Faux leather fabric is just how it sounds. It's fake leather. But how is it made? What makes it different from natural leather? What are the different types of this synthetic material? Continue reading to know all the answers! This guide will help you decide if faux leather is right for upholstery and other applications.

What Is Faux Leather Fabric?

Also known as artificial leather and synthetic leather, it is an alternative fabric to genuine leather with the same characteristics. This synthetic material is soft, easy to clean, and resistant to water and marks. The fabric often starts with polyester or other fabric bases, which manufacturers coat for a leather-like texture. The most common components include wax, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and dye to produce that natural-grain illusion. The main difference between fake and genuine leather: Real leather comes from animal hides like buffalo, oxen, or cattle. Meanwhile, faux leather fabrics may use vegan materials to create pores and marks. If you take a closer look at any synthetic leather material, you'll notice the uniform, machine-made texture. The pores and patterns imitate the inconsistent stretch marks, veins, and scars found in animal leather.

Different Types of Faux Leather

There are two main kinds of faux leather fabric: PU leather and vinyl or PVC leather.

PVC Leather

This faux leather is waterproof, non-porous, and stain-resistant. PVC leather fabric uses strong polyester fibers and melted vinyl coating from plasticizers.

This treatment is unsustainable and dangerous because of the toxins it releases. But PVC leather remains commonly used in the automobile industry, which is reportedly looking at a more comfortable and sustainable PVC-based synthetic leather.

PU Leather

It is a more eco-friendly type of synthetic leather. PU (polyurethane) leather is distinctively softer and more breathable because the polymer in the fabric does not require extra plasticizers. To create this kind of synthetic leather, manufacturers coat any fabric and weave cotton or leather shavings with polymer to look natural. This process makes polyurethane leather more similar to genuine leather in terms of texture and appearance.

Why You Should Choose Faux Leather Upholstery

Here are three reasons people are choosing furniture using faux leather fabric!

More Ethical

The leather couch you're sitting on may have undergone an unethical process during its production. It may have harmed animals and gone through unsafe chemical procedures, such as tanning. Leather manufacturing also involves excessive land and water use, contributing to pollution. Admittedly, assessing a product's sustainability requires a more nuanced approach. Faux leather doesn't use animal products, and it's cruelty-free, which is important for vegans and vegetarians. They can enjoy the luxurious feel of upholstery leather without controversial issues.

More Practical

Would you splurge on natural leather when you can get more affordable faux leather furniture that's just as elegant and durable? Synthetic leather's unique selling point is its price. Companies can now easily imitate grain and shade variations, thanks to mass production.

More Variety, Colors and Designs

Another benefit of faux leather fabric is its ability to hold color better than its natural counterpart. The variety of colors in faux leather fabrics is impressive, especially if you have a certain design in mind. People often choose faux leather swatches for the vintage or rustic look, distressed leather, broken appearance, aged leather fabric. Maybe somethin specific like black leather material.

How to Maintain Faux Leather Fabric

Faux leather fabrics are extremely low-maintenance. Follow these simple tips to make the faux leather upholstery last longer.

Use Water

Wipe your furnishings once a week with warm water and a clean cloth. You may also use a sponge to remove any stuck debris on the upholstery. This combo is enough to get rid of dust and dirt on the surface.

Try Mild Soap for Tough Stains

If any spilled liquid has left a mark on your artificial leather couch, soak your sponge in warm water and mild soap. Wring the cloth out before scrubbing the surface. Make sure to wipe it off with a clean microfiber cloth.

Avoid Sunlight

Direct sunlight will degrade the faux leather. So keep any dining chairs, couches, and other items with fake leather upholstery indoors and away from windows. If possible, relocate your dining or living area to avoid sunny spots. You can also rotate the chairs every month to prevent one chair from deteriorating over time.

Steer Clear of Bleach

Mild soap usually does the trick for stains. Even if it's not working, never reach for bleach. The chemical can dry out faux leather and ruin its structure. It's easier to deal with a spilled-drink stain on your couch than a bleached patch.

Let's Recap

The benefits of faux leather are promising as opposed to genuine leather. For its price and maintenance, artificial leather fabrics may be the more practical choice. Remember to treat your faux leather upholstery with gentleness. Regularly clean it with warm water and cloth so that it stays lovely and long-lasting. What other benefits does faux leather fabrics offer? Do you have your tips on maintaining the material? See you in the comments section!

KOVI Fabrics offer over 25,000 upholstery fabric choices, including premium faux leather fabrics, faux leather for sale, fake leather by the yard. We also offer leather fabric wholesale. Our team members are available 24/7 to help you select the perfect upholstery fabric for your project. Contact us today.

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