Real vs Faux Leather

Deciding which fabric to use for you bespoke seating can be a really difficult task, especially since there’s such a wide range to choose from. The decision between real or faux leather is probably the hardest to make, that’s why we have created this blog post to help you understand the pros and cons of each and to hopefully make your decision a little easier.

First let’s look at real leather, no one can mistake its evocative smell, touch and lavish appearance. Leather is also one of the only upholstery options that actually looks better with age! It’s hard wearing, meaning you can be reassured it will last and can cope with the stress through use. Whilst beautiful hides come with a large price tag, they are also very inconsistent in shape and overall size, meaning there is a high percentage of waste with lots of excess fabric not being used. This is especially true on fixed seating where large panels may be required and seams need to be avoided. Leather is also high maintenance, with a regular waxing process needed to ensure it stays looking its best. As leather originates from a living animal, the hide can sometimes bare scars or branding marks. Whilst some see this as a positive, others may prefer a pristine finish which cannot be guaranteed. Lastly, you will find that leather tends to stretch with use, so always consider whether wrinkles have been accommodated into your future design plans.

On the other end of the scale is faux leather which is very low cost as exact measurements can be ordered, meaning less wastage. It is also very low maintenance with no regular care needed and is perfect for busy venues with wipe clean and waterproof options available. As well as being hard wearing and robust, it also won’t crack or fade like real leather. As faux leather is a man-made material, it means you will not be restricted when it comes to choice of colour or finish, it can even be given a leather-look appearance! You may miss the touch and smell associated with real leather although in a busy restaurant this may not be a problem.

Both options have positives and negatives, the most important thing is to consider practicalities when making your decision. The amount of traffic and overall use are especially important – ultimately you want whichever choice you make to last and look pristine for years to come.

To view our full list of fabrics & leather suppliers, please click here.

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