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What is PU Leather: Everything You Need To Know

Views: 8     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-04-27      Origin: Site

The popularity of Polyurethane leather shortened as PU leather keeps increasing day by day due to its being an alternative to conventional leather. Many industries use it to cover the downsides of conventional leather as it provides solutions to the problem of ethics and sustainability. There is research on Polyurethane leather, and it is seen as a suitable alternative for real leather, although it has its downsides.

However, other kinds of leather are used as a substitute for real leather apart from Polyurethane leather. So, what makes Polyurethane leather stands out? You will find the answer to that question in this guide; thus, read on to learn about PU leather.

What is PU Leather?

As stated earlier, Polyurethane leather is abbreviated as PU leather, and it found usage mainly in the engineering and construction industries. It is a polymer that lasts long and is used mainly for its durability and flexibility. It has found application in various spheres of life such as roof coatings, floors of various industries, and inside tunnels. It is artificial leather and famous among big industries as an alternative to real leather because of its durability.

PU leather

However, confusion might set in as there are two varieties of Polyurethane leather. Thus, the question of whether polyurethane leather is a vegan always arises. This article will expose you to what you need to know about Polyurethane leather and how you can differentiate it from real leather.

Quality of PU Leather

PU Leather Material

Polyurethane leather (PU leather) is an artificial leather obtained from the fibrous portion of the hide remaining after obtaining real leather. The fibrous portion is knowns as split leather, and it is then coated with Polyurethane to form Polyurethane leather. The appearance of PU leather is glossier but not as thick as real leather. PU leather is highly water-resistant and does not absorb water, unlike real leather.

Quality & Durability

The durability of Polyurethane leather is among the reason for its popularity and usage, as it has been used in various industries to serve as a unique coating for heavy-duty. Compared to real leather, it does not wear or tear easily and is long-lasting. Likewise, compared to other faux substitutes of leather, it is more durable and of high quality. It is soft and flexible, and its flexibility is one of the major cons of Polyurethane leather.

Advantages and Disadvantages of PU Leather

Like many materials and products, Polyurethane leather has its positives and downsides. Below you will learn the advantages and disadvantages of PU leather.


  • It is 100 percent vegan

  • It is resistant to water

  • The manufacturing processes of PU leather are easy

  • Relatively cheaper than real leather

  • Styling PU leather of high quality for different colors is easy

  • Manufacturing PU leather does not require many resources


  • It has a synthetic odor resembling that of plastic

  • It does not enable breathability

  • The quality reduces over time more compared to real leather

  • It does not last as long as real leather

How to Tell If it is PU Leather

After producing a product with leather, most manufacturers used to attach a label that would explain to the users the materials that made up the product. However, you can easily differentiate between Polyurethane leather and other faux alternatives. Determining the difference does not require much as you can easily by looking and touching.

In this article, we have simplified the ways of identifying the differences into four for you, and it includes:

  • The Smell

  • The Texture

  • Price

  • Water Test

The Smell

Have you ever tried to smell a new product and compare it to the smell of an old one? Notice the difference? The same thing is also applicable to leather, and there is a uniqueness in its smell as its leathery. Like plastic, the smell of Polyurethane leather is synthetic; thus, you can differentiate it from real leather once you smell it. However, it may be difficult to differentiate by smelling if the product is old, as the rate at which the smell diminishes is quick.

The Texture

It is possible to differentiate Polyurethane leather from real leather in terms of texture as the latter becomes smoother and softer than the former as it gets old. Judging with physical appearance is not enough as they may look similar. However, upon feeling the leather, you will notice the difference. Also, it is advisable not to compare the two leather from a distance as differentiating them may seem impossible and can easily take one for the other.


The price is another indicator for determining Pu leather from a fake one as the former is relatively not expensive. Also, Polyurethane leather products are cheap, although many scammers nowadays sell fake PU leather products at the same price. Thus, after checking the price, ensure to confirm the product before making payment.

Water Test

A water test can help you differentiate between animal leather and polyurethane leather. Once you put the leather in water and it gets wet by absorbing the water, it is not PU leather. Polyurethane leather is resistant to water and does not get wet, which is part of the reason for its durability.


Although PU leather has been encouraged in place of animal leather, there are some cases where the latter is preferred over the former, such as clothing. PU leather does not encourage breathability, thereby making it inconvenient for people wearing that kind of leather. PU leather is an artificial leather manufactured as an alternative to real leather, and it is not expensive. If you want to purchase an alternative leather to real leather, PU leather is a good choice.

However, nowadays, it is difficult to distinguish between real and fake leather, so when buying PU leather products, you need to choose a reliable manufacturer or a free brand supplier.


Is PU Leather Eco-Friendly?

Absolutely! Polyurethane leather is considered eco-friendly because there is no release of harmful substances when used, and when disposed of, it does not release dioxins.

How do you prevent PU Leather from cracking?

One of the major downsides of PU leather is that it is susceptible to cracking. However, it is possible to prevent it from cracking by ensuring the product is dry all the time. Also, when cleaning the product with water, ensure to use mild soap as harsh chemicals will damage the product.

Is PU Leather as good as real leather?

PU leather is a good alternative to real leather, but it is not 100 percent as good as real leather. Although both have their advantages and disadvantages, real leather is better than PU leather overall. PU leather's significant advantage over real leather is its price, as it is relatively cheaper and does not require much maintenance.


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