Faux leather is one of several names given to artificial or synthetic leather. These names are often used to describe specific end uses of synthetic leather products such as faux leather (sofa, chair and headboard upholstery), leatherette (auto upholstery, clothing), and koskin (consumer goods). There are two primary types of faux leather construction: polyurethane (“PU”), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC – “Vinyl”). PU leather fabric is made by applying or laminating a 100% polyurethane finish to a base material. Typical base materials include polyester, cotton, nylon, or rayon. A roller applies an artificial grain pattern to the surface to imitate the look of genuine leather. Japan and China are the largest manufacturers of faux leather.

To tell apart genuine leather from fake leather, notice the following:

  1. Unique pattern
    Real leather has its own unique pattern. Imitation leather has repeating patterns and small spots of the same size. But it is possible to confuse fake leather with printed leather since its pattern is also repetitive.
  2. Leather smell
    Real leather goods of high quality have a light and unobtrusive smell. Some faux leather manufacturers add special aromatizes that imitate the leather smell.
  3. The moisture reaction
    Real leather always absorbs water and the leather of light tones shows it very well: a dark spot will appear and stay before all of the water evaporates. Leatherette doesn’t absorb moisture and its color doesn’t change.
  4. Press for wrinkle test
    Just like human skin, original leather is elastic and change colour while stretching. When you stretch real leather, you will see wrinkly patterns disappearing and coming when you release.

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