ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is Synthetic Leather, Anyway?

Updated on October 16, 2009
synthetic leather is often found as a covering material on massage chairs, car seats, and handbags.
synthetic leather is often found as a covering material on massage chairs, car seats, and handbags.

Synthetic leather is not the plastic looking, tacky material that it was in the past. Today’s synthetic leather is made much better than the early versions. Synthetic leather is realistic and used in many different products that once used only real leather. Robotic massage chairs are a popular item that uses synthetic leather since the properties of synthetic leather actually enhance the perform of the chair.

A robotic massage chair can do a better job when it is made of synthetic leather. The leather will hold heat and allow the rollers to work more smoothly than real leather. Many products, just not massage chairs, are now offered in synthetic leather and consumers are loving this new trend.

The Definition of Synthetic Leather

Synthetic leather is a man made fabric that looks like leather. It has a leather-like surface and is dyed and treated to make it have the look and feel of real leather. It is often used as a substitute for real leather because it is less expensive and it does not require using a real animal hide to create.

Artificial leather can be dyed a variety of colors. It is durable and stain resistant, as well. Artificial leather can be created to look like any type of leather desired. Many consider it superior to real leather because of its diversity in looks and use.

Types of Synthetic Leather

There are a range of different types of synthetic leather. The type of synthetic leather is usually defined by what materials the leather is made of. The most common type of synthetic leather is pleather. Pleather or plastic leather, is made from plastic. It is very light weight, comes in a range of styles and textures and is easy to clean. Many of the pleather materials on the market are soft and have the feel of real leather.

example of poromeric imitation leather as seen on a massage chair
example of poromeric imitation leather as seen on a massage chair

Poromeric imitation leather is usually a polyester base covered in a plastic coating that is made to resemble leather. It is very durable and easy to clean. It is often criticized for being too stiff, though, and today in mainly used in the making of shoes. Leatherette is made using a cloth base with a PVC cover layer. It is used in many different products. It is almost maintenance free and will never crack or fade. Some other common types of artificial leather include those made of plant materials, such as vegan leather, blended materials made of acrylic and fiber blends and vinyl or PVC artificial leather.

Synthetic Leather Massage Chairs

Synthetic leather is used often in furniture, car seat coverings and clothing. Massage chairs are often made using synthetic leather, especially robotic massage chairs. As mentioned earlier, the massage mechanisms of the chair can work much better with synthetic leather than with real leather because the synthetic material will stretch and give against the rollers of the chair. Additionally, it retains the heat so you get the added benefit of a warm massage, which leads to additional relaxation.

Artificial leather is often chosen for use when there are concerns that consumers may not like the use of real leather. There has been a lot of attention on the cruelty to animals that is caused in the retention of real leather. With the advancements and options in artificial leather, it is possible to get the same look and feel of real leather through an artificial material. Many consumes now actually prefer to buy artificial leather products over real leather products.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Can you use Sentry Home Flea Free Breeze on a synthetic sofa??

    • Lucille Collins profile image

      Lucille Collins 

      4 years ago from Brampton, Ontario

      Well in my on opinion it is a good that we have alternatives for leathers which is artificial leather. A fabric intended to substitute for leather in fields such as upholstery, clothing, and fabrics, and other uses where a leather-like finish is required but the actual material is cost-prohibitive, unsuitable, or unusable for ethical reasons. This help us to lessen of killing cows and other animals who are source of leathers.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      With the amount of cows that are killed in inhumane conditions, it seems that switching to faux leather may be the best alternative. If you go on PETA and see their reports on this, it's unreal. Stella McCartney has an all-faux collection and she has a great video on Youtube talking about it. There's a great site that has all faux leather products: look up

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      i'd rather use synthetic leather than have animals suffer.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      So its a cheap product that fools people when not advertized properly like on eBay etc...

      Its the new rip off of today...nice contribution to suckers of the world.

      What is amazing about the article is that people who manufactures/sell etc... this product usually write AMAZING on their junk.

    • profile image

      7 years ago

      Oh how i laughed u cant realy think this article is amazing. How boring!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image

      Richard Burnish 

      7 years ago

      Synthetic Leather is also used in medium and lower end boxing gloves!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      this is so amazing! synthetic leather is also sometimes used on the outer surface of volleyballs

    • profile image

      abhishek kumar 

      8 years ago

      its a real amazing for our life & shows comfortability in case of real pure leather.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i love this article its fab

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      taiwan fairsound enterprise co,.ltd handle in synthetic leather.if you need ,feel free contact with me .

    • relica profile image


      8 years ago from California

      Great information about manmade leather. It reminds me how much things improve with time. Some things are worth reconsidering. Nice hub!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What are the auctal properties of Pleather in terms of strength,preambility etc.,

    • profile image

      Cowhide Argentina 

      8 years ago

      cowhide argentina, we manufacture cowhide rugs, cowhide and leather products, online store, wholesale and retail sale, natural cowhides, patchwork rugs, dyed cowhide, we ship worldwide, home interior decorating, animal printed rugs, zebra cowhide rugs, leopard cowhide rugs, giraffe cowhide rugs, tigre cowhiderugs, sells cowhide rugs, argentine cowhides, argentinean cowskins


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)