Wednesday, March 13, 2013

PU Leather and PVC Leather : What Are They

What is PU Leather? And what is PVC Leather? Well, by scientific definition, PU stands for Polyurethane while PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. These two products, however, have some similarities as both are the most similar to leather. Due to each durability, both are commonly used in Furniture Industries, Clothing, Leather Cases as well as Bags as an alternate material to leather.

PU Leather - is when a Polyurethane sheet is applied to a thin leather back when used in furniture or bag industry. A leather pattern can be stamped on the PU to make it look and feel like leather.

PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride is also manufactured in a similar manner but is normally placed on a cotton or polyester backing. Pattern can also be applied to the surface. PVC can be a more durable surface than PU, but does not feel like leather.

Main Differences

People usually take synthetic leather other than dermis as leatheroid or imitation leather such as PVC and PU Leather. PVC and PU are a kind of polyvinyl chloride (a kind of plastic). However, the processing techniques of these two products are quite different.

In the process of manufacturing PVC Leather, the plastic particles should be melted and stirred into pasty. Coat it evenly on the base of T/C looped fabric according to stipulated thickness and then put it into foaming furnace to be foamed so that it can have the flexibility to manufacture different products of different requirements. When it is discharged from furnace, conduct some superficial treatment on it (dye, emboss, polish, surface, fuzz etc. conduct mainly according to specifications of products).

The processing flow of PU Leather is more complex than that of the PVC Leather. As foundation fabric of PU Leather is made from canvas with fine tension intensity, the foundation fabric can be coated on and included inside so that it will not be seen from outside. The physical performance of PU Leather is better than that of PVC Leather. Besides, it is tortuous proof with fine flexibility, tension intensity and ventilation (not possessed by PVC). The flower pattern of PVC Leather is embossed by steel decoration roller; as for the flower pattern of PU Leather, a patterned paper is attached to the surface of semi-finished leather. When it is cooled, separate the paper and leather and conduct superficial treatment. The price of PU Leather is as much as 2 times that of PVC Leather. The price of PU Leather of special specification is as much as 2-3 times that of the PU Leather. The patterned paper of PU Leather can usually be used for 4-5 times; The service life of pattern roller is longer, so the cost to use PU Leather is higher than to use PVC Leather.

The application scope of these two materials is different. In terms of shoes, PVC Leather is used on lining, parts that do not bear weight or children’s shoes; PU Leather can be used on plus materials for shoes or parts that bear weight. In terms of package, PVC Leather is used more extensively as articles in package are quite different from shoes and do not give out heat; do not bear personal weight.

It is easy to distinguish PU from PVC. Seen from their edges, the foundation cloth of PU is much thicker than that of PVC. They are different on hand feeling. PU feels softer; PVC feels harder; if being burnt, the smell of PU is much milder than that of PVC.

In Much Simpler Words, you can wrap-up :

Both PU & PVC which are petroleum based products, man-made and are NOT genuine leather.
PU material has a softer feel than PVC and typically has a more "leather-like" appearance than PVC (neither is leather though).
PVC is typically a bit shinier in appearance than PU.

Differences of PU/PVC to Leather

1. All the PU/PVC are plain and the wrinkle are in regular. There may be some scar for an animal skin leather because the animal skin may get scar there. The animal skin may also get a scar when workers are taking the skin from the animal body.

2. You could smell them. There would be a chemical smell for PU or PVC. On the leather, you will get definitely the leather smell.

3. If you are careful enough, you could see there is some pore hole in the animal leather. While in the PU/PVC, you could not get that.

4. Last step to identify leather genuinity is to cut it into a small piece and just use a lighter to burn them. Now what you will smell? Chemical smell again for PU/PVC. And there would be some hair-burning smell for animal leather again.