PU leather can be described as synthetic leather or faux leather or vegan leather. This artificial leather is made resistant to water penetration and has a high fade resistance.
When shopping for leather products, it can be hard to determine the differences between real leather and artificial leather. Some people may be looking for genuine leather, while others may want to take the cheaper route and choose an artificial leather. PU leather is a common option for artificial leather.
PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer used for making furniture or shoes. 100% PU leather is completely artificial and is considered vegan. There are some types of PU leather called bicast leather that have actual leather but has a polyurethane coating on top. This type of PU leather takes the fibrous part of cowhide that are leftover from making genuine leather and put a layer of polyurethane on top of it.
PU Leather Pros
- PU Leather costs less than genuine leather because it is easier to manufacture.
- PU doesn’t absorb water which makes it easy to clean.
- 100% PU leather is vegan.
- PU leather can be made into a variety of colors and styles.
- Unlike leather, PU leather doesn’t dry out over time.
- Better for sustainability because it uses fewer resources to make.
PU Leather Cons
- Can look fake and synthetic.
- Isn’t breathable like genuine leather.
- Can smell of chemicals or plastic.
- Easily wears over time and can crack, which means it doesn’t last as long as real leather.
- Can puncture or tear easily unlike genuine leather.
- PU leather doesn’t develop the same luster or patina as real leather over time.
- Not all PU leathers are vegan because some contain leftover genuine leather.
- Even though it uses fewer resources to make, plastics don’t decompose and aren’t the most eco-friendly.