Real vs PU Leather: What’s The Difference?

To the uninitiated eye, it is rather difficult to assess one leather from another. Well, they look the same, don’t they? Wrong! There are pretty evident differences between real and Polyurethane (PU) leather. Appearance, functionality, construction—and a lot more. 

Instead of drawing a narrative of both, let’s take a look at the direct differences between them. So, Real vs PU—what’s the real deal? Here is all you need to know. 

The Differences in Source 

Let’s get to the root of the matter—the source. Where real leather is made from real hides, PU is essentially lab-created. Being the top layer of the hide itself, real leather can be a treat to the eye, for the right audience. 

On the other hand, PU leather is made from thermoplastic polymer. For the folks who have their fair share of ethical dilemmas regarding the same, this is a pretty good choice. Sure, it is not coming from animals, so you don’t have to bear the burden of taking away something from mother nature either. 

Breathability Precedes Durability 

Since real leather is made of skin, it breathes. Owing to this, it becomes more resistant to damage. Moreover, since the natural elements are cohesively together, for the most part, there is very little flexibility.

This is why real leather does not become loose as easily as compared to PU. This also makes real leather more durable than PU counterparts. 

On the other hand, PU leather, owing to its carbon bindings, is rather flexible. Sure, it can bend and mold, but then again, this isn’t very conducive for things like shoes.

Sure, you can vouch for it being more suitable for belts, but then again, if you are in for the real deal, perhaps PU isn’t for U. 

Wastages—Are You Environment-Friendly? 

While you can vouch for the fact that PU enables veganism and is more on the positive side of the moral compass, are you actually considering the environment too? There is no doubt about the fact that PU and similar plastics have certain impacts on the environment, so you best believe that it requires some attention too. 

On the other hand, real leather is easier to decompose. Owing to the fact that there is very little external chemistry going on here, real leather goes easy on the environment. Granted, this entire premise of the veganism vs environmentalism debate is endless, so using this to determine what you like is borderline weird.

Instead, ask yourself whether you would want to throw away your belt after it is used to the core. If so, you should pick the real leather one, as it is easier to process and break down. 

The Pragmatic Aspect—Price

Keeping emotions aside, there is another aspect that you should consider here—price. The prices of real and PU leather can vary a lot, and by that, we mean—a LOT. Check out one of those exorbitantly priced ones, and you’ll get the hang of it. 

On the other hand, PU leather is cheaper to make and process. This automatically puts its cost price down, and therefore, the consumer pays less too. Plus, that means you can get “x” numbers of PU belts at the price of one!

Moreover, it is also easier to make modifications to the PU leather offerings. Be ready to spoil yourself with choices if PU leather is your thing!

Style and Personality

Okay, we might sound a bit biased here. But there is no doubt about the fact that real leather is super sexy. Be it in the James Bond films or seeing personalities like Beckham rocking it—real leather looks very elegant. 

Think about it, belts, jackets, custom leather patches, even watch straps—real leather makes things a lot classier.

Sure, PU does a decent enough job at trying to mimic what real leather manifests, but it is also unnecessarily shiny too. That being said, faux leather is slowly bridging the gap, but there is no comparison made against the real one. 

What Goes Skin Deep—The Elements of Vile

This might sound a bit far-fetched, but hear us out. PU studies have shown that it possesses carcinogenic properties, and if misused, can cause some serious problems. Your skin and other viscera—nothing is safe if you aren’t using the right PU leather.

On the other hand, pure leather can be notorious for causing allergic reactions too. You can obviously do an extensive skin test before you get that classy piece of apparel, but this issue is still incomparable when placed with the morbid consequences one can face if PU goes wrong. 

Final Words

There are obvious pros and cons to both real and PU leather. The question, therefore, stands—are you willing to weigh them out and see what suits your needs better?

Can you purchase these goods based on what your preferences of use are, rather than what the properties they contain? If so, get your hands on one right away—you shall not be disappointed.