What Is Faux Leather?

Written by kate eglan-garton
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What Is Faux Leather?
Faux leather (leather image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com)

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.

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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.

What Is Faux Leather?
Leather furniture (white leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com)

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.

What Is Faux Leather?
Faux leather furniture (brown leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com)

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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