Faux Real

pu leather chair

In today’s world of closed doors and discrete conversations it’s hard to know just what you’re “buying into”—even what you’re biting into! With oil spills and barn-yard slaughter houses, the business ethics of today are tight-lipped and firm-handed. Consumers have to research half a doctoral thesis just to be sure they’re not supporting a major terrorist organization every time they buy animal-themed macaroni and cheese.

It’s hard, to say the least. This recent wave of cynicism throughout the republic of consumerism has caused an awakening, so to speak, as people have begun to take an interest in where their products originate, and what’s inside the box. Responding to this interest a whole new line of goods has been developed. All across America the faux revolution has arrived

At the forefront of these products is faux leather. Imitation leather has been produced in the United States since the 1940’s and is used in many products, including jackets and upholstery, shoes, automobile interiors, toys for children, and airplane wings (although not in the pleather form).  The term faux leather, one of the leading groups of faux fabrics, isn’t as descriptive as one might think. It’s comprised of many different materials, products and processes.

Some materials are long-known chemical compounds, like PVC, which was discovered twice by accident in the 19th century. However, other members of the pleather family are as modern as the DVD! The materials used in fake leather production vary from matte vinyl to 100% polyester products, some that are just a coat of treatment on other fabrics to create a leather-like appearance or texture.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC for short) was the first form of fake leather, created in the 1920’s by replacing hydrogen within vinyl groups with a chloride group. The result was the stronger, more resistant material that manufacturers had been looking for. Shortly thereafter, PVC began to enjoy success as an alternative to metal. However, as a fabric, imitation leather was criticized as “feeling artificial” and being “too sticky” in hot temperatures. In the 1970’s, the DuPont Company micro-engineered a form of artificial leather with pores in it.

Fabric would never be the same again. With these alterations, fake leather became a viable alternative to traditional fabrics, and people began to notice some attractive attributes. For one, it’s not absorbent, which makes for an easy-to-clean, stain-resistant couch covering. It also fades much slower in prolonged sun light and holds its shape much longer than traditional upholstery. Many people today are taking advantage of these features while furnishing their living rooms, family rooms and bedrooms.

pu leather fabricsFeatured to the right is a beautiful example of modern faux leather.  This chocolate love seat works well in a modern-classic themed living room, giving an essence of art deco to the neo-sophistic motif. The smooth-textured matte vinyl of the two-seater goes well with the hardwood floors, while the darker color of the imitation leather lends itself fittingly to the heavier hues of the corner table and area rug.

Amore textured fabric would most likely be too busy for this space, but the gentler approach of pleather suits this living room nicely.  Perhaps a dark cherry wood coffee table with matching fake leather trim would finish this room up with distinction. This type of faux leather piece would also work very well in a home-style den, with a full room rug or in a lighter color, with wicker furniture. Whether it’s for a living room or a covered deck, pleather can always add a subtle touch of perfection, turning a house into a home.

The recent surge of popularity in faux fabrics is only the latest chapter in this material’s long and storied history. Its durability in the parlor is just as true on the porch. From Grandpa to grandchildren these pieces will last and give again. Seems to me, there’s nothing fake about that at all.

PU Leather Fabric Makes the Grade

pu leather fabric couch

Sometimes “fake” just means fake. For example, that watch bought from the shifty eyed-character in Times Square, or a replication Springfield rifle just like the ones used during the Civil War, maybe an innocent—If not empty—compliment to a superior regarding a hideous wardrobe addition. Americans are accustomed to imitation.

Some things, however, just give you more bang for your buck: like store brand Crispiest Rice, near-brand knockoff purses, no-brand burger joint Big Mack’s. Sometimes real is just plain unrealistic. Recently, this very sentiment has been getting some national attention as faux is gaining a colloquial definition as fantastic!

Faux leather, coming from the French word “faux” (meaning fake), is at the forefront of this new movement. Fake leather has been produced in the United States since the 1940’s and is used in many different products besides jackets and upholstery. Its uses include shoes, automobile interiors, toys for children, and airplane wings (not in pleather form).

However, faux leather is actually quite a misleading term. Imitation leather is a myriad of different materials, products and processes. Some of the materials are as old as the 19th century, while some are hot off the presses, so to speak. These materials range from matte vinyl to 100% polyester to some that are just as easy as applying a coat of treatment to some cotton or wool fabric.

The two most common types of imitation leather are Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC for short) and Polyurethane, the former being the original pleather (although that term wasn’t coined until the 70’s). PVC is created by removing one of the hydrogen atoms in a vinyl group and replacing it with a chloride group. The result is then blended with other chemicals to produce the plastic that is known today for its durability and easy maintenance. While manufacturers loved PVC, seamstresses and tailor were underwhelmed.

Imitation leather was criticized for its artificial feeling and for being too sticky under warmer conditions. Running with these ideas, the DuPont Company came out with a revolutionary idea. They added pores to fake leather, which allowed the fabric to “breathe.” Finally there was an alternative to leather.

As people began to wear pleather they realized some other features of imitation leather. The fabric is not absorbent. Polyurethane, the most common form of pleather today, is stain resistant and very easy to clean. Additionally, fake leather fades very slowly, even in direct light. These days there are many fine examples of replication leather upholstery in homes today.

PU leatherThe picture to the left shows a very elegant, modern-style faux leather bed cover. The texture of the imitation leather adds a subtle rustic atmosphere to the bed room, while avoiding the cliché “cabin-look.” The inky black color of the fake leather allows for clean definition lines against the tan wall, and the white pillow cases and sheets help to liven up the space with more light. A darker, tan night stand would help to balance out the light scheme in this room. This bed can also finish out a heavier-themed bed room, one with dark, true-red walls and matching sheets. The crisp texture of the bed frame and color work well to cut through most ambient hues.

In today’s world, what you see is what you get, and if you get faux leather, you’re seein’ 20/20. From the lab to living room this modern marvel is just now starting to be recognized for the miracles it can perform. So buy it, try it out, slip it on, and see what all the noise is about. One thing is for certain, these faux fabrics are the real deal!

Pu Leather Isn’t Just for the ‘Burbs

pu leather fabric upholstery

“For about half the cost I’ll get you one with twice the features!” It’s been said 100 times 100 ways by the greasy sales clerk at the discount mall, that uncle that only shows up to family events which involve crock pots and covered dishes, and any street vendor hocking his “latest and greatest” in replacements. Americans love substitutes. 8 a.m. meeting a little too early?  See if jimmy can cover it. Those kids playing basket ball in the parking lot dented your bumper? Let’s get a new one.

So what’s the drag with mock materials? According to a new crop of trend watchers and hipsters—Nothing! From matte vinyl to faux fur, styling on a dime is where it’s at!

At the center of this imitation empire is faux leather (literally meaning fake leather). The United States has been producing faux leather since World War II. It’s used in such diverse goods as jackets, upholstery, shoes, automobile interiors, toys for children, and airplane wings (in a different from).

Fake leather is actually not just one material, but a whole family of them. It’s comprised of several materials, products and processes used to imitate leather. Some of the versions utilize well-known chemical compounds, like PVC, while others are cutting-edge scientific designs. As varied as their uses, substances used as a substitute to leather range from matte vinyl to 100% polyester products; some are even just a treatment applied to other fabrics.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC for short) is the original form of imitation leather. It is produced by replacing the hydrogen in vinyl groups with a chloride group. This chem.-gineering created a stronger, more resistant product that was more durable and in many cases lighter than traditional materials. PVC enjoyed much success in the manufacturing world, but, as a fabric, fake leather was criticized as “artificial,” and being “sticky” in hot temperatures.

Hearing the public’s concerns, the DuPont Company was the first to micro-engineer a form of faux leather with pores in it. Making matte vinyl porous allowed for a more comfortable feel next to skin, thus creating the first viable alternative to traditional leather. After that people began to notice some other attractive qualities about fake leather. First of all, it’s not absorbent.

No matter how many ice cream sundaes and soda pops are spilled on an imitation leather couch it won’t stain, and clean up with be as easy as one, two, three squirts of water and a paper towel. Another great thing is it’s fade resistant. Even under prolonged exposure to sunlight, faux leather keeps its color. Traditional fabrics are also no match for the durability imitation leather provides. Today, the most common form of faux leather is Polyurethane, and it’s making its way into the living rooms, bedrooms and the hearts of millions of people around the world.

The bedroom set (pictured above) is perfect example of faux leather in a real way. The headboard is a smooth and comfortable addition to both the bed and the room, providing extra cushions and aesthetic support. The robust dark wood frame matches the night stand, dresser and chest of draws, helping to balance the ambient shade of yellow green. The black imitation leather on the headboard creates equilibrium with the light area rug beneath the bed.  This bed would also work in a more classic country-home-themed room, with cream walls and matching carpet.

Even though faux fabrics are in, discount decorating never goes out. Whether you’re looking to re-outfit your bedroom or liven up your den, imitation leather can breathe new life into old furniture or keep a trendy living room wacky and fun instead of tacky and dumb. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Imitation Fabrics Are the Real Deal!

pu leather fabric purse

The twentieth century updated countless age-old traditions. The graceful Sunday stroll was streamlined into a Sunday ride. The timeless art of letter writing was honed to a quick email or IM chat. Even the archaic book was shown the light of progress in a new, sleeker Kindle. Nevertheless, in the age of technological leaps and bounds, oftentimes progress doesn’t worry about practicality or productivity—its wild-eyed inventors are too strictly concerned with the latest (and not so much the greatest). Enter the faux franchise!  This new line of materials seems to be all the fuss and fab, without any of the muss and gab.

Pleather, a term coined in the 1970’s (combining “plastic” and “leather”) is at the center of the faux fabric world. Faux leather has been produced in the United States since the 1940’s and is used in many different products, in addition to jackets and upholstery. Some other uses are shoes, automobile interiors, toys for children, and airplane wings (not actually in the pleather form).

However, Imitation leather really is a very misleading idiom. Imitation leather is comprised of many different materials, products and processes. Some of which were discovered as far back as the 19th century, while others are as contemporary as a hair cut. The various materials range from matte vinyl, to 100% polyester products, and even some that are just a coat of treatment on cotton or canvas.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC for short) and Polyurethane are the two most common compounds, the former being the original. PVC is created by replacing one of the hydrogen atoms in vinyl groups with a chloride group. The resulting product is then blended with other chemicals to create the form of plastic known today for its durability and easy maintenance.

While PVC enjoyed much success in the manufacturing world, as a fabric imitation leather was criticized as “artificial-feeling” and “too adhesive” under warmer conditions. In response to this complaint, the DuPont Company engineered a form of fake leather with pores in it. This idea would change fabric history forever. Adding pores allowed the fake leather to “breathe,” which in turn made it much more comfortable against skin. Faux leather was now a viable alternative to traditional fabric.

Today, Polyurethane is the most common form of imitation leather. What is so notable about this fabric is that, in spite of the microfiber pores, it is not absorbent. This allows it to be resistant to stains and very easy to clean. In addition, fake leather is slower to fade than traditional fabrics, even in direct sunlight! It also holds its shape and texture longer than organic blends. These days millions of people are enjoying the many features of fake leather in their living rooms and their lives.

Pictured above is a very interesting faux leather bench seat. With its blend of art deco and timeless style, this chair would fit nicely along a wall or a furniture arrangement. The neutral dark brown and smooth feel of this seat allows it to complement many different-themed rooms, from earth tone to brighter hues. This piece would also suit a stately foyer. The secret to its versatility is the fake leather. With Pleather the possibilities are boundless.

In spite of this, imitation leather has only recently received the respect it has long deserved. From a house in the Hamptons to a home in Harlem, this flexible fabric can match and improve almost any setting, limited only by the designer. So many people are enjoying the features of matte vinyl in their living rooms and their lives, don’t you think it’s time you tried fake leather on faux yourself?

The Full Measure of Faux Fabrics

“100% real is the deal!” “Imitation is for the birds [and monkeys].” There is an impulse these days that is something isn’t “organic” then it’s simply not worth the money. If something isn’t “real,” it’s somehow less useful. That’s just plain wrong. Lots of things are better fake. For example, cover bands. Five dollars to hear all the songs you know and love in one place, that’s a deal.

It’s no comparison to waiting in line, paying 60 bucks, waiting in line, getting a seat, then wading through two hours of aging rock stardom for the three songs you actually wanted to hear. Another example: automobile oil. Synthetic oil is chemically engineered for top performance in a vehicle. Plastic water bottles vs. canteens? Heck, Polyester!—A shirt that empowers you (to choose what temperature your clothes are washed on). There’s nothing wrong with taking an old recipe and spicing it up. In fact there is a whole new market based on just that: The world of faux fabrics.

Faux fabric (literally meaning fake fabric) is quite the emerging market these days. And at the faux front [sorry I had to] is imitation leather. Some back story: The United States has been producing pleather since the 1940’s using it for goods like jackets, upholstery, shoes, automobile interiors, toys for children, and even airplane wings (the latter not actually in fabric form).  However, imitation leather is actually a misnomer. Imitation of leather is more accurate, because it’s not just one material, it’s a whole family!

Fake leather is comprised of several materials, products and processes that are used to replicate the look and feel of leather. It’s a broad term used to describe both well-known chemical compounds, like PVC, and some of the most leading scientific inventions. The materials used in the production of pleather vary from matte vinyl to 100% polyester products, with some that are just a treatment applied to other fabrics, such as cotton or polyester

Polyurethane is the most common form of pleather now, but originally it was Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC for short). Produced by replacing the hydrogen in vinyl groups with a chloride group, this material was first invented in the 1920’s. Manufacturers welcomed this stronger, more resistant material with open arms. PVC is more durable and in many cases lighter than traditional materials.

PVC was very successful as an alternative to metal, but as a fabric, faux leather was just too fake. In the 1970’s, the DuPont Company micro-engineered a form of imitation leather with pores in it. The public found this porous matte vinyl a perfect fit. Pleather was now a viable alternative to traditional leather. It’s more than an alternative now, however. Faux leather offers non-absorbent qualities with comfortable texture and comfortable ethics. Spills and everyday maintenance are a breeze with imitation leather. Plus, pleather won’t fade in sunlight which makes it easier to fit into your home and into your life! Today’s faux leather isn’t just an alternative, it’s an improvement!

A faux leather couch, such as the one pictured above, is a wonderful addition to any family room. Whether you’re just out of college or settling down with one on the way, this fabric feels right and will work for you. An example like this would look great on a hardwood floor with an art deco, very square-style coffee table, or on a light carpet with a more traditional accent furnishing. Add a matching love seat with a glass coffee table, and you’re ready for company today!

There’s a lot of talking these days about what you need, what you have to have, but what I’ve found is, if it feels right, it is right. If you’re true to you, there’s nothing fake about it!

Faux Leather: Redefining the Word Fake

Germs are the most common organisms in the world. They can (and do) live anywhere! The common countertop has thousands of little bacteria living on it. Before you grab your bleach and scrub gloves—most are harmless and are no problem for the human immune system to blast away. Unfortunately, one of the perks of being a parent is worrying about each and every one of those guys.  In fact, the majority of the average parent’s day is spent disinfecting, sanitizing, and then cleaning, and then just generally tidying up.

Each new surface is a battlefield. Two of the worst illness-causing strongholds are the carpet and the couch. A soda here, a plate of spaghetti there and you’ve got world war three III on your hands! Fortunately, regular carpet shampoos (cleaning) and getting an upholstery fabric that is less absorbent are two very easy first-line defenses. One great example of a less absorbent fabric is imitation leather (pleather)

Faux fabric (which actually means fake fabric) is quickly becoming the preferred fabric in households with young children. Used on couches, chairs, and even bedroom furniture, imitation leather is certainly in! Since the 1940’s, the United States has been producing fake leather, employing it in the manufacture of jackets, upholstery, shoes, automobile interiors, toys for children, and even airplane wings (not in fabric form), but just recently people have realized how awesome (and handy) it really is.

Remarkably, the category of faux leather is in fact not one fabric, but many. It’s comprised of several materials, products and processes which include well-known chemical compounds, such as PVC, as well as the latest and greatest of scientific inventions. Many different materials are used in the production of pleather, from matte vinyl to 100% polyester products—even some that are just ointments [that are] used on other fabrics to give them leather-like textures and appearances.

The first form of imitation leather was Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC for short), originally produced in the 1920’s by replacing the hydrogen atoms in vinyl groups with a chloride group. The result was PVC. The newly-industrialized world championed PVC for its durability and resilience, considering it a welcome substitute to the heavier materials of the day. PVC was a success. Alas, in spite of its many industrial uses, fake leather was simply not real enough.

Met with an unimpressed public, the DuPont Company buckled down and developed a porous form of imitation leather. These new micro-holes made faux leather a fabulous hit! Pleather was now a viable alternative to traditional leather. Today’s Polyurethane is more than an alternative, however. Faux leather offers durability with comfort. Pasta spills and grape juice catastrophes are now just a breeze to clean with an imitation leather upholstery, couch or chair! Additionally, pleather fades much slower than other fabrics, even in direct sunlight. Many families enjoy the features of faux leather in their living room, family rooms, and even bedrooms.

The faux leather armchair featured above has all the rustic charm without the dust farm. This style of imitation leather looks great on a hardwood floor with a wooden side table next to it, but it’s not limited to that. This chair would look wonderful in a cozy, carpeted family room, perhaps next to a fireplace.  It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine this piece in one’s bed room, a reading chair next to the window, with warm-colored curtains or even something striking like dark red walls.  Imitation leather is really quite versatile.

No matter your motif or décor, imitation leather can really fill a void you didn’t even know you had. It’s such a flexible and dependable fabric that it’s no wonder Americans have been enjoying for over 50 years. So head on down to your local store and see which faux fabrics fit your life style!