When is Leather not Leather?

When is Leather not Leather?


From faux leather to terms like ultrasuede or pleather, there is a wide range of materials available that may appear to be what it definitely is not. But what are they and how can you distinguish between them? This is a question Leather Naturally asked, and they explored the different terms that float around in communication and advertising.

One of the reasons for much of the confusion is the variety of terms created as attempts to rebrand faux leather: a material that was originally sold cheaply, and simply lacked the properties of genuine leather. Faux leather has for a long time sounded like an affordable version of the genuine article. Most certainly, this material has improved and offers various benefits, but it is not leather, no matter what you call it. 

However, some names are really confusing and don’t ring true. A term like ‘vegan leather’ is an oxymoron: contradictory and even misleading. True leather can only be produced from animals. Similarly, ultrasuede, artificial leather, and leatherette borrow on the reputation of genuine leather to imply those properties unto themselves. Borrowing on the implied luxury and reliability of genuine leather it has helped these modern plastics to elevate their status in the public perception.

In this factsheet, Leather Naturally explains what is what, providing an easy tool for brands and manufacturers that want to know what is what and how it differs. 

Download the factsheet HERE.