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What are the differences between PU leather, microfiber leather, and genuine leather

Views:3     Author:Hongding leather     Publish Time: 2021-05-28      Origin:Site

What is PU leather?

PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer used for making furniture or shoes. 100% PU leather is completely artificial and is considered vegan. There are some types of PU leather called bi-cast leather that have actual leather but have a polyurethane coating on top. This type of PU leather takes the fibrous part of cowhide that is leftover from making genuine leather and puts a layer of polyurethane on top of it.

PU leather also goes by a few names. Whether you are looking for artificial leather or looking to avoid it, it is best to know the many names that make up artificial leather. When looking at tags, artificial leather can be called:

· PU Leather

· Bicast Leather

· Split Leather

· Bonded Leather

· Reconstituted Leather

· Corrected Grain Leather

PU Leather Pros:

· PU Leather costs less than genuine leather because it is easier to manufacture.

· PU doesn’t absorb water which makes it easy to clean.

· 100% PU leather is vegan.

· PU leather can be made in a variety of colors and styles.

· Unlike leather, PU leather doesn’t dry out over time.

· Better for sustainability because it uses fewer resources to make.

PU leather

What is microfiber leather?   

Microfiber leather is a type of synthetic leather, made from a combination of microfiber non-woven fabric coated with a layer of high-performance PU (polyurethane) resins.

In the industry, microfiber leather is considered the latest version and highest quality of synthetic leather. Microfiber leather is a significant upgrade from the original PU leather, which is a traditional fabric coated with polyurethane resin.

What are the properties of microfiber leather?

· Looks and feels like leather

· Breathable

· Anti-bacteria and anti-odour

· Light-weight

· Water-repellent

· Eco-friendly

· Washable

microfiber leather 1microfiber leather

What is genuine leather?   

Genuine leather doesn't just mean that the product is made of real leather (which it is), but it also means it is the lowest quality of all products made out of real leather. Basically, you should read it as: "At least it's genuine leather."Actually, genuine leather is also called natural leather. It is made of animal skin (real leather). We usually use cowhide, sheepskin, pigskin, etc., Of course, the precious leather - crocodile skin, ostrich skin, etc.

genuine leather

After clearing about the basic concept, let’s do some contrasts to the microfiber leather,PU leather and genuine leather:


1. The performance of the surface layer

Although the surface layers of microfiber leather and ordinary PU are polyurethane resins, the color and style of ordinary PU that have been popular for many years will be much more than that of microfiber leather. But generally speaking, the polyurethane resin on the surface of the microfiber leather has stronger wear resistance, acid and alkali resistance, and hydrolysis resistance than ordinary PU, and the colorfastness and texture will also be stronger.

2. The material of the base cloth

 Ordinary PU is made of knitted fabric, woven fabric, or non-woven fabric, and then coated with polyurethane resin. The microfiber leather is made of microfiber leather non-woven fabric with a three-dimensional structure as the base fabric, coated with high-performance polyurethane resin. The different materials, processes, and technical standards of the base fabric have a decisive influence on the performance of microfiber leather. Genuine leather is made by splitting a piece of full-grain leather and sanding away any imperfections in the hide and stamping a fake grain on it. Usually, it's then treated and colored to provide a completely uniform look. 

3. Performance

Microfiber leather is better than ordinary PU in terms of strength, wear resistance, moisture absorption, comfort, and other performance indicators. In layman’s terms, it is more like genuine leather, more durable, and feels better.

4. Price

· The price of PU leather is more between 10-30 per meter.

· The price of microfiber leather is usually between 50-150 per meter.

· The price of genuine leather (top layer leather) is more expensive than that of microfiber leather.

5. Apperance:

The microfiber is very close to genuine leather ( most of them are made of imitation leather). But when we compare carefully, the pores in genuine leather are much more clear, the texture in it is much more natural, But microfiber is made of artificial skin with no pores and the texture is more consistent. And also, the low-end microfiber may have a plastic sense of touching.

6. Smell

Genuine leather is made of animal skin, so it will have a peculiar smell, even a bit. And it will tend to a stimulating smell if the formaldehyde, heavy metal exceeds bid in the process of making. The smell of the microfiber is less. But if it is low-end microfiber, there may be a stronger plastic smell. And PU leather will have a plastic or chemical smell.

7. Weight

The proportion weight of genuine leather is 0.6 in general, while for microfiber is about 0.3-0.5 general. That is to say, in the same condition, microfiber is much lighter than genuine leather. For example, for two bags with the same size and same appearance, we can distinguish them by the weight in hand. The genuine leather bag is much heavier than the microfiber bag.

8. Application

· Microfiber leather can be used to made Footwear, Automotive interior, Furniture, and Other products, such as gloves, handbags, garments, etc

· PU leather can be used to make sandals, flip flops, slides, and other shoes that might be brought on adventures that involve water, because of the PU varnish, polyurethane leather is more waterproof than top-grain leather.

And PU leather is also lighter than genuine leather. Think of a 100% leather boot. It’s usually tough and very heavy. For a sportier shoe, there’s a great advantage to having PU leather. PU leather looks and feels great on shoes, but many other products take advantage of PU leather. For example, wallets and purses often use PU leather, as do office chairs and other office supplies, backpacks, journal covers, and low-cost car interiors.

· Genuine leather can be used to make high-end leather belts, handbags, leather clothes, and luxury leather accessories.

9. Market prospects

 In the ordinary PU market, due to the low technical threshold, severe overcapacity, and fierce competition, the product shrinks and cuts materials, which is incompatible with the escalating consumer concept, and the market prospect is worrying. Due to the higher technical threshold and limited production capacity, microfiber leather and genuine leather are increasingly recognized by consumers, and the market has more room to rise.


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