Leather is a high-quality material that is used to carefully craft some of the world’s most sought-after luxury items. Leather bags, shoes, and wallets are all staples of leather fashion. But what is pleather? Is it even real leather, and what does its appearance and texture mean for the quality of pleather goods?
What Is Pleather?
Pleather is synthetic or faux leather. It’s also often referred to as PU leather. It is a plastic-based alternative to high-quality real leather. Real leathers are made from animal hides and are a much more natural option than plastic alternatives.
Pleather is often a vegan-friendly alternative to traditional leathers because it is synthetically created. However, because of its high plastic content and comparatively short life span, it isn’t a very sustainable option.
Top-grain or full grain leathers can last for decades, and this makes them a more viable option for environmentally friendly luxury when compared to fake leathers that need to be frequently replaced.
Are Pleather and Faux Leather The Same?
Pleather and faux leather are often used interchangeably, but there can be small differences.
Faux Leather is a broader term used to describe a number of synthetic materials, including waxes, dyes and polyvinyl chloride, while Pleather specifically refers to a plastic-based material.
Neither of these options really offer a suitable alternative for real leather goods in terms of quality and durability.
Why Is It Called Pleather?
Pleather gets its name from a combination of the words plastic and leather. Although it rarely contains any actual leather, it is created to imitate the luxury look of real, high-quality options like top grain and full-grain leather.
How Is Pleather Made?
Pleather is most often made from a plastic base, such as polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The manufacturing process typically involves coating a non-leather fabric with the chosen plastic to achieve a leather-like appearance. Pleather, because of this process, has a more shiny or smooth finish, which makes it easy to wipe down.
During the manufacturing process, every effort is made to replicate the appeal of real leather. This can include printing a texture into the material and using dyes to try and match real leather’s natural appearance.
The finished pleather material is then often used in mass manufacturing for everyday items like bags and shoes.
How Can You Spot Pleather?
Pleather is fairly easy to spot, especially when compared side-by-side with high-quality real leather. Although it tries to mimic the texture and appeal of real leather, it often falls short.
To identify pleather, look for an unnaturally consistent texture, a lack of pores in the material, and a plastic or synthetic scent.
Unlike real leather, pleather will often have an incredibly uniform appearance and show no signs of individuality or carefully crafted design.
Pleather Vs. Top Grain Leather and Full Grain Leather
Pleather is simply a synthetic copy of real leather, but it doesn’t offer the same quality or longevity. The appeal of real leather is its texture, feel, and smell. Pleather cannot properly replicate these natural qualities.
If you examine immediate costs, pleather will often be the cheaper option, but because its lifespan is so short comparatively, it’s often an expensive long-term choice.
For luxury goods, higher-quality materials are almost always the better option. Their durability and ability to look better with age make them a unique and important staple for any wardrobe.
Our 5 Favorite Real Leather Bags
The Skyler is a beautifully crafted leather briefcase made from premium top-grain water buffalo leather.
Designed to be your sidekick for seamless travel, The Skyler features plenty of storage and a convenient luggage strap for easy carrying.
It offers plenty of storage for cell phones, files, cards, and pens to provide efficient and accessible storage on-the-go.
Combining both style and functionality, this briefcase is perfect for someone who’s always on the move.
Experience timeless elegance with The Coarse, a duffel bag crafted from premium full-grain leather. This exquisite piece adds a classic touch to any look, blending style and functionality seamlessly.
The spacious inner compartment is designed to accommodate all your essentials, whether you’re taking this gorgeous bag for a day at the office or on vacation.
The thoughtful design includes two side zipper pockets, offering quick access to items like keys or passports.
For added convenience, a comfortable, removable shoulder strap enhances the bag's portability, ensuring that The Coarse is built for the long haul.
There are few real leather bags that scream 'style' more than The Mahi. Designed to look like a modern take on a vintage classic, it stands strong as a stylish and practical real leather backpack.
Crafted from premium full-grain leather, The Mahi is designed to endure repeated use and daily wear, making it a reliable companion for any journey. Its durability ensures that this backpack is built to last.
With a padded laptop sleeve and plenty of space for other everyday essentials, this backpack effortlessly accommodates everything you need.
The Estro is the go-to high-quality leather bag for those who are always on the move. This daily carry is carefully crafted from premium top-grain leather to act as a heavy-wearing and long-lasting companion.
This functional and fashionable sidekick has numerous compartments that defy its size, ensuring organization and functionality for the modern man. The high-quality fixtures keep your essentials safe as you navigate your busy day-to-day life.
With The Estro, elegance becomes second nature, blending functionality with sophisticated design flawlessly.
Every working man needs a stylish and sophisticated briefcase. With this high-quality, spacious option, the search for the perfect daily carry is over.
The Briefcase offers plenty of secure storage for daily essentials, and the high-quality material offers protection for all of your most important items.
For the busy, on-the-go professional, The Briefcase provides seamless travel convenience.
Attach it to the handle of your suitcase with its specially designed luggage strap, making it an ideal companion for work-related travels.