Leather Vs. Fabric

Written by jonathan mclelland Google
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Leather Vs. Fabric
While leather is more durable than fabric, it also costs significantly more. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Car interiors, furniture and personal fashion accessories are typically manufactured out of fabric or leather. If you are trying to decide what type of material is best for you, you must understand the pros and cons of fabric and leather and weigh this against its cost and appearance. Ultimately, when deciding on leather or fabric items, the choice comes down to personal preference and budget.

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Arizona Leather states that leather is among the most durable and longest lasting material available, and when compared with fabric, its life expectancy is 4-1. There are four main sources of leather: lambskin, horsehide, cowhide and goatskin. Each of these leather sources features different durability levels, textures and appearances. The purpose of the leather will determine the best leather source to use. For example, if you're searching for a soft and durable leather jacket, then goatskin leather is ideal. But if you're searching for a durable leather couch, horsehide leather that's been treated for stain resistance may be best.


Fabrics are available in natural and synthetic form; however, not every fabric type is ideal for couches, shirts and other items. There are over 20 main types of natural and synthetic fabrics on the market, and each of these feature a different benefit and drawback. Five of the most common fabrics include: polyester, cotton, silk, nylon and wool. These textiles are either created from plant materials or from synthetic items, and while natural fabrics may produce a more luxurious texture, synthetic fibres are known for their durability, long-lasting appearance and cost-effectiveness.

Cost Differences

No matter what you are buying, leather is always a more expensive choice. For example, the Ethan Allen Monetery Fabric Sofa is priced at £1,235 while the comparable Ethan Allen Conor Sofa is priced at £1,560, as of 2011. The price difference is also true for purses, chairs and any other item that may be available in leather or fabric form.


As you compare the pros and cons of leather vs. fabric, it is important to take several things into consideration, such as how long you intend to keep the item. If you wish to keep the item for many years, leather may be your best choice, as many leather items will maintain their appearance and durability throughout your lifetime. If you wish to have an item with multiple colours or designs, then fabrics will be your ideal choice.

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