Faux leather is not genuine leather, and its life expectancy is therefore shorter. Mostly, it goes for 4-6 years. But, quality, well-maintained faux leather can last you at least ten years and even, in some cases, 20 years. The outermost service starts to peel and crack as time passes as it is made of polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride.
There are high silicon-based fake leathers found in heavy-duty industrial or institutional furnishings. This can last longer than the regular artificial leather you find in shops. However, it is by far more costly than normal faux leather.
At first glance, you cannot differentiate between faux leather and real leather. But, various distinctive attributes of the two put them worlds apart when you keenly look at them side by side.
Genuine leather is always the best option, but it is very expensive. So if you desire a leathery feel for your furniture, you can opt for faux leather. With good maintenance, faux leather can serve you for a reasonable period.
How Does Faux Leather Compare To Actual Leather?
Fake leather is can also be referred to as vegan or leatherette. It is low-quality, chemically engineered leather. Genuine leather is in high demand because it is better durable and improves as it ages. There are numerous sorts of fake or faux leather available; PU faux leather fabric, PVC leather fabric, bi-cast leather fabric, and bonded leather fabric. They are all nearly the same, but the material used to make them puts them apart.
Faux leather is made using polyurethane or a combination of polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride to form a flexible and leather-based-like cloth. There are other chemicals added to this concoction, but the two are the major ingredients.
Genuine leather-based is crafted from animal hides. An animal hide commonly has extra sturdiness and has no weaknesses like artificial leather. The genuine leather has various finishes to protect it from daily wear and tear.
Table Showing Differences Between Faux Leather Types And Genuine Leather
|Genuine leather||Bi-cast leather||Bonded leather||PU faux leather||PVC faux leather|
|Material||Organic animal hides||Low-quality animal hides are covered with a polyurethane surface.||Leather scraps combined with binding materials||Polyurethane on a base fabric with artificial leather-like grain applied to it.||Polyurethane combined with plasticizers and lubricants|
|Care||Mild detergents, warm water, and leather conditioner||Soap, alcohol, bleach, and conditioner||Soap, alcohol, bleach, and conditioner||Mild detergent, warm water, oils, and conditioners||Mild detergent, warm water, oils, and conditioners|
|Longevity||Can last for generations depending on quality-30 to 50 years minimum.||10 years maximum|
Cannot survive for long as it starts to peel.
|It starts to peel after a short while.||Cracks and peels after a short period.||10 to 20 years maximum when properly taken care of|
Even though faux can be priced lower than actual leather material, you need to consider the durability and long-term maintenance cost. While faux leather may be fake and seen as the weaker and lesser of the two, it can give you service for many years if maintained.
Why Purchase Faux Leather?
Everybody is always looking for the best deal in the market; nobody hates a good discount or a lower price for a specific item they want. Faux leather gives you something almost as good as the original at a lower price. Many will pick this leather over actual leather and be happy with it.
But, some consumers do not mind paying the extra coin to purchase genuine leather. So, your budget will likely determine what you settle for.
N/B: The price of leather items does not always suggest that it is fake or not the real deal. Some stores will overprice products. But, it is crucial to note that a few high-priced products will provide you with an entire life of comfort and great service.
Genuine leather does offer distinct colors and patterns of leather merchandise, but faux leather goes over and beyond. You will notice that, with artificial leather, the colors and designs are many, and you can always get what you want. Faux offers you a choice to select your favorite leather-based product in whatever shade and layout you prefer.
Why Should You Avoid Fake Leather?
In recent years, artificial leather has received numerous recognitions, and almost all of us are aware of its existence. However, the fabric has a few defects and side effects that you should be mindful of. These are:
1. Health Issues
Chemical compounds used to make fake leather, like polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, or polyamide, may be harmful to your health. These chemical compounds release dangerous pollution into the air and the land.
These chemicals in the air can affect human beings living in regions surrounding the manufacturing plants as time goes by. If you buy, you will be increasing its production, and as a result, more toxic will be released into the environment
2. Less Durable
In contrast to genuine leather which can serve you for 50 years, faux leather can go for 20 years. With time, real leather gets finer and obtains a better appearance and feel, but fake leather ages badly; it begins peeling off and losing its elasticity and premium appearance.
Why Do Fake Leather Crack And Peel?
Faux leather cracking is primarily due to the effect of UVB rays. UVB rays are the second form of ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. As long as faux leather has a few plastic additives, it will crack when exposed to these rays from the sun for long periods.
When you decide to buy artificial leather, and it has not been reinforced with natural fibers like cotton, it will start cracking after a short while. Therefore, even with faux leather, the quality is very crucial.
Ways Of Improving The Durability Of Faux Leather
There are various methods you could use to help your faux leather survive a little bit longer:
1. Applying Oils
Baby oil is one of the best in keeping your leather-based products sparkling and well preserved. Applying the oil creates a protective layer that prevents the sun rays from weakening the fabric and cracking it.
2. Applying Leather Conditioners
A leather conditioner is ideal for actual or faux leather. All leather resembles each other in grain and texture. Using a conditioner keeps the products in their original quality and appearance.
3. Avoid The Sun
Any quantity of direct daylight can dry out leather and eliminate the oil that keeps it moisturized and preserved. Keeping your leather products far away from the sun helps maintain the moisture and oil that ensure they can stretch without breaking.
4. Try Out Cleaning Products.
Most cleansing products have chemicals in them. If it is your first time using them on your leather product, you need to do a test on a part that cannot be seen. Afterward, observe how the cleaning product affects the leather. If there is no harm, then you may go ahead and use the cleaning product all over.
The harsh detergent will corrode and take off the shade of your faux leather.
5. Do Not Use Bleach
NEVER apply bleach on faux leather, irrespective of size or depth of the stain. Bleach contains many chemical substances that dry up the leather and put off its color.
6. Keep Away From Abrasive Cloths
Hard cloths or sponges are bad for scrubbing leather. Avoid any temptation to use them. You need to get a soft cloth and clean the leather in small circular motions.
7. Clean Up After Cleaning
After cleaning the faux leather on a small spot or the entire object, it is advisable to wash it and rinse it off properly.
How To Clean Stains On Faux Leather
The best way to get rid of stains from your leather is to use dish soap or shampoo with a little warm water.
Pour the detergent into the warm water and mix it until it is bubbly. Using a tender rug that has been immersed in soapy-warm water, slowly clean the stain in circular motions.
As soon as you finish cleaning the stain, use a gentle rag to wipe down the soapy remains till dry. You may use your leather conditioner on this part and apply some moisturizer to keep it soft and leathery.
How To Condition And Oil Faux Leather
There are many leather conditioners available for you to choose from. You can select any conditioner as no one is considered better than the other. Some people even prefer making their conditioner using oils and other elements, which also works.
The essential thing is to follow the given conditioning guidelines in the package if you use store-bought conditioners.
When it comes to oiling your faux leather go for coconut, lemon, or baby oils. You can also purchase conditioners that already have oils to save some bucks and make your job easier.
Faux leather can never compare to genuine leather in any aspect, they may look and feel the same in the first couple of years, but that is just it. They will wear out faster, but they can give you ten years of service with proper maintenance and care. However, that is not guaranteed as the product is artificial and can only survive for so long until it gives in and breaks.