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!

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