If you know a little bit about leather, you’d realize that one can not just go to the market and ask for a leather jacket, bag or shoes. You have to have a piece of knowledge about the types, grades, and finishing of leather. That’s the only way to make the right choice. It can be hard for some people to determine the differences between real and artificial leather because sometimes the manufacturers do such an amazing job that you can’t tell the difference unless you’ve worn it a number of times.
Talking about artificial leather, PU, also known as synthetic or fake leather, is an imitation of real leather crafted using polyurethane. It is a plastic that has a similar feel to the leather but has nothing to do with the animal hide. PU leather is also considered Vegan leather and is becoming popular among a certain group of people. It is also sometimes mixed with real leather to come up with some fashion products that are aesthetically pleasing but less durable, of course.
What Is PU Leather Made Of And How To Identify It?
PU leather comes under the huge category of artificial leather. This type has nothing to do with animal hide and is made out of other elements such as plan leaves, plastic or polyurethane, etc. There can be a number of ways to figure out the difference between PU and real leather but you have to pay attention because sometimes the quality and perfection with which fake leather is created can deceive you.
The primary difference you will find is that PU is comparatively cheaper because of the materials used in it. Real leather on the other hand can be expensive depending on the grade and finishing of animal hide.
Have you ever noticed that your leather jacket has a particular smell that just never goes away, that’s actually the sign of real leather. PU leather will also have a unique smell but it will feel more like chemicals and plastic and it might go away with time.
We’re not asking you to soak your jacket by running it under water but if by any chance your real leather jacket or bag is exposed to a small amount of water, it will be absorbed. That’s one of the characteristics of real leather. However, water droplets will sit on the surface of PU leather or just slip but will not be absorbed.
Another obvious difference between real and PU leather is the texture. Real leather has imperfections such as wrinkles and stretch marks on the surface, PU on the other hand is smooth and has a uniform appearance.
How To Clean PU Leather?
PU leather is comparatively easier to clean. Most of the dust and stains can simply be removed using water and a damp cloth or a leather cleaner. Avoid putting your PU leather into a washing machine. If you are not sure about cleaning it at home, go to a professional for dry cleaning. Once cleaned, there’s no need for a moisturizer or a leather conditioner because PU is made from chemicals and plastic. You can use a hairdryer to dry the leather.
Pros And Cons Of PU Leather
Talking about the benefits that come along with PU leather, the cheaper rate is definitely at the top. Some people don't usually go for expensive products that last a lifetime, they prefer short-lived fashion clothing that they can replace after a while. Also, PU leather is comparatively easier to clean as it can not be damaged by water, dust, or heat exposure. PU leather is purely vegan and unlike real leather, it is not that prone to dryness or tearing.
As far as the cons are concerned, it smells like chemicals and can clearly give away that fake textured appearance with its extremely uniform surface. It doesn’t last as long as real leather, which explains the low rates. It is super damaging to the environment as the plastic components don't decompose.