Leather is a great product that is used to make a variety of items. In the kids clothing industry, leather is especially used to make solid and long-lasting items like Leather Baby Loafers. These loafers made of leather are able to keep the feet of babies and toddlers safe while also providing maximum comfort. Now, besides leather, there is also faux leather which is becoming more and more common as a substitute for leather.
Advantages and Uses of Faux Leather
Faux leather is, is the name implies, not real leather but takes on the appearance of leather and can be used in place of leather in almost all occasions. Besides the fact that it is cheaper and more affordable, faux leather posses some other advantages such as for the environment. The vast majority of leather in the U.S. and Europe comes from India and China, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, where animal welfare laws are virtually non-existent. Workers who toil away in leather tanneries are notoriously underpaid and suffer high rates of cancer due to the toxic fumes involved in the process. In addition to the advantages mentioned above, faux leather offers more advantages compared to real leather. Some of these advantages are:
Faux leather is typically much more affordable than real leather.
Faux leather is very durable and will last a long time. It can withstand scratches and scrapes that would destroy genuine leather. It is not prone to crack or peel like leather.
It’s Low Maintenance
Faux leather materials can usually be wiped clean with a rag and warm water. Unlike genuine leather, it does not retain moisture, so faux leather items will not become warped or cracked.
It has Realistic Quality
Faux leather has been modified and improved with variations in grain, color, and textures to reflect a visual appearance with a realistic leather quality. It has consistent Appearance: Faux leather will provide a uniform look since all the pieces come from the same stock.
It is Fashionable
Faux leathers can also be printed providing an enormous variety of textures and patterns. In addition, because faux leather is a synthetic material, it can be dyed a rainbow of colors. This fashion-forward approach allows for more freedom when designing high demand products. Faux leather allows for these products that are necessary for a parent to also be fashionable and trendy.
It is Easy to Work With
Faux leather is easier to cut and sew than real leather. In addition, needle marks are usually less noticeable and threads blend with the faux leather material more seamlessly.
Understanding FAUX Leather
FAUX Leather is also known as leatherette and it is an item made from artificial materials to look and feel like real leather. Faux leather is man-made leather hence it is artificial and synthetic. Faux leather is an eponymous product as these names are often used to describe specific end uses of synthetic leather products such as faux leather clothes, bags, sofa, shoes, chairs and headboard upholstery etc. There are two primary types of faux leather construction: polyurethane (“PU”), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC – “Vinyl”). Vinyl synthetic leather has been produced in the United States since the 1940s, initially for products such as shoes, automobile interiors, and upholstery. In the late 1950s, some chemical companies began developing polyurethane products. Both polyurethane and vinyl synthetic leathers are used in making clothing, upholstery, and product covers, but each is better for certain applications than others. PU fabric is softer, more flexible, and breathable, so it’s more commonly used for making high-wear products, like clothing and upholstery which have surfaces that come into direct contact with skin. Vinyl is not as breathable as PU, but this is often ideal for products that need to repel moisture such as book bindings or cases for electronic devices.
Vinyl upholstery is made from two separate synthetic materials. The fibers of the upholstery are constructed from strong polyester fibers. The fibers are then coated with vinyl, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and plasticizers (phthalic acid). This vinyl is melted onto the surface of the fibers, sealing them closed and making a virtually waterproof surface that is still flexible and tough.
Vinyl upholstery is easy to clean and maintain. This makes it ideal for situations where cleanliness is a top priority, such as in hospitals and restaurants. Vinyl also does not require any special care or conditioning. However, vinyl can become uncomfortably hot if left in the sun. Skin will stick to the surface, creating an uncomfortable seating situation. Vinyl may also crack with extended use.
The Durability of Faux Leather
One of the reasons why faux leather is used a lot is because of its durability. Besides the fact that it is cheaper than real leather and more socially conscious, it’s also more durable than real leather. This may come as a surprise to some. Faux leather is not only very durable, but it’s also more likely to keep looking the most attractive and durable. Public opinion would expectedly be that when it comes to leather objects, real leather is the most durable of the two especially since it’s the most expensive of the two. But the truth is that faux leather can be much more durable, however, all this depends on the quality of the faux leather fabrics used in the manufacturing process.
Some cars made in the 50s are still enjoying their faux leather upholstery, it is because the faux leather fabric used was of great quality. By mixing materials, the faux leather used in the upholstery is not just plastic, it is plastic mixed with synthetic or natural fibers. In the process of making faux leather, manufacturers can add either synthetic fibers like nylon, or add natural fibers like cotton or wool, both processes are very efficient at making the faux leather fabric more durable and stronger. However, for faux leather to stay durable and stronger it does not only require good materials, it will also require good maintenance.
Faux leather requires just as much care and maintenance as real leather. One of the best products you can apply to make faux leather not only durable, but also very resistant and stronger is quality leather conditioners. Leather conditioners help the fibers in faux leather stay strong and durable.
They will also prevent the faux leather surface from cracking and losing fat and other essential chemicals that hold it together. When maintained properly, faux leather can last up to 50 years without significant wear and tear while some faux leather product don’t last 3 months before they start to deteriorate by cracking and losing its resistance and value. In order to have a very durable faux leather, you must care for it and you must select only the best quality materials and fabrics.