What Is Faux Leather?

Updated February 21, 2017

Faux leather is not totally artificial. Faux leather does have some leather included in the material make-up, but not enough to be considered real or genuine leather. There are different grades of faux leather, just like real leather.

Common Names

Faux leather has a variety of different names, all of which mean that it is not true leather. Artificial, leatherette, pleather, man-made leather, synthetic leather, leather-like and Naugahyde all refer to faux leather.

Materials Used

Different polymers are blended with the leather to create a material that is similar to real leather. Vinyl and a type of softener are injected into the leather to create a durable material that still resembles leather. The amount of polymers used determines the grade: the more polymers used, the lower the grade.

Why Faux Leather Does Not look Real

Faux leather will have a shine where real leather has a more satin unfinished look. Authentic leather is always very soft while faux leather has a stiffness because of the vinyl products used.

Other Differences

Faux leather has a rubbery scent as opposed to the unmistakable earthy smell of real leather. Leather is much warmer than a synthetic leather because polymers do not include any insulating factors.

Why Buy Faux Leather?

Faux leather may not be real leather but is durable and strong. You can keep a faux leather coat or couch looking good with little care because it is washable and wears very well.

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About the Author

Kate Eglan-Garton is a professional writer, literary agent and editor. Writing since 1985, she is a past business owner, interior decorator and magazine editor that has used her knowledge to write interesting pamphlets and magazine articles. Her education includes certification in writing, a degree in interior design and an associates degree in business.