You’ve probably heard of pleather and faux leather, but what are PU leather, bi-cast leather, or any of those other leather replacements? For that matter, what exactly is leather? And what’s the difference between PU leather and leather and faux leather and leather and all those others?
What is Leather?
The leather is a flexible, hardy material made from the tanned hides of animals. The most frequently used animal hide for this is cattle. The usage of leather in a variety of goods includes footwear, clothing, furniture covers, and in bookbinding.
What is the Process of Making Leather?
The process of making leather is a manufacturing process divided into three distinct steps, with an optional fourth step. These three steps of leather making are preparatory, tanning, and crusting. The last optional step is the surface coating, however, not all leather is subject to this final step.
In this first step of making leather, they prepare the animal hide for tanning. Included in the preparations are:
- Hair removal
This is a process which helps to stabilize the proteins of the rawhide so that it does not begin to rot and putrefy. A properly tanned hide will become flexible and does not become putrid if it becomes wet again. Also, they do the tanning in a variety of methods.
In this process, they thinned the leather, re-tanned, and lubricated. Most often this step will also include a coloring process. The end of this step will also include drying and softening operations.
A final, and optional step is surface coating. This step, also sometimes called as the finishing process involves polishing, oiling, glazing and other methods.
What is PU Leather?
PU – also known as polyurethane – a much more widely used product that involves the use of coating cotton or polyester with a polymer. This coating makes the synthetic leather a much more breathable product for wear.
After applying the coating, they take and treated the PU leather to make it look like real animal leather by adding pore patterns and dye to make it look like the required color.
Another name for PU leather is bi-cast leather. This kind of material made out of a combination of polyurethane and low-grade leather, or polyurethane and with cotton backing.
What is Vegan Leather?
Comparing Leather to PU Leather
Another thing which sets PU leather apart from normal leather is that PU leather is non-biodegradable. This means that PU leather will not rot like normal leather and PU leather will spend several centuries slowly decomposing.