The difference of PU leather and microfiber leather

What is PU leather?

PU leather,  is a type of artificial leather made from thermoplastic polymers and used to make furniture or shoes. 100% PU leather is completely man-made and considered vegan. There are some types of PU leather called double cast leather which have real leather but have a polyurethane coating on top. This kind of PU leather is the remaining fiber part when cowhide is used to make genuine leather, and a layer of polyurethane is coated on it.

PU leather also has some names. Whether you’re looking for faux leather or want to avoid it, it’s good to know the many names that make up faux leather. From the label, artificial leather can be called:

  • PU leather
  • Two-tone leather
  • Split leather
  • Bonded leather
  • Regenerated leather
  • Corrected Grain Leather


PU Leather Advantages:

  • PU leather is less costly than real leather because it is easier to manufacture.
  • PU does not absorb water and is easy to clean.
  • 100% PU leather is vegan.
  • PU leather can be made into various colors and styles.
  • Unlike leather, PU leather will not dry out over time.
  • More sustainable as it uses fewer resources to manufacture.


What is Microfiber Leather?

Microfiber leather is a kind of synthetic leather, which is composed of microfiber non-woven fabric and a layer of high-performance PU (polyurethane) resin.

In the industry, microfiber leather is considered the newest version and highest quality of synthetic leather. The microfiber leather is a great upgrade from the original PU leather, a traditional fabric coated with polyurethane resin.

What are the properties of microfiber leather?

  • Looks and feels like leather
  • breathable
  • Antibacterial and anti-odor
  • light
  • Hydrophobic substances
  • Eco-friendly
  • Washable

Difference :

  1. Price difference. At present, the price range of ordinary PU on the market is generally 15-30 (meters), while the price range of general microfiber leather is 50-150 (meters), so the price of microfiber leather is several times that of ordinary PU.
  2. The surface performance is different. Although the surface layer of microfiber leather and ordinary PU is polyurethane resin, ordinary PU, which has been popular for many years, has many more colors and styles than microfiber leather. But in general, the polyurethane resin on the surface of the microfiber leather is stronger than ordinary PU in terms of abrasion resistance, acid and alkali resistance, and hydrolysis resistance, and the color fastness and texture will also be stronger.
  3. The material of base cloth is different. Ordinary PU is made of knitted fabric, woven fabric or non-woven fabric, and then coated with polyurethane resin. Microfiber leather is made of microfiber leather non-woven fabric with three-dimensional structure, coated with high-performance polyurethane resin. The different materials, processes and technical standards of the base fabric have a decisive impact on the performance of the microfiber leather.
  4. The performance is different. Microfiber leather is superior to ordinary PU in strength, wear resistance, moisture absorption, comfort and other performance indicators. In layman’s terms, it is more like genuine leather, more durable, and feels better.
  5. Market prospect. In the ordinary PU market, due to the low technical threshold, severe excess capacity, fierce competition, product shrinkage and material shortage, it does not adapt to the constantly upgrading consumption concept, and the market prospect is worrying. Due to the high technical threshold and limited production capacity, microfiber leather is more and more recognized by consumers, and the market has a large room for growth.

Microfiber leather and ordinary PU represent products at different development stages of artificial synthetic leather, so they have a certain substitution effect. It is believed that with the recognition of more and more people, microfiber leather will be more widely used in all aspects of human life.

PU leather refers to ordinary PU leather, with polyurethane surface layer plus non-woven fabric or woven fabric, the performance is average, and the price is mostly between 10-30 yuan per meter.

Microfiber leather is a kind of microfiber PU synthetic leather. A high-performance polyurethane surface layer is attached to a microfiber base fabric. Has excellent properties, especially abrasion and scratch resistance. The price is usually between 50-150 per meter.

Genuine leather, or natural leather, is made from skins that are peeled off from animals. It has very good breathability and comfort. Genuine leather (top layer leather) is more expensive than microfiber leather.

Leather and microfiber are two completely different things, although the support fabric for fake leather is sometimes made with microfiber.

Microfiber is simply a fiber weighing less than 1 denier, or 1 gram per 9000 meters. Initially, the textile industry could only produce fibers above 1 denier. For a while, very fine fibers, known as microfibers, were developed as a cheaper alternative to silk. Today, they are used in more applications than imitation silk.

Microfiber is also used as a general term to describe:

Polyester microfiber, the most common microfiber (but there are others such as polyolefin microfibers, silk is also a microfiber);

A fabric made from microfibers, usually polyester microfibers in turn.

Microfibers are made from woven fabrics, although microfibers are also commonly used in knitted fabrics.

If we’re comparing leather to “microfiber,” we should think that microfiber in this case means a woven fabric made of polyester microfiber. in this case:

Leather is more or less waterproof depending on how it is treated. In contrast, microfiber fabrics are usually very high in capillary action, unless of course it has been specially treated or coated to stop capillary action.

Microfiber fabrics are generally more flexible than the thinnest leather.

The thin skin is somewhat stretchy and is usually the same in all directions. Microfiber woven fabrics, like any woven fabric, have little stretch in width and length, but are much more stretchable diagonally than leather. Knitted microfiber fabrics, on the other hand, are generally more resilient than leather.

Aside from some forms of wear and tear, microfiber woven fabrics are more durable than leather in the same weight range.

Here’s what I know right now when it comes to comparing leather and microfiber fabric.

Author: Nicole