Also known as faux leather, leatherette is a man-made product produced to give a leather like finish. It is a material that is highly comfortable when used as upholstery for a piece of furniture.
Leatherette is made up layers of fabric and plastic, such as polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Some people find leatherette to be a more moral choice as it does not involve killing any animals. It also provides the following advantages:
Colors- Leatherette offers a wide variety of colors as it can be dyed easily.
Pet friendly- It is scratch resistant and is sturdy, so don’t worry if you have pets at your home, they won’t be able to damage your precious leatherette sofa.
Durability – When maintained properly, leatherette is durable up to 8 to 10 years, and is also waterproof and ages better. It does not fade when exposed to sunlight over an extended period.
Cost effective – Leatherette is less expensive than real leather and more versatile.
There are two types of leatherette used to upholster furniture: PU and PVC. The difference between these are as follows:
PU leatherette is made by covering a backing fabric such as cotton, polyester or shredded leather with a layer of polyurethane. Its surface can be treated to look and feel like real leather, which makes it the most common faux leather these days. It is light in weight; is tough, waterproof, and resistant to water swelling deformation. It is environment-friendly, wear- resistant, with easy care, and with has a porous structure for breathability.
PVC leatherette is made by covering a base of natural or synthetic material with vinyl, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and plasticizers. PVC has no hair-follicles (pores) which makes it virtually waterproof, but may become unbreathable in hot temperatures. Due to its plastic nature, PVC leatherette requires no special care or conditioning in comparison to genuine leather, but may crack with extended use because of the application of plasticizers. Its advantages, however, include that it comes in rich colors, patterns range, cheap, etc.