How Do Faux Leather Fabrics Compare to Real Leather?
Just over 100 years ago,
What is Faux Leather?
What are the Different Types of Faux Leather?
What is Genuine Leather?
Real leather is a material made from the hide or skin of an animal. It is tanned to preserve it and then finished to convert it into a usable product. Most leather used worldwide comes from cattle, a group of animals that includes cows, buffalo and bison.
Where Does Leather Come From?
How is Faux Leather Different Than Genuine Leather?
- Increases value
- Durable and long-lasting
- Renewable resource
- Resistant to wear and tear
- Reduces landfill waste
- Comfortable and luxurious
- Less valuable
- Short lifespan
- Made from plastic or other chemicals
- Petroleum based
- Environmentally wasteful
- Susceptible to cracking, bubbling and wear
- Not biodegradable
- Lacks the luxury of leather
- Less breathable
- Produces dioxins when burned
What is Faux Leather Used For?
Is faux leather good for upholstery?
How Long Does Faux Leather Furniture Last?
Is Faux Leather Toxic?
That’s the million dollar question. The answer is, despite the popular belief that fake leather is better for the environment than genuine leather, in fact it can be very damaging. One problem is that the manufacturing of plastics creates large amounts of toxic chemical pollutants including dioxin, hydrochloric acid and vinyl chloride, which can be harmful to people and animals.
There are three ways to dispose of faux leather, each with its own disadvantages:
- Recycling is difficult because it is hard to separate the different compounds and additives used to make synthetic leather, and when remelted and reused, its purity tends to degrade. Because it has a low value, this method is unprofitable.
- Placing faux leather in landfills has its own drawbacks because faux leather is not biodegradable. Not only that, it can leach out chemicals that can contaminate both soil and water.
- The incineration of PVC produces dioxin, one of the most toxic substances known. Although it is flame resistant, it releases harmful hydrogen chloride gas when heated.
The choice is yours based on your personal preference whether to buy a product made with synthetic leather or real leather. Factors to consider are how long you plan to own it, how you want it perform, and how you would like it to look. But beware – do not believe everything you read about the benefits of faux leather. And when you decide to make your purchase, make sure you are buying what you paid for and not a substitute.