PU (polyurethane) faux (synthetic) leather material is using knitted fabrics, woven fabrics, or non-woven fabrics https://walterychina.com/what-is-faux-leather/ as the substrate and 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 first layer of leather is directly processed from the raw skin of various animals or cut the thick skin of cattle, pigs, horses, etc into upper and lower layers. The upper part is processed into the first-layer of leather. The next 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 next layer are much lower than the first layer of leather.
How exactly to distinguish real leather and PU leather?
First, we should identify from the areas of leather pattern, pores, etc. Can be seen in the surface of natural leather, the pores do exist, and the distribution is uneven, there’s animal fibers, side section, and the layers are clear, and there’s animal fibers in the low layer. Try with your fingernails, you will see leather fibers, there exists a feeling of napping, and a small amount of fibers could be removed, and the faux leather can see the fabric, there is absolutely no animal fiber in the side, and the general epidermal does not have any pores, however, many are imitation leather pores, there will be undesirable pores, a few of the patterns are not obvious, or have a compared artificial pattern, and the pores are also quite consistent. At the moment, they can be carefully observed by the aid of magnifying glass, or can see the fine difference.
Generally speaking, the prices of real leather (especially the first 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 cannot achieve many excellent properties of PU leather especially solvent-free PU and DMF-free water-based PU. Due to 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 rather than real leather.