PU (polyurethane) faux (synthetic) leather material is using knitted fabrics, woven fabrics, or non-woven fabrics as the substrate and then coated with polyurethane resin. The fabric can be used for a wide range such as shoes, apparel, furniture, handbags etc.
Real leather is taken off from animals, like pigskin, sheepskin, crocodile skin, etc. The initial layer of leather is directly processed from the raw skin of varied animals or cut the thick skin of cattle, pigs, horses, etc into upper and lower layers. Top of the part is processed into the first-layer of leather. The second layer of leather is a mix of PU resin and the low layer of skin or scrap material of the animal skin. The toughness, handfeel, and abrasion resistance of the second layer are faux leather fabric much lower than the first layer of leather.
How to distinguish real leather and PU leather?
First, we should identify from the areas of leather pattern, pores, etc. Is seen in the top of natural leather, the pores do exist, and the distribution is uneven, there is animal fibers, side section, and the layers are obvious, and there is animal fibers in the lower layer. Try together with your fingernails, there will be leather fibers, you will find a feeling of napping, and a small amount of fibers can be removed, and the faux leather can easily see the fabric, there is no animal fiber in the medial side, and the general epidermal has no pores, however, many are imitation leather pores, there will be undesirable pores, some of the patterns are not obvious, or have a compared artificial pattern, and the pores are also quite consistent. At this time, they may be carefully observed by aid from magnifying glass, or can see the fine difference.
Generally speaking, the prices of real leather (especially the initial layer leather) are very higher than PU leather, so is real leather has been much better properties than PU? The solution is no. Real leather is expensive is due to its many reasons. Such as scarce sources and tedious processing of animal skins. Nowadays with the development of technology, nature leather can not achieve many excellent properties of PU leather especially solvent-free PU and DMF-free water-based PU. Because of their excellent physical & chemical properties, healthy & eco-friendly & animal-friendly performance, good uniformity, etc, Europe and USA, etc are highly respected and gradually choose innovative PU leather instead of real leather.