Real Leather or Faux Leather?

Posted on 27 Jun 2016 Share:

The difference between Faux Leather and Real Leather

Faux leather is made from PU (Polyurethane) or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) , or a Polyamide micro-fibre. PU and Polyamide are normally much easy to clean than PVC, which tends to be difficult to care for as it doesn't breathe very well. Faux Leather manufactured from Polyurethane is normally regarded as the more eco friendly choice. The manufacture of PVC is notoriously bad for the environment as the main components are pollutants that are released into the air.

Real leather is often regarded as the more eco friendly solution but the manufacture of real leather still involves the use of some pretty nasty chemicals such as, Formaldehyde, mineral salts, and some cyanide based dyes.

Traditional Faux Leather is much less hard wearing than Real Leather and doesn't last anywhere near as long. As it's basically a plastic it fades and cracks easily whereas real leather develops a patina with age and looks much more attractive.

How to tell the Difference between Faux Leather and Real Leather

The easiest way to usually tell if something is made from faux leather is to inspect the underside of the material. This can be quite difficult on a sofa or chair especially if the seats and cushions are fixed, so feel free to give Complete Furniture Services a call and we will happily come out and check for you.

New Faux Leather & Real Leather materials

Brand new Faux and Real Leather sofa

The underside of real leather is very soft whereas the underside of faux leather is often cotton or material based.

Manufacturers often use a combination of real leather and faux leather when producing a sofa or chair and won’t always make the customer aware of this. Usually the seating area and the arm rests are real leather with the sides and back being made from faux leather, so you should make sure you read the small print when purchasing a sofa or chair.

Aged Faux Leather & Real Leather materials

Faux leather and real leather material with age

Faux leather is obviously more affordable than real leather and because of its PU/ PVC content it can be easier to clean, so it really depends on what you are looking for as a consumer and your budget.

A real leather sofa will last a lot longer than a faux leather one, providing it is cared for well. The life span of faux leather is approximately 6 years depending on how the item is used, whereas real leather furniture can last up to 30 years.

Once faux leather cracks or splits, it can be almost impossible to repair as there is little ‘stretch’ or ‘give’ in faux leather. Real leather is a lot easier to repair as it is more pliable and we can even use skin fillers to keep that natural feeling.

If you would like us to look at any type of furniture repair then give us a call on 0117 382 6790 or contact us here