When most individuals go shopping to get certain leather items, they are often shocked to discover that there are various types of this material. They are even more surprised when they are recommended a specific polyurethane item and often ask, ‘What is PU leather?’ Since presently, there are a lot of different materials, it is crucial to understand the varieties before getting any item made from animal skin. It will save you the cost of getting an inferior quality product or one that you did not anticipate having.
Upon reading this article, you will confidently answer an individual asking ‘What is PU leather?’ The answer given is straightforward and will help one determine the real differences between faux, animal skin, and polyurethane.
What is PU leather?
Even before searching for the definition of this term, most individuals begin by searching for PU leather meaning. The term PU leather means polyurethane. Understanding this specific term is essential since it helps one to define PU leather easily. Polyurethane refers to a synthetic material, which formally is a type of plastic. It goes to mean that this type of material is merely artificial.
The goal of creating the polyurethane leather was to come up with a material that looked and felt like genuine animal skin, without necessarily having to utilize the real animal hide. Although most people may touch their wallets and refer to them as real animal skin, the majority of them are made of polyurethane.
How is PU leather made?
Besides being curious about 'what’s PU leather?', most fashion lovers, especially those who love rocking leather outfits, often want to know how PU leather is made. Due to this, it is common to stumble upon searches on the internet asking ‘what is PU leather made of?’ Well, here is the answer! This type of material comes from the synthetic material known as polyurethane, and that is why it is much cheaper than any other item made from animal hide.
Polyurethane is highly utilized by coating fabrics such as polyester and cotton. By using polyurethane in the coating, the foundation material becomes much more robust with the coating and helps extend not only the lifetime of the fabric but also its quality. In addition to that, this synthetic material helps in adding a glossy and animal skin-like appeal to the structure, making it almost 100% identical to any item made from the natural animal skin.
Characteristics of the polyurethane material
The primary feature of the polyurethane is that when it is exposed to sunlight, it does not crack or fade. Due to this aspect, it is widely used for automobiles. However, it is not as durable as the animal skin since it tends to tear more easily. Polyurethane also does not require tanning since it is not animal skin.
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Is PU leather vegan?
Besides the classic question ‘what is PU leather mean?’ individuals also frequently ask if the polyurethane is vegan. Well, it depends. There are exceptions where it is not vegan. This is one aspect that individuals must take note of before purchasing any product made of the polyurethane material, thinking that it is vegan when in real senses it is not.
The protective features of the polyurethane have made most manufacturing industries to utilize it to make non-vegan products. The industries coat the sub-par animal skin items with the synthetic material of polyurethane, making the product to be more long-lasting and updated. It is this characteristic of the artificial fabric that leaves most individuals with the assumption that this particular synthetic material is vegan.
PU leather vs leather
When comparing the polyurethane products with the natural animal skin, one aspect you will note is the price. A product made from natural animal hide, which is the skin of the animals tends to be more pricy compared to a product made from the polyurethane material. The lower price of products made from this synthetic material attribute to the fact that the material can easily be manufactured, unlike the hide which is acquired from the skin of animals.
The second aspect you will note when comparing these two materials is smoothness. The natural hide is not 100% smooth. It will tend to have imperfections and some natural grains since it is animal skin. However, since the synthetic material is manufactured in the industry, it will tend to be very smooth since any rough grain is an imperfection during the production process and is not sold.
The third difference between the synthetic material and the animal skin is the presence of pores. In the natural animal skin, you will come across pores since it comes directly from the animals. On the other hand, there will be no pores in the polyurethane since it is manufactured in the industries.
PU leather vs faux leather
Currently, the internet is blowing up with searches of the faux leather vs PU leather. While the polyurethane material is a standard product made in the manufacturing industries, the faux product is also an artificial material which means false or fake in French.
The faux material comprises more of chemicals and dyes that tend to give it a specific strong smell. The smell comes in handy when one is trying to differentiate the faux products from materials made from the other types of skins.
Advantages of the PU material
There are various benefits of using the polyurethane material. First and foremost, it is very affordable, unlike natural animal skin. Similarly, since polyurethane is manufactured in the industries, it makes it easy to be produced in a variety of styles and colours. The other advantage of this type of material is the fact that it can easily be cleaned and maintained using a damp piece of cloth.
When most people are asked the question ‘what is PU leather?’ they tend to scratch their scalps and bite their nails since they are not familiar with this term. However, polyurethane is slowly becoming popular since there are a lot of manufacturing companies being opened to manufacture products made from this synthetic material.
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