Artificial leather represents an interesting alternative to natural leather in terms of decoration. It provides high quality for lower price. The present technologies enable it to reach the properties of genuine leather; nowadays it can hardly be distinguished from it. Some of the high-end models of prestigious world car brands combine genuine and artificial leather (for example within door upholstery) so that the customer can hardly discern which one is which.
What makes artificial leather different from the genuine one are the properties. Above all, it is hermetic, waterproof and leakage-proof. Among its positive qualities belongs the fact that it does not absorb fragrances nor it produces any. It can easily be treated and complies with strict hygienic standards required by upholstered furniture for example in healthcare. Its merits also comprise its toughness which in contrast with so called EKO leather reaches the qualities of genuine leather. That is why more and more car manufacturers use it in interior areas exposed to rough and frequent physical contact (e.g. lower part of car door upholstery).
The base is created by rudiment or textile fabric which most often (but not necessarily) is woven layered by PVC and polyurethane (PVC prevails). Such a foil carries characteristic pattern resembling genuine leather/skin. For that reason we can meet such terms as artificial leather, plastic leather, textile leather, etc. Artificial leather can have various surface patterns, lacquer types, colours, and printed patterns.
In car industry artificial leather is used more frequently than genuine leather owing to its price which is generally lower. It is also used in automatic laminating but in many cases it is also applied manually. Especially in such cases it is generally indiscernible from genuine leather.