Artificial Leather - Here's Everything You Need to Know
Leather is a commonly used ingredient in the manufacture of apparel, shoes, accessories and products for home decoration. More than a billion animals are considered to be slaughtered annually by the global leather industry for the manufacture of trendy and exclusive leather clothing, footwear and accessories. Switching to eco-friendly and cruelty-free leather is highly recommended in order to save animals and promote a healthy sustainable environment.
This expensive skin is made for items such as shirts, coats, trousers, shoes, bags, belts, etc., and is commonly used by consumers every day. But, what one forgets is the atrocities that the animals face in order to manufacture these things.
What is Artificial Leather?
Over the decades, artificial leather has become exceptionally popular in the marketplace due to its appearance and flexibility, as well as its positive environmental impact. Over time artificial leather has become so good that it is nearly impossible to distinguish between real leather and artificial leather.
There are three types of artificial leather available in the market for you to choose.
PVC leather - or simply Vinyl - is made of leather backing fabric and is covered by a layer of foam, skin layer and a surface coating of plastic base.
In the 1920's, PVC was produced by substituting chloride for hydrogen in a vinyl group. The outcome was the stronger and more robust material which was pursued by the manufacturers. PVC started to achieve popularity as an alternative to metal shortly thereafter. As a cloth, however, leather in replication was criticized as "artificial feeling" and "too sticky."
PU leather is a broken, polyurethane coated leather base that gives a fabric like a genuine leather finish with similar versatility as well. PU leather is 100% artificial and is considered “Almost” vegan. The product goes by a few names in the market such as Bicast Leather, Split Leather, Bonded Leather etc. The advantage of PU leather is that it costs less and can be made into a variety of colors and styles. Also this type of leather does not absorb water which makes it easy to clean. But PU leather isn't so much sustainable because the quality isn't good enough, and sometime the textures makes the user feel like a bit uncomfortable to use.
Microfiber leather is considered the best alternative to actual leather. It is based on a three-dimensional non woven microfiber fabric structure, then coated with high-performance resin polyurethane. Microfiber leather is generally better than other types of faux leather in terms of real leather feel and properties. This type of leather is 100% vegan and eco friendly. Microfiber Lather also can be named as vegan leather which is made from innovative and sustainable materials such as pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels etc.Not only does vegan leather make you look good, it makes you feel good because it's cruelty-free. Vegan leather comes in various shapes and qualities, but some are 'like leather' rather than others. There is usually not too much difference to real leather.
Microfiber leather can possibly replace the real animal leather cause of the luxurious quality and texture along with good sustainability. With technological advancement, this kind of leather seems the best with some new components like apple skin to produce biodegradable luxurious vegan leather goods.
Synthetic Leather or Real Leather: Which One You Should Choose?
Generally speaking, the prices of real leather products are higher than those of synthetic leather products, so it is easy to make people believe that real leather is much better than synthetic leather. That's not real, in fact. Because of its many purposes, leather is costly. Like insufficient sources and repetitive animal skin processing. Nature leather today cannot attain many excellent properties of synthetic leather through the development of technology (particularly solvent PU leather and DMF free water-based microfiber leather, due to their high quality, health, good uniformity, cruelty free, and eco friendly). Instead of real leather, countries like Europe and the United States, etc, are increasingly preferring synthetic leather over real leather.