What is Faux Leather

Why would you choose to wear faux leather if there is real leather available in the market? For some people, they choose the leather alternative because of love for animals without sacrificing fashion. Others, on the other hand, choose the faux leather for economic reasons without sacrificing fashion. No wonder why faux leather, despite being an imitation, remains on high market demand.

The Artificial Leather

The “faux” in the faux leather is a French word for “not real.” Although faux leather is not real, it amazingly copies the look and even feel of real leather.

Unlike real leather, faux leather is made out of fabric or plastic that has a finishing like of an animal skin. This is used where the real leathers are also used—clothing, fabrics, upholstery, and accessories.


It’s amazing to see faux leather exactly copy the look and feel of real leather, thanks to the technology used to create this leather alternative.

Then, artificial leather was used only for upholstery. This is very common for covering chairs, lining the writing desks, and cars.

But how can the manufacturers create such a beautiful imitation? One variety of faux leather is made out of calico web. This is usually coated with a mixture of linseed oil, dyers, and lampblack. This coat must be uniformly spread. After that, the leather will be smoothed and then compressed on a cotton surface using metal rollers.

Other faux leather with glossy appearance will be spread with copal varnish as a finishing touch. Meanwhile, those faux leathers with grained morocco-like surface are achieved by passing the material on embossed rollers.

Preparing the faux leather is much more similar to rubber waterproof clothes and wax cloth. Another kind of faux cloth is made out of leather cuttings, powdered scraps, and gutta-percha solution.

Faux Leather Type

Besides the common faux leather, you can also find this type in many varieties. Here are the different types of faux leather:

  • Poromeric Imitation Leather. This is sometimes referred to as poromerics. This is a group of breathable leather made out of synthetic materials. This has plastic coating, placed on a fiber-based layer. This type was actually made by DuPont, a company that heavily marketed Corfam, a line of shoes made out of this material. The Corfam, despite expensive marketing, never reached popularity.
  • Leatherette. This is made out of natural or synthetic fiber, coated with PVC layer. This is usually found on bound books and cameras. Unlike the poromerics, this type is not breathable so it is not used for clothing or car seats. This can easily burn as well, making it a dangerous wear during a fire.
  • Korskin. Computer laptop cases are usually made out of korskin. Compared to other faux leather types, this looks and feels much more like the real leather.

Although also beautiful, faux leather can never equal the advantages and feel of real leather. The real leather is naturally breathable, adjustable as you wear, warm, and more comfortable. No fake leather can imitate what the real ones can truly give. However, for the sake of animal welfare and saving money, faux leather is not a bad choice, especially if you love the look of leather.


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