The Difference between Eco-Leather and Faux Leather

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One subject on which even the most experienced craftsmen often have some oversight is the difference between eco-leather and synthetic (or faux) leather. 

Gotta admit it, I was a bit confused too at the beginning and I think that like me, many people don't know what the difference between these two "big families" is.

A common mistake is that quite often we tend to confuse the term Eco-leather with the words Artificial Leather, Faux Leather, Vegan Leather, etc.. but actually, Eco-leather is a very different thing:

The term "Eco-leather" refers to a leather or hide that has been tanned with low environmental impact processes.

To be more precise, the tanning processes must meet the requirements of a specific standard, UNI 11427:2011 - So the "Eco-leather" is still a "Real Leather" that has been obtained with eco-friendly processes.

We speak instead of "Fake Leather" or "Synthetic Leather" when we are dealing with materials of partially or completely synthetic origin, without any material of animal provenance.

Faux leather can generally be of two different types: it can be made of a fabric on which a polymeric or plastic material has been "coated", or it can be a product made completely synthetically.

As far as faux leather is concerned, there are no specific regulations that reduce or limit the environmental impact in the production process. The main characteristic is that they are not leather or raw material of animal origin; also for this reason it is sometimes referred to as "Vegan Leather".

It must be said that the synthetic leather industry in recent years, has reached a level for which it is difficult for an end-user to distinguish real leather from fake leather. Sometimes the only possibility for the buyer is to check the label of the item he or she is buying.


The characteristics of Eco-leather and Faux Leather are quite different because Eco-leather has basically all the characteristics of traditional Chrome Tanned or Vegetable Tanned leathers, while Faux Leather has significantly lower features especially in terms of strength, durability.


On the other hand, Faux Leather is generally a material that can have different characteristics such as high water repellency (which often make it ideal for car interiors and furniture). In addition, this leather does not require much care or maintenance.<

For this reason there is now a specific Basecoat for Eco Leather and Synthetic Materials.

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