16 Mar 2016

Leather has been used to create furniture for years due to its durability, attractiveness, and versatility. While it does have a lot of pros on its side, it might not be the best choice for everyone. Thanks to advances in technology, there are many faux leather options available that rival real leather in looks and performance. Each material has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look at both types of fabric so you can make the decision that’s best for you.

Advantages of Authentic Leather

There is nothing that quite matches the luxurious look, smell, and feel of real leather. Since leather comes from individual animal hides, no two pieces will be the same. They’ll all have their unique, natural characteristics. Unlike most types of fabric, leather becomes softer and more attractive over time, and also more comfortable. The durability of leather is hard to beat thanks to its soft yet strong texture. Most leather pieces are treated to help prevent stains, which also makes them easy to clean. Typically, you only need to wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth.

Disadvantages of Authentic Leather

The biggest disadvantage of authentic leather is its source. Since it is made from animal skin, some people find it to be a controversial material. Also, the chemicals used in tanning leather have been known to lead to nausea, headaches, and respiratory issues. Leather also doesn’t just look more expensive than its faux counterparts; it is more expensive. It does tend to fade when exposed to constant sunlight and, if it is not treated, it will absorb liquid and potentially stain due to its porous nature.

Advantages of Faux Leather

Well-made faux leather can come very close to authentic leather in look and feel while costing you much less. No animals are used in the production of faux leather, and since it is machine-made, it has a consistent coloring. There are typically more colors available for faux leather since it can be dyed, and it is less susceptible to fading than real leather. Faux leather is typically made from PVC or poly- materials like polyurethane. Polyurethane is recognized as an environmentally-friendly synthetic material that can achieve a high-gloss finish. Faux leather requires little maintenance and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

Disadvantages of Faux Leather

While real leather has a porous quality, faux leather is typically not breathable – especially if it is made from PVC. Faux leather does not age as beautifully as its authentic counterpart, and it does tend to tear or puncture more easily as well.

When it comes down to it, choosing between faux and authentic leather will depend largely on your budget and your views on using animal products. If you’re still unsure which material suits your needs better, the professionals at Burchell Upholstery can help you make a decision that best suits your needs.