One of the main reasons for the invention of faux leather was not to replace real leather for clothing purposes; no, it was the production of durable and good looking furniture.
In fact, the story of upholstery and faux leather has been highly related and dependent during the last century.
In fact, the first uses of faux leather were for making robust furniture.
It is still the case even nowadays, for example, most car seats are going to be furnished with faux leather instead of real leather, another example is that most of the furniture you are going to buy are not going to be made out of real leather, they are simply going to be replicas made out of faux leather.
This doesn’t mean that upholstery using faux leather is cheap and low quality, no, faux leather can produce a very cheap, low quality products and also help produce high-end and high-quality products.
- The main reasons for using faux leather for upholstery.
The first reason for using faux leather for upholstery is its availability.
It’s very difficult, even with our technological advances, to produce an identical leather quality, it’s due to the fact that leather is animal skin after all, and each animal is going to have different habits and different stress levels, this means that the leather each animal is going to produce is totally different.
This means that when a manufacturer requires a large quantity of leather, he will certainly face many difficulties for getting an even quality, this is why more and more manufacturers are focusing on making faux leather upholstery, the quality of the final product will not vary.
Another reason is the cost.
Cost is probably the most important reason for using faux leather, it’s made out of petroleum and production costs are very low because it’s almost entirely mechanized.
Another reason which makes faux leather very cost-effective is it can be stored for a much longer period of time.
After all, faux leather is just plastic and some natural fibers!
Whereas real Leather needs high maintenance and lots of chemicals to maintain its quality, this means that real leather is going to be much more expensive than faux leather for the manufacturers.
The third reason for using faux leather for upholstery is health hazards.
I’m not saying here that real leather is dangerous for your health, however if a manufacturer prefers to buy cheap leather made in Bangladesh or other Asian countries, he will be putting the health of his customers at high risks. The reality is that most cheap leather produced in these countries is going to contain huge amounts of toxic materials that are both harmful for the environment and for human health as well, and even many of these countries still tolerate child labor!
This is an important reason for using faux leather instead of real leather.
It’s very safe for human health, ethical and eco friendly.
I know that most people are going to disagree with the last point, because faux leather, after all, is made out of petroleum, I totally agree!
But, animal skin needs huge quantities of petroleum too to be produced, and the livestock is going to produce huge quantities of methane that is very damaging to the environment, in fact methane is more dangerous for climate change than CO2.
All these reasons make faux leather a great choice for upholstery.
Upholstery using faux leather fabrics is also easier to process and make.
The reality is that faux leather and real leather are going to be processed the same way in order to make upholstery, but when using faux leather, it is less risky to make mistakes!
For example, you are about to cut a big piece is of leather, if you make a wrong move, you are definitely going to waste some valuable materials!
This is the same with faux leather, however, faux leather doesn’t cost a lot and as such, mistakes are not that frightening.
Another thing which makes working with faux leather easier for producing upholstery is its flexibility.
When heated, faux leather can take many shapes and will become easier to work with, however real leather does not have this amazing quality.