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PU leather is a popular material used in the fashion and furniture industry. It is a false leather made of thermoplastic resin polymer. PU stands for polyurethane, which is a type of plastic. Unlike genuine leather, it is considered vegan because it contains no animal skin.

Various types of PU leather are available in the market, including bi-cast leather with a polyurethane coating on top of actual leather. PU leather is commonly used to make handbags, shoes, furniture, and some of our office chairs. It is a more reasonable alternative to genuine leather and is preferred by many due to its durability and easy maintenance.

According to Dan Weller, creator of Philadelphia-based Liberty Leather Goods, there are two kinds of PU leather: full artificial and semi-artificial (also known as 100 percent PU leather or divided leather, individually).

Define PU Leather

PU leather, also identified as polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic resin polymer. It is a popular substitute for genuine leather due to its affordability, durability, and ease of maintenance. PU leather is finished by coating a layer of polyurethane on top of a base material, which can be made of various fabrics such as nylon, cotton, or vinyl.

Unlike genuine leather, PU leather is entirely artificial and is considered vegan-friendly. This is because no animal extracts or by-products are used in manufacturing. As a result, it has become a popular choice for those looking for ethical and sustainable alternatives to animal leather.

Various names recognize PU leather. Whether you’re seeking this synthetic leather or aiming to evade it, it’s crucial to be familiar with the myriad of terms that describe it.

Production Process of PU Leather

PU leather is an artificial leather made by coating a fabric backing with a flexible polymer and treating it to look like animal hide. The production process of PU leather is divided into four main steps:


A polymer solution is poured onto a paper base with a silicone layer in the first step. The mixture is then passed between heated rollers to make it compact and uniform.


After the coating has dried, the material’s surface is textured to resemble the grain of animal hide. This is done by pressing the material against a textured roller or plate.


Sometimes, the material is embossed with a pattern or design to make it look more like genuine leather. This is done by pressing the material against an embossing roller or plate.


Finally, the material is treated with a finishing coat to make it glossy or matte. This coat also helps to protect the material from wear and tear.

The production process of PU leather is less resource-intensive than genuine leather, which requires animal hides. However, the production of PU leather still contains chemicals and energy, which can have environmental impacts.

Some manufacturers are working to develop more sustainable and eco-friendly production methods for PU leather, such as using recycled materials or reducing harmful chemicals.

Advantages of PU Leather


PU leather has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many advantages over traditional leather. Here are some of the main benefits of using PU leather


One of the primary rewards of PU leather is that it is much more cost-effective than traditional leather. PU leather is made from a synthetic material, which means that it can be produced at a much lower cost than genuine leather. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want the look and feel of leather without the high price tag.

Easy to clean

PU leather is also much easier to clean than traditional leather. Unlike genuine leather, PU leather is not porous and does not absorb water or other liquids. This makes cleaning incredibly easy, as spills and stains can be rubbed away with a damp cloth.


PU leather is also incredibly durable and long-lasting. Unlike traditional leather, which can crack and fade over time, PU leather is resistant to wear and tear and can maintain its appearance for many years. This makes it an excellent choice for furniture, clothing, and other items subject to regular use.


PU leather can be made in various colors and styles, making it incredibly versatile. This means it can be used to create various looks, from classic, traditional, modern, and contemporary. PU leather can also be made to look like a variety of different animal hides, including cowhide, crocodile, and snake skin.


Finally, PU leather is more eco-friendly than traditional leather. PU leather is made from synthetic materials, which means that it does not require the use of animal hides. This makes it a more maintainable and ethical choice for those anxious about animal welfare and environmental issues.

Disadvantages of PU Leather

PU leather has several disadvantages that should be considered before choosing it as a leather alternative.
One of the main drawbacks of PU leather is that it is not as breathable as genuine leather. This can make wearing or sitting on it uncomfortable for a long time, especially in hot or humid climates. PU leather does not allow air to circulate through it, which can lead to sweating and discomfort.

Another disadvantage of PU leather is that it does not have the same natural look and feel as genuine leather. PU leather is made of plastic, which means it lacks genuine leather’s unique texture and grain patterns. While some types of PU leather, such as bi-cast leather, have actual leather underneath the polyurethane coating, they still lack genuine leather’s natural look and feel.

PU leather can also smell of plastic and chemicals. Genuine leather has a comforting, rich, earthy smell, whereas PU leather has no natural aroma. Its plastic-like smell will be most potent when brand-new, but the odor will fade.

Which Decision Is Finest for the Atmosphere?

Since PU leather is naturally made from a flexible polymer, it can be secondhand in some situations. Weller says that depending on the manufacturing process, it might be less chemically intensive than some natural leather processes and might use fewer resources to manufacture.

“Trendy this supplementary uncompromising viewpoint, PU leather can be made inexpensive and faster,” he says. “In another situation, it is made of plastic (petroleum products), which have adverse ecological aspects from removal and use in materials manufacture.” says different genuine leather, polyurethane leather, doesn’t need to be dark. Tanning is a process that can cause pollution from the ammonia and chromium used to make it, so that’s advantageous, too.


Overall, while PU leather can be a cost-effective and animal-friendly alternative to genuine leather, it has several disadvantages that should be considered before making a purchase decision.

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