What is PU Leather? Meaning | Material | Definition | Pro and Cons

PU or Polyurethane leather is one of the most popular man-made leathers used today. However, PU leather has become very popular in the last 20-30 years in furniture, jackets, handbags, shoes, etc. It is generally cheaper than genuine leather when it is the same thickness. In this guide, you will learn about reading full-grain leather, why people use it as well as the pros and cons of using PU leather as a replacement for genuine leather.

There are a few different types of leather out there, so it can be a little confusing. What is genuine leather?  What’s the difference between PU, bi-cast, and bonded leather?  We’ve got you covered. For complete details of what is PU leather? How is it different from genuine leather? What are its pros and cons? And other in-depth details, so keep reading below:

What is PU Leather Meaning?

PU Leather Meaning

The term “PU” is an abbreviation for Polyurethane.

PU leather, pronounced “PU“.

PU Leather, also known as Poly Urethane Leather, is a common synonym for Artificial Leather.

The standard definition of PU leather is the combination of Polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride. PU Leather is the product of combining the words PolyUrethane.  It is a man-made material that is visually identical to the texture and feel of genuine leather but at a fraction of the cost.

PU leather has become very popular for inexpensive leather products. It is artificial leather that was created in the 1960s by the chemical company BORN. Since then, it has become one of the most popular alternative materials to genuine leather. You May Also Love to Read about Bovine Leather.

🌟 Various Names and types of PU Leather

PU leather is also known by several other names. Whether you are searching for imitation leather or trying to avoid it, it is essential to understand the various names of synthetic leather. When glancing at the tags, synthetic leather is referred to as:

  • Leather Bicast
  • Bonded Leather
  • Split Leather
  • Leather Reconstituted
  • Corrected Grain Leather

Pro and Cons

PU Leather Pro and Cons

PU (Polyurethane) leather is the most commonly used synthetic leather.

💚 Pros of PU Leather

🌟  High-quality product

  • Like our PU leather furniture, a high-quality PU Leather product will make of high-quality materials and craftsmanship.

🌟  Durable and strong

  • It’s durable, strong, and easy to maintain. There is no animal origin with this type of leather, and it won’t get damaged when wet. PU leather is durable, and the sofa will definitely last longer than a genuine leather one.

🌟 Multipurpose uses

  • It can be made to be very soft and durable, making it ideal for use in apparel, bags, shoes, and accessories.PU leather is an excellent choice for furniture, luggage, shoes, and accessories.PU leather is man-made – synthetic – leather.

🌟  Vegan leather

  • Plus, they’re vegan and help reduce water pollution because PU doesn’t absorb water like cowhide and other types of leather do.

🌟  Cheaper than genuine leather

  • Many people are lining their jackets with PU leather, which is cheaper than genuine leather, yet acts and feels like the real thing.The price of PU leather is considerably lower than genuine leather. The quality of PU leather usually is much less expensive too. PU leathers cost less than real leather.

🌟  Colors and styles variety

  • With many colors and styles, PU leather is an excellent option for those looking for a luxury look without a hefty price tag. When it comes to durability, this synthetic material provides similar strength as genuine leather. Still, it’s easier to care for and doesn’t dry out over time.

🌟  Easy dry

  • They are made from 100% PU leather—also called faux or non-leather—which is more durable than genuine leather. Its smooth, clean finish also makes it water-proof, which means it can be kept clean by simply wiping it down with a damp cloth.

Cons of PU Leather

  Looks fake

  • However, this synthetic material may not have the same classic leather feel asgenuine leather.So those who want an actual leather experience may have issues with PU leather.Thus, they can appear phoney and manufactured.

   Not animal-friendly

  • Many faux types of leather are Polyurethane, which is a form of plastic. Besides not being animal-friendly, this material comes with many problems, and the biggest issue is the fact that it doesn’t breathe. Less oxygen and sweat pass through fake leather, and this can make your body very uncomfortable.

   Crack gets over the time

  • Moreover, because certain PU leathers involve genuine leather scraps, not all PU leathers are vegan.It quickly wears and cracks over time. Thus it does not last as long as genuine leather. Unlike genuine leather, it can be readily punctured or torn. Further, PU leather does not develop the same sheen or patina as genuine leather over use.

   Not eco-friendly

  • So, it is not as breathable as genuine leather. Chemical or plastic odours are possible. Even though they use fewer resources to manufacture, plastics do not degrade and are not the most environmentally friendly.

PU Leather Material

PU Leather Material

PU leather is made of polyurethane resin. It is a material that contains man-made fibers and has a leather appearance. The leather fabric is a material created from the leather by tanning it. In the process of tanning, biological materials are used to make it possible for proper production. In contrast, the faux leather fabric is created from Polyurethane and cowhide.

The raw material for this category of fabric is harder compared to natural leather cloth. The unique distinction that differentiates these fabrics is that PU leather does not have a traditional texture. Unlike a genuine product, fake PU leather does not have a distinct grainy feel. Most of the time, fake PU leather products look shiny and have a smooth feeling them.

The secret to creating PU leather is coating a base of polyester or nylon fabric with grime-proof plastic polyurethane. The outcome texture PU leather with the look and feel of genuine leather. Manufacturers use this process to create our PU Leather case, offering the same protection as our genuine leather phone cases for less.

PU leather, also referred to as synthetic leather or artificial leather is made by applying an unbound layer of Polyurethane onto the surface of a base fabric. It does not require stuffing. Therefore the cost of PU upholstery is less than that of leather.

The manufacture of PU leather includes an application of various pigments and dyes to achieve specific colors and textures following customer requirements. Usually, PU leathers can be colored and printed according to customer demands.

Polyurethane Leather Similar to Faux Leather

Faux leather is in contrast with leather in that it is in no way natural but rather synthetic. While PU leather shares some similarities to faux leather, it is much more high quality than fake or imitation leather products.

PU Leather is also called Synthetic leather, or non-animal leather. Furthermore, the most common type of faux leather is Polyurethane, also known as PU. This faux leather fabric is a blend of artificial leather fibers and natural cloth fibers. It is a fabric made to look just like leather, but it is actually made of three layers: fiber, foam, and plastic.

This type of faux leather is 100% man-made. The material is created by combining fabric and plastic to form a durable, soft material used to craft handbags or shoes, or other clothing. The texture of PU leather is quite similar to genuine leather, but it feels waxier.

Applications of Premium PU leather

PU leather is excellent for projects where more supple leather might fall apart. It is sturdier than most vinyl, PVC, or fabric and will hold its shape better. It does not wrinkle like real leather, and some styles are even more durable than genuine leather.

In addition, these benefits make PU leather great for any project, whether you are making a purse, backpack, belt, shoes, or anything else you can think of.No matter what kind of genuine leather you use, PU leather will help you improve your product quality.

PU leather can make purses, briefcases, wallets, belts, and lots of other products. Moreover, PU leather has excellent flexibility, good tensile strength, abrasion resistance, and anti-wrinkle. These properties make it an ideal material for furniture upholstery, gloves, shoes, handbags, jackets, clothes, and much more. 

PU Leather is Defined as High Resistant

PU leather is produced using synthetic (i.e., plastics) Polyurethane (PU). Unlike genuine leather, the fakes are generally not animal-derived. However, there may be trace amounts of animal products used in the finishing or softness, etc. PVC PVC refers to Polyvinyl Chloride. It’s a commonly used material for manufacturing plastic materials such as shower curtains, book covers, and vinyl decorations.

Additionally, these fake leathers are also recognized as oil-loaded leather. It can keep itself from difficult weather conditions and water damage. The manufacture of PU leather has some advantages like High resistance to abrasion, Scrapes, Scratches, and A better resistance to heat.

Is PU leather Vegan?

Is PU leather Vegan

Is PU material vegan? Yes, PU material is vegan. Pu leather is basically a blend of different artificial chemicals and therefore is 100% vegan. It is also easier to maintain and keep newer and should be washed and taken care of like genuine leather.

PU leather is vegan as it’s a blend of various artificial chemical products. It is not made from any form of skin nor from any part of an animal. PU leather is 100% acrylic material, and it is synthetic and not made from animal skin or parts. This product can heat-treat into leather-like textures and dyes to color it.

PU (Polyurethane) is a vegan leather product. It is artificial leather made of different chemical elements mixed together to create this soft yet durable material. PU is one of the most widely produced materials on the planet. It’s used to build airplanes, boats, and synthetic leathers for clothing, shoes, and accessories. 

PU leather VS Leather – Types

💚  PU leather

The manufacture PU Leather combines soft touch, elegance, durability, and professional details. The surface is scratch-resistant - taking care of it is easy, like all hardware. PU leather is a new technology based on Durable Polyurethane materials. Moreover, high-quality PU leather is very similar to genuine leather in its texture and feel. Still, it is more water-resistant, anti-bacteria, anti-static, flame retardant, and ozone-safe.

Furthermore, PU leather is vulcanized synthetic leather. It is also called artificial leather, faux leather, or vinyl. It is made from Polyurethane which makes it easily malleable and allows it to be stretched cold or hot up to 100%.

However, PU leather looks very similar to genuine leather. It can be polished and cleaned quickly with a cleaning product for synthetic leather. This synthetic leather is a lot more resistant to sunlight than animal skins. It can wipe away with a wet cloth or towel, or you can use a specific cleaning product.

💚 Leather and its types

🌟  Faux leather

This faux leather features an embossed texture giving it the look and feel of genuine leather. It is water-proof, easy to clean, and durable enough to handle the elements. Sturdy yet soft, this faux leather wraps around your phone for reliable protection without adding unnecessary bulk.

The critical difference between faux leather and real leather is that synthetic material to make the faux leather doesn’t come from animals. It comes from a polymer synthesis procedure invented in a lab. At the same time, genuine leather is a product of a bi-product from slaughterhouses.

🌟 Split Leather

PU leather is also called Split Leather. It is made from splitting natural leather, remolding and pressing it together with PU glue to bind it. It is a type of artificial leather.

🌟 Vegan Leather

Vegan leather is made from biodegradable, renewable materials such as pineapple leaf fibers, bark extract, vegetable oils, and resins. However, Vegan leather not only looks like the real deal but feels similar to genuine leather as well. Further, this leather is not made out of animal hide.

Instead, the manufacturers use water-based Polyurethane, bio-based polymers, or cotton fibers to make it. They are also not involved in any child labor or slave labor processes.

🌟Top Grain Leather

Top Grain leather is among the best of leather despite the various marketing tactics used by vendors. Plus, Top-grain leather is the top layer of the hide. When you are looking for luxurious high-quality finished leather you need to look at the top grain.

Furthermore, with its natural grain texture, top grain leather offers an organic look to any piece of furniture it is used on. Thanks to its supreme durability, top grain leather is widely used in the production of high-quality items.

🌟 Bonded leather

Bonded leather is made using scraps of leather that are not suitable for use on their own. These scraps shred and mixed with fillers, including plastics and other leather fiber. The mix is pressed into sheets.  Further, with its great texture and appearance, it blends in with both current furniture trends and classical décor.

Bonded leather has many uses, including furniture, apparel, automobile upholstery, shoes, luggage, and office furniture. However, bonded leather continues to be a popular material for furniture and handbags.

🌟 Full Grain Leather

Many leather products consider genuine leather today. However, among them are just a few that are made of the best quality of leather. Full-grain leather is ideal for us here because it is not just thick but strong too.

Among other qualities, full-grain leather is also resistant to water, sunlight, scratch, and stain. The smooth surface texture and comfortable hand feeling are other vital features of full-grain leather.

PU Leather vs. Genuine Leather

PU Leather vs. Genuine Leather

Genuine leather comes from a dead animal, while PU leather is man-made. The latter being much cheaper to produce, PU leathers are the most commonly used in the industry today. Furthermore, the significant differences between genuine leather and PU leather are that,

🌟 PU leather🌟 Genuine leather
PU leather is stain-resistant, easy to clean, and can mold into different shapes.It is very similar to real leather but much softer and flexible.
The man-made PU leather can be produced at a much lower cost than the genuine leather and unlike genuine leatherAnimal leather is generally more expensive than PU leather.
While the treatment process for PVC and PU can as long as twenty-four months,Genuine leather is typically treated within a much shorter time frame.
It does not require the slaughtering of cows.Genuine leather is susceptible to UV rays that can cause it to crack
It is generally cheaper than genuine leather when it is the same thickness.Genuine leather is prized for its natural feel and decorative patterns, as well as its plant-based origins.
PU (Polyurethane) leather is a synthetic material that can give you all of the looks and feel of genuine leather.When you touch it, it does have a thin plastic feel to it.
It is an inexpensive material that doesn’t require high maintenance as genuine leather does.Genuine leather is much more durable than PU leather because it can easily be scratched or scuffed even with light use
PU leather is a tougher, more durable type of leather. It has a more polished look than genuine leather, giving it an upscale appearance.Natural richness also creates a breathable material
With its minimal pores, PU leather is water-resistant and stain-resistant. This synthetic alternative is machine washable, making it easy to maintain.Genuine leather also has the reputation of lasting longer than any other material

🌟 PU Leather Durability and Stronger

The durability is one of the most significant differences between leather and PU, especially the gorgeous soft one. This comes from the material used to make up both leather types. Both types can look very similar because of a very similar texture, but the main difference is durability.

And PU leather is pretty durable when you consider its price. It is actually almost the same durability as genuine leather with no animal rights violations. Moreover, PU leather is much stronger than genuine leather. Therefore you can look for items made out of PU leather which will be stronger than real leather.

🌟 Transportation and Aging

PU leather is both breathable and lightweight. Unless you are in a commercial business, synthetic leather will provide you with all the strength and durability. PU leather replicates the look and feel of genuine leather. However, real PU leather is much less breathable than genuine leather.

Real leather is typically seen as the most durable type of leather. It is naturally rich in oils, which makes it resistant to scuffs and scratches. This same natural richness also creates a breathable material, which allows it to keep away from bacteria and unwanted odor.

🌟 Cost

Real leather is a more expensive type of leather as it’s more durable. Still, the most significant negative is that it can’t wash. Since PU Leather can wash, it is considered more modern than and not as expensive as genuine leather. The price of PU leather is usually slightly lower than that of existing natural leather, but its durability and better performance.

Although PU leather is much cheaper, genuine leather has the benefit of making your furniture look far more appealing than plastic would. The durability of genuine leather is also high, so it will last longer than synthetic leather if adequately maintained.

🌟 Surface look

Other than that, PU leather has some other flaws. It tends to have a shiny look, no matter how often you avoid direct contact with sunlight. Also, real leather ages naturally, so it looks more stylish, whereas the PU one ages in a weird way. So if you are looking for a replacement for real leather you should try looking for PU one.

🌟 Maintenance 

Animal leather is generally more expensive than PU leather. Therefore, it is not surprising that consumers view maintenance as more of an issue with this type of furniture. Animal leather requires some maintenance to keep it looking good over time. So, professional cleaners are often recommended to replace/repair furniture made from real animal leather.

On the other hand, PU leather is exceptionally durable, but it does not require regular maintenance. You can keep PU leather looking new by regularly caring for it.

🌟 Wiped down

The main difference is that PU leather does not need to maintain like real leather and can simply be wiped down with a damp cloth. This material is thinner and easier to bend and cut than real leather; durability is considered in the design of this product.

It is, nevertheless, more breathable than other synthetic leathers, such as PVC. While real leather tends to be more appealing and softer overtime, PU leather will keep a consistent look and feel throughout its life.

🌟 Resistance to sunlight

There is a big difference between the resistance to the sunlight of real leather and synthetic leather. Real leather is very sensitive to UV rays that can cause it to crack. Still, PU leather is more resistant to the sun’s rays than animal leather, which is why it is often used for couches, armchairs, and car and motorcycle seats.

Sunlight is harmful to leather. It can cause discoloration, product degradation, and disintegration over time. Real animal leather is especially vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays because it does not contain any protective treatment to resist them. By contrast, PU leather includes a special UV protection treatment which makes the product resistant to the sun’s rays.

PU Leather Fabric and Manufacturing Process

A large number of chemicals and petroleum are needed in the production of PU leather. The entire procedure is broken down into four essential parts.

  • Begin with the foundation fabric
  • Coating of polyurethane finish
  • Coloring it by adding an extra layer of color
  • The final texture for the finish is added.

What is PU leather fabric?

PU leather is a synthesis of Polyurethane and split leather. Plus, PU leather is the common name for the material commonly used in furniture. Furthermore, this leather is a type of polyurethane leather produced from plastic using polymers and additives with various unique treatments. The general texture of PU leather is not as smooth as genuine leather. Still, the applications are immune to abrasion, moisture, corrosion, and aging, which is why they can use to produce high-quality furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is PU leather Genuine Leather?

No, the man-made PU leather can produce at a much lower cost than genuine leather and unlike genuine leather; it does not require the slaughtering of cows. PU (Polyurethane) leather is a synthetic material that can give you all of the looks and feel of genuine leather. It is more durable than natural leather and is ideal for products that stand up to everyday wear and tear, such as handbags, wallets, and seating.

2. Is PU leather any good?

is evident that PU leathers cost less than genuine leather. It combines synthetic materials such as Polyurethane and other plastics without using any animal-based products in its development. This helps to make PU leather a viable and cost-efficient alternative in many instances when real (or genuine) leather may not be available because of availability or cost.

3. Is PU leather or faux leather better?

Faux leather is typically cheaper than PU leather due to the less complicated manufacturing process used. A faux leather item doesn’t require a plastic coating on the back; instead, it uses a cheaper alternative such as cotton.

4. What is meant by PU leather?

PU (or Polyurethane) Leather is an Artificial Leather commonly found in apparel and accessories today. PU leather is the original man-made material for leather clothing and accessories. It was first introduced to the market in 1937 as a substitute for real leather.

5. Is PU leather high quality?

The quality is also comparable to genuine leather, and it is easily cleaned and taken care of. As a vegan, you shouldn’t have a problem with this type of leather.

6. Does PU leather last?

Yes, it is long-lasting for use. While the treatment process for PVC and PU can be as long as twenty-four months, genuine leather is typically treated within a much shorter time frame. Their durable PU leather will ensure that they last for years to come.

7. Is PU leather better than faux leather?

Faux leather is a product made of non-animal-based substances that look like real leather. Faux leather is definitely a better option when compared to Polyurethane (PU) Leather. Faux leather is a fabric made from synthetic materials that appearance similar to genuine leather.

Final words

In short, PU Leather Pros is a cost-effective, 100% animal-free alternative to leather. Made from Polyurethane, it has the strength and durability of genuine leather without the cost of cruelty. It’s less expensive than the genuine article, and the material can use to create a variety of colors and designs.

The soft finish makes it great for shoes, handbags, briefcases, and other accessories, as well as apparel.  Moreover, its products are made of 100% PU leather and feature many great benefits, including low cost and easy cleaning – simply wipe it down!

  • PU leather is a man-made material to replicate the texture
  • It is durable, strong, and is similar to genuine leather concerning its surface.
  • This leather is a synthetic material with fine grain and a full glossy finish.
  • Further, PU leather has become very popular thanks to its ease of care
  • Plus, it is basically a form of plastic imitating
  • Thus, it is the most popular synthetic leather

PU Leather is also referred to as faux or pleather. It’s a more affordable option than genuine leather. Still, some people don’t like to use it because they feel it looks cheap, lacks durability, and doesn’t wear well over time. However, some PU leathers are vegan-friendly, so you can find options that do not contain animal products.