difference between real leather and pu leather

The difference between Leather and PU Leather

What is actually PU Leather? Often we get asked that question. PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer used for making material, comparable to real leather. As PU leather is completely artificial and has nothing to do with animals, it is considered vegan. There are some types of PU leather called bicast leather that have actual leather but has a polyurethane coating on top. This type of PU leather takes the fibrous part of cowhide that are leftover from making genuine leather and put a layer of polyurethane on top of it. You can find example of PU Leather product here in our Shop.

Can I see the difference between Leather and PU?

When shopping for leather products, it can be hard to determine the differences between real leather and artificial leather. For some people people the preference might be the features of genuine leather, while others may want to take the cheaper route and prefer non-animal products. PU leather is a common option for artificial leather. Let se review the pros & cons of each of the materials in next paragraph.

Pros & Cons of PU Leather

Here are some of the pros of PU leather:

  • Cost-effective: it is cheaper than genuine leather because it is easier to manufacture
  • Sustainable: it uses fewer resources to make, making it better for the environment
  • Easy to clean: it does not absorb water, making it easy to clean
  • Vegan: 100% – it is completely artificial and is considered vegan
  • Variety of colors and styles: it can be made into a variety of colors and styles
  • Durable: Unlike leather, PU does not dry out over time
  • Safe: it is considered environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and BPA-free.

Here are some cons of PU leather:

  • Might look fake: if not properly manufactured, it can look fake and synthetic
  • Not breathable: Unlike genuine leather, PU leather is not breathable
  • Smell: it can smell of chemicals or plastic
  • Wears out: real leather develops luster or patina over time, PU does not
  • Punctures and tears: it can puncture or tear easier compared to genuine leather

Other names for artificial leather

Whether you look for real or an artificial substitute, you might see various other names representing the PU leather products. The following names represent leather substitutes and not real leather:

  • PU Leather
  • Bicast Leather
  • Split Leather
  • Bonded Leather
  • Reconstituted Leather


As any other decision, also looking at the differences between leather and PU leather, there are many attributes to evaluate. It’s important to consider both the pros and cons when deciding whether to choose PU leather over genuine leather. One of the reasons for the decision is of course also the price tag, which is on real leather higher. For other users of leather accessories the fact that for manufacturing PU there was no animal materials involved, plays a significant role.

On the Walletmio.com store, all the products are described and the user can always decide, if he/she prefers genuine leather or PU leather.

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