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real vs artificial leather

Leather vs. Artificial Leather, What are the Differences?

What is the difference between leather and artificial leather?

Leather is a natural material made of animal skin with the help of tanning and processing. It requires many hard steps to form leather from the hide, therefore, it is also a time taking process. The most common types of leather are cowhide, sheepskin, and pig skin. It is widely used in clothing, shoes, furniture, and car seats. Whereas, the artificial leather is made from man-made materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane, or other synthetic materials.

Artificial leather is a type of man-made material that can be used as an alternative to real leather as it requires less processing and less time. It is also often cheaper than the real thing and can be more environmentally sustainable due to the chemical used in it. It’s also much easier to maintain because it doesn’t need any special care like real leather does in order to stay looking good.

Types of Artificial Leather:

Faux leather is the general term for a type of synthetic material that is designed to imitate the look and feel of animal-based leather. The production process for faux leathers varies, with some being largely man-made and others mostly natural. The majority of faux leather used in upholstery and clothing is made from polyurethane.

The two main types of faux leather are vegan and non-vegan. Vegan faux-leathers are made from a variety of materials including polyurethane, cotton, nylon, and spandex. Non-vegan faux-leathers are made from animal products such as wool or silk.

PU vs. Plastic Artificial Leather:

There are many different types of artificial leather that are currently very popular worldwide. All of them differ from each other on the basis of their chemical formula and materials.

Plastic Leather:

The first type is plastic leather. Plastic leather is made from a material called PVC, which is a type of plastic. This type of artificial leather has the most environmental benefits because it does not use the same harmful chemicals that other types of synthetic leather do.

Plastic leather also has a lot of variety in terms of colors and textures, which makes it popular among consumers who want to buy something that looks natural but still has some texture or color variation.


The second type of artificial leather is polyurethane or PU-leather (PU). PU-leather can be made from various materials such as polyester, cotton, wool, and spandex. It can also be dyed in any color and can have any pattern printed on it. Due to this, it is one of the widely used artificial leather in the leather industry.

Top 5 Differences between Real and Artificial Leather:

The most significant difference between artificial and real leather is the price. Artificial leather is cheaper than real leather because it is made of polyurethane or vinyl. The second difference is the durability. Artificial leather will not last as long as real leather because it does not have a protective layer to keep it from tearing.

Another difference between artificial and real leather is the smell. Artificial leather has an odor that can be detected from a distance, but the odor will dissipate over time with use. Real Leather does not have this unpleasant smell, but can develop a smell over time if not properly cared for with conditioners and polish.

Apart from the above mentioned-ones, let’s put some light on the top 5 most common differences between real and artificial leather.

  • Artificial leather is made from synthetic materials, while real leather is animal skin.
  • Artificial leather can be made to look like real leather and vice versa. But artificial leather has a different texture and feel than real leather.
  • The cost of artificial leather is cheaper than the cost of real leather. The prior doesn’t require as much work to produce as it does for real leather.
  • Artificial and real leather are both durable, but fake or faux leather will wear out faster than the original material. because the artificial leather uses large amount of chemicals whereas the real ones requires less chemicals.
  • The production process for artificial or faux leather is quicker than that of genuine or authentic leather. The artificial leather are mass-produced in factories where machines do most of the work while genuine.

Uses of Real Leather in Industry:

The use of real leather in industry is very common. It is used for a variety of applications and it is one of the most durable materials on earth.

Real leather has been widely used in the manufacturing industry for centuries. It has been used to make clothes, shoes, gloves, and many other items.

Leather is also widely used in the making of furniture because we can mold it into any shape or size without losing its durability. Leather can also be made into sheets to cover furniture and floors. Also for upholstery for cars, buses, trains and planes.

It is often used in the production of machinery because it can be cut into any shape and will not fray or break easily like other types of fabric would do. It is also often used to make belts because

Uses of Artificial Leather in Industry:

The use of artificial leather in industry is increasing day by day. Artificial leather is even used in the manufacturing of furniture, handbags, jackets and shoes.

Some industries are using artificial leather for its cost-saving properties. It is also more durable than natural leather. They can be used in place of animal skin to make bags and shoes that are vegan-friendly.

In addition, it offers a more elastic option for those who want to avoid animal cruelty but still want the appearance of real leather.

Conclusion: Which is the best choice for your needs?

Real leather has been an industry standard for decades, but when we explored the use of artificial leather it became apparent that companies can make the switch to artificial leather with minimal impact to the environment and their bottom line. Therefore, the use of artificial leather is increasing in the industry. But the people who like real leather are still purchasing real leather things. 

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