PU (PU) leather is an artificial material created using a special technology from polyurethane and leather waste. Polyurethane is a unique material consisting of synthetic polymers. In its structure and appearance, the fabric is very similar to genuine leather, however, it has greater strength, wear resistance and at the same time costs less.
Due to its high technological characteristics, the artificial material made of polyurethane has found a wide scope. Its colorful surface, reminiscent of elite leather, gives a huge scope for the implementation of new interesting ideas in the manufacture of clothing, furniture, and interior design. Bags, outerwear are sewn from it, shoes, furniture upholstery, sports equipment, fashionable decor elements are made.
Production features of PU leather
The production of this matter is a complex labor-intensive process, consisting of several technological stages. At its core, PU is a “layered cake”.
1. Thin cotton or knitted fabric is taken as the basis of synthetic leather. In rare cases, the first layer is made from non-woven materials.
2. The second layer consists of genuine leather, but with marriage and defects (leather waste), crushed and treated with special compounds to give strength. ! The presence of this layer distinguishes PU leather from dermantin or other cheap substitute.
3. The top layer of the “pie” consists of polyurethane, which is applied at a temperature of +130°C – +160°C. At this stage, the surface is painted in any color or a pattern is applied.
Appearance and properties
Faux PU leather, as you can see in the photo, the appearance is not much different from natural. The same recesses and grooves that are applied using a special machine to increase the resemblance to a natural product, the same shine, softness, porosity. Polyurethane stains well, so the top layer of synthetic material can have the most unusual colors and even patterns.
Polyurethane is a high-grade polymer obtained through a series of complex chemical processes. One of its features is the ability to create a porous material that perfectly passes air, does not absorb odors and perfectly removes moisture. These properties are especially priced in the manufacture of clothing, footwear and accessories.
Advantages of PU leather:
– tactile similarity with natural leather;
– elasticity, resistance to mechanical damage, such as abrasion and tearing;
– wear resistance, with proper care, products made from a substitute will last for more than a dozen years;
– for any temperature – does not lose properties at temperatures from -60°С to +80°С;
– breathability – thanks to the porous surface, the fabric easily passes air, allowing the body to breathe;
– absolutely environmentally friendly, it does not contain toxic substances, cotton bases, so it does not cause allergic reactions.
– low cost.
Disadvantages of PU leather
– If the fabric is scratched with a sharp object, the defects are very difficult to disguise. Pet lovers should keep this in mind and try not to buy furniture with PU leather upholstery.
– Products made of artificial leather take longer to heat up, which is inconvenient for winter.
– It is not recommended to clean the polyurethane surface with abrasive products, as the integrity of the surface structure can be damaged, as a result of which an ugly stain will remain on the product.
Comparison of PU with genuine leather, pvc and eco-leather.
Comparing artificial PU leather (another name for pu leather) with natural, eco-leather or other pvc-based synthetic material, you can notice several significant differences.
With genuine leather: Genuine leather, with all its virtues, including natural origin, attractive appearance, breathability, has several characteristics that encourage the buyer to turn towards products coated with polyurethane. Here is some of them:
– high cost of natural leather products;
– big weight;
– low wear resistance;
– complex care.
With PVC (leatherette): PVC-based leatherette is an elastic plastic fixed on a woven or non-woven backing. This material has several advantages:
– low cost;
– ease of care.
However, there are many more disadvantages:
– does not pass air;
– the material is hard, rough to the touch;
– breaks in the cold;
– wears out quickly.
! Polyurethane PU leather is not so susceptible to abrasion, frost-resistant, breathable.
With eco-leather: Eco-leather is a material obtained artificially by applying a microporous polyurethane film to a cotton or synthetic base. Buyers often confuse concepts, mistaking eco-leather for PU leather and vice versa. This is because the outer surface of the fabrics looks the same, only eco-leather consists of two layers. It is thinner, retains heat worse, is not as durable as PU leather.
Recommendations regarding the selection of articles.
When buying a bag, jacket or other product made of polyurethane leather, you need to pay attention to the following nuances:
– the inscription on the label – 100% PU;
– the fabric should not exude an unpleasant odor;
– the mass of a product made of polyurethane is much less than that made of PVC or genuine leather;
– the cost is higher than that of synthetic leatherette products.
Having chosen the thing you like, you need to carefully examine the seams, check the outside and the lining. A high-quality product usually does not have cracks, breaks near the buttons, hanging threads.
Caring for a polyurethane bag.
A product made of polyurethane does not require very careful attention. For example, when the surface of the bag is contaminated such as coffee, tea, juice, etc. you need to immediately wipe it with light movements with a slightly damp cloth, then wipe it dry. This method can remove dust or dirt on the polyurethane surface.
When it was not possible to clean immediately, it is allowed to use a 50% alcohol-water solution or ammonia. If the stains are obsolete of organic origin, then they can be removed with leather cleaners.
To extend the service life, the bag must be periodically treated with special water-repellent impregnations for the skin.
Important! After cleaning, the surface of the fabric must be wiped dry with a cotton napkin. Remaining moisture can destroy the polymer film, resulting in damage to the product.
We solve the problem of bruising.
With improper storage of this material, it does not take on a beautiful appearance. Therefore, we will try to level the polyurethane product with moisture. It is best to use an iron with a steamer. We set the minimum temperature and process the surface of the bag at a distance. We make sure that the condensate does not collect, it must be removed with the power of a cloth napkin. With very deep creases and folds, you need to carefully walk in the most difficult places from the inside, after covering it with a cotton cloth folded several times.
Another method is to use a “steam bath”. Fill the tub with hot water. And hang for half an hour, after putting a heavy object in the bag. This method will straighten the folds and creases. Then take a soft cloth and dry the surface. At the same time, make sure that there is no wet surface.
These procedures for leveling bags made of polyurethane will not harm the appearance of the accessory!
We summarize and agitate for “acquaintance”.
PU artificial leather is a well-proven natural-based material. Polyurethane bags can easily replace genuine leather bags!
They look like leather, and are worn well due to their qualities, while being absolutely environmentally friendly and safe. This material does not require such personal care as leather. The bag can be worn at any time of the year without worrying that it can deteriorate. When it rains, the bag will not get wet. Due to the pores formed during processing, the material breathes, thereby leaving no odors inside the bag.
World manufacturers have long and actively used polyurethane in the manufacture of their bags and other products. It is easy for designers to work with such material, so the design of the bag can be different. In the sock, such bags are very practical and will serve you for many years!
Start your acquaintance with this material right now!
Model Encanto (Charm) – stylish, beautiful and elegant cross-body bag with a trendy shoulder strap – a great choice for lovers of the classics!
Model Fuego (Flame) – a bright and fashionable round cross-body bag with a shoulder strap will perfectly fit into the weekdays and weekends of every woman, regardless of age and status!
The variety of color schemes and the successful combination of actual colors themselves will attract many admiring glances to the owner of our handbags!