It can be difficult to find the balance between high-quality and low price products. There are always arguments to support each point, and it can seem tempting to go for the cheaper option.
Leather is a common material that can spark debates, with plenty of high street shops choosing to switch to faux leather for shoes, bags, and jackets. But is it more cost-effective to invest in a real leather jacket? This blog will help highlight the key points for both faux and genuine leather jackets, and how to identify the differences.
What is Faux Leather?
A lot of people ask if faux leather is real leather, in fact, the French translation of ‘Faux’ is ‘made in imitation; artificial’, so it couldn’t be farther from the opposite.
How is Faux Leather Created?
The way in which Faux leather is made is through using a wide range of materials including plastic that mimics the texture and feel of real leather. These materials are treated with chemicals such as polyurethane and dyes or wax to replicate the natural look of genuine leather.
The two main forms of leather are PU leather and PVC. PU uses polyurethane over cotton or nylon, with a leather pattern being pressed onto the material. However polyvinyl chloride (PVC) leather has a few extra steps to produce the top layer.
Benefits of Faux Leather
No Animals Harmed
Faux leather is vegan friendly. And if you’re living a plant-based lifestyle due to the treatment of animals, then this can be a great option. Some people see leather however as a by-product of the meat industry so if you choose to eat meat then real leather won’t be a reason for you not to purchase a genuine leather jacket.
Due to the way it is produced, faux leather proves to be more water-resistant than real leather. As it is synthetically produced there is the option to make faux leather jackets waterproof by adding synthetic barriers.
Genuine leather however absorbs water which can result in cracking or rotting. Despite this, you can purchase synthetic sprays that protect your leather from damage and ensure you dry your jacket as soon as possible. Just make sure you maintain it regularly and properly.
As faux leather is mass-produced, the cost of a PU or PVC leather jacket is considerably lower than that of a real leather jacket. Although this is great for those wanting to save money, its mass production line means your jacket won’t be unique. With a real leather jacket, you’ll find it harder to see someone else wearing the same one.
Due to faux leather being highly versatile, it can be manufactured to be stain resistant. As it is also water-resistant it means if your jacket does become stained you can treat it with more products to remove the marks than that of a real leather jacket.
Benefits of Real Leather
As faux leather is produced by pattern printing machines with synthetically created pores, it can appear quite uniform as the pattern is repeated throughout the material, unlike true leather which represents a unique pattern each time. This results in no real leather jacket looking identical and you get a truly bespoke and personal item of clothing.
When purchasing a genuine leather jacket, due to the careful tailoring and higher cost, the workers that have created your jacket will be being paid an honest amount. It is fairer to those designers and traders rather than purchasing from a mass-produced faux leather fashion line.
Genuine leather jackets will always be a classic, timeless, and fashionable in some form of design. What’s great is the more you wear it the better it gets.
With general wear, it becomes more fitted to your body and produces natural creases and faded parts which you can’t get with faux leather. More worn real leather jackets portray a vintage feel which is forever fashionable.
Although faux leather is water and stain-resistant, real leather is still more durable in the long term. When looked after and treated properly, your leather jacket will last for years to come due to its thicker material and strength between natural bonds.
This also means that you’ll probably end up spending less money over time when investing in a genuine leather jacket.
Less Environmental Waste
There are more processes to creating faux leather than there is to using real leather. Due to the chemicals used when creating faux leather such as the dyes to tan the material, and the processing to make it soft, it results in more waste being produced.
Using genuine leather to create jackets is a lot more environmentally friendly as there aren’t as many harsh chemicals involved that would filter into the environment.
Warmer and Softer
Despite faux leather being processed to make it feel softer, it still doesn't quite have the same feel and texture as real leather. You can tell when leather is genuine due to the softer, less stiff feel, making them more comfortable to wear.
Real leather is often thicker and keeps in the heat while staying ventilated, adding to warmth and comfort.
How to Tell if Leather is Real?
As mentioned above, there are some distinct differences between faux leather and genuine leather. Here is a breakdown of some of the key distinguishing factors that will help you tell whether your leather jacket is made of genuine leather.
Real Leather: Genuine leather has a unique and varied pattern.
Fake Leather: Faux leather is produced using a presser, resulting in repetitive patterns.
Real Leather: Leather has a distinctive smell often described as oaky or burnt.
Fake Leather: Fake leather smells more artificial, often compared to plastic.
Real Leather: Soft and flexible, thick and moulds to your body shape as it easily stretches.
Fake Leather: Stiff and colder, doesn’t relax to fit your body shape as there's no elastic to give way.
If you’d like high-quality, timeless and iconic jackets then Camokazi can provide you with a classic genuine leather jacket.