Faux leather is known by many different names, such as Pleather, synthetic leather, fake leather, ersatz leather, Naugahyde, vegan leather, and artificial leather. Faux leather is synthetic leather that can be created with a fabric base. Mostly dye, wax, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or polyurethane are used to give an imitation finish.
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Characteristics and uses
Faux leather has a similar appearance to real leather. The composition of the fabric is vegetable oils or PVC. Faux leather breathability is low, the durability of faux leather is also less as compared to real leather. Faux leather is commonly used to make gloves, shoes, jackets, belts, pants, handbags, watchbands, sports items, upholstery, and many other things.
Faux leather production
⦁ Faux leather is not made from animal hides, although it is made with a plastic base.
⦁ Treated with dye, wax, and polyurethane to give color and texture.
⦁ Pores on synthetic leather are created artificially.
There are various production processes for faux leather. Polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride are commonly used to cover the plastic base. Let’s talk about the production of faux leather in detail.
⦁ Getting the Material for the formation of the base.
⦁ Plastic formation.
⦁ The process of attaching the base and the plastic material.
⦁ Cutting of fabric.
Getting the materials for the formation of the base
Material manufacturers utilize polyester or cotton as the base material. These types of base materials are rough and porous, which is why they require special manufacturers. It’s a choice that you can make the base material yourself or get from other manufacturers.
Formation of plastic
Now you have to make plastic that will attach to the base. As we discussed earlier, the common plastics used are PVC and PU. Now we will discuss the production of both of them.
⦁ PVC manufacturing
PVC is known as polyvinyl chloride and is made by combining components of petroleum and salts. Chlorine will be obtained by electrolysis of the salt. After making chlorine, it will combine with ethylene (derived from petroleum). Ethylene dichloride will be formed by the combination of ethylene and chlorine. Then, at a high temperature, ethylene dichloride is converted into a vinyl chloride monomer. Vinyl chloride monomer is converted into polymers with polyvinyl chloride resin.
PVC should be flexible enough to be used in artificial leather. Manufacturers will add a plasticizer to bind it to the base for the production of faux leather.
⦁ Production of PU
Pu is known as polyurethane and is commonly used in the formation of synthetic leather. The production of PU is complex because it adds polyols, isocyanates, and additives. Polymers that are used to make PU will react with each other and be processed afterward. PU will be exposed to plasticizing additives to get a flexible material.
Process of attaching the base and the plastic material
Now it is time to attach the base and plastic that have already been formed. Many processes are available, but the most common method is that in which plastic will melt and be coated on the base.
Cutting of fabric
After the attachment of the plastic material and base, now you need to cut the fabric into the required size and shapes. They can also be sold by the yard in long straps.