generic reference to artificial leather chosen by people who disagree with the use of the natural material in actual leather.

Various other faux leathers are also in production that use different techniques, such as employing microfibers, acrylic fibers, polyamide felt fibers, dyes, cork oak tree bark, kelp, and others. In general, faux leather is an inexpensive alternative to the real material, however some forms can become expensive, depending upon the materials and processes used, the brand, and other factors. When buying faux leather, also take into consideration the type and its quality, as compared to the price.

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