How to choose the best faux leather fabric

In choosing the best faux leather fabric, you have to take into consideration many criteria, and this is what I’m going to talk about in this post.

The first important criterion is the cotton backing.

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I’ve dealt with this one in many of my posts, but I always find it very important to talk about it again.

What do we mean by cotton backing?

It simply means that behind the faux leather fabric, there is a cotton lining, in other words, fibers which are going to back the faux leather fabric, this is very important because it’s going to keep it from cracking, peeling, and most importantly, tearing and over stretching.

And let me tell you that overstretching is the most terrible thing that can happen to a faux leather fabric.

Indeed, unlike real leather, faux leather will suffer tremendously when over stretched, so, my advice would always be to get a robust faux leather fabric that’s either backed by cotton, this is the most ideal situation, or backed by a synthetic thread, this will also prove very efficient.

Never buy faux leather fabric that doesn’t stretch very well, unless that’s your desired fabric, because it’s a bad sign you are not investing your money in a good and long lasting fabric, it will soon start cracking, which is terrible since cracks will be very difficult to get rid of.

The second criterion is the thickness.

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Although there are many name brands that produce very thin faux leather fabrics that are still very durable and extremely strong, I highly recommend that you avoid thin fabrics because most of the time, it’s a sign of cheap quality.

In other words, cheap quality means that the faux leather is not going to withstand pressure and stretching a lot, and it’s going to end up cracking and peeling as well.

The third criterion to have in mind in order to select only the best faux leather fabric is the color.

I’m sure that you know that black faux leather is more resistant than white faux leather, if you don’t, then, let me enlighten you on this subject.

The more exotic the colors are, for example copper and other colors like silver, the more weak and stretchy the fabric is, this is the thing I’ve dealt with in my experience with faux leather fabrics, it’s because when adding the color to the chemical processes by which manufacturers make faux leather fabrics, they are going to influence also the molecule formation in the fabric which is going to increase its strength and also weaken it.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself from exotic colors, no, you should use them anyway, but please, just be a little extra careful when maintaining and working with them.

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These are the most important criteria in order to choose only the best faux leather fabric, if you have a question or a comment, please post it in the comment section below, I will gladly discuss it with you.

9 thoughts on “How to choose the best faux leather fabric

  1. Christine

    In your opinion, WHICH TYPE(S) of faux-leather is closest to looking/feeling like cowhide leather? And, in your opinion, which distributors are the best to work with in purchasing the faux leather that best resembles cowhide?

    1. Jean-Marc Chateigner Post author

      I live in France, sorry, I don’t know where you live to give you specific addresses.

  2. Sean

    Hi, I live in the USA and am interested in making watch straps from faux leather.
    important attributes to me are the thickness (I want thick) and a matte/oiled finish/appearance.
    Due to sizes I also need to buy in small quantities.
    Any ideas where I might order from (hopefully samples first)?
    Merci beaucoup,

    1. Jean-Marc Chateigner Post author

      De rien mon ami 🙂
      Because you are living in the US, I really can’t help you, when I’m in California and want to work, I just order at Amazon, they have a great selection and because of the small quantity, I can’t work with wholesalers, I’m so sorry.

  3. Joya Ghose

    Is there a faux leather conditioner I can get in the UK that is equivalent to Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze? The shipping is very expensive!

    1. Jean-Marc Chateigner Post author

      I’m so sorry, I don’t like in the UK, I have no idea how to help you with this one, maybe you should just focus on applying baby oil if you can’t find it.

  4. Richard R

    Need to decide on faux leather furniture purchase, but don’t want to kick myself in the but 3 years from now when it starts to break/crack etc because I picked a low quality faux leather % material mix, need help on what’s a good quality faux leather material mix, is 80% polyester and 20% polyurethane a good durable (more than 3 years) mix for example..?, can u elaborate on the different kinds and percentages of materials, thickness etc out there used for faux leather furniture construction and grading them In durability, quality etc., so everybody can have something to go by and make an informed purchase decision. There’s some people that would be ok with disposable (2-3 year) furniture, but others like me that want a similar look, design and faux leather furniture but want it to last a few more years and need to know what materials % is key for durability/more crack resistant
    Thank you.

    1. Jean-Marc Chateigner Post author

      Hi Richard, yes, it’s a very important decision to look for quality fabric before taking the dive, but I just want to remind you that the first important thing to consider is where your faux leather furniture is going to be. If it’s close to a heat source, fire or a sunny place, then even if you bought the sturdiest fabric, it will fall apart very quickly. One more thing to consider is humidity, it can too destroy faux leather quickly.
      My advice is to go with a flexible and threaded fabric, if it’s close to leather in touch and feel and is flexible, go for it, and when you have it, every three to six months, use a good faux leather conditioner, just apply a good tablespoon and you’ll be good to go.

  5. Kim Ford

    I would advise NEVER using saddle soap on fine leather furniture. That kind of advice will lead to destroyed furniture as in my case. Saddle soap is too harsh for leather furniture, which has already been conditioned and will cause the fibers to break down and need major repairs. This is terrible advice. Saddle soap is never meant for furniture there are much better and safer options for caring for real leather.


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