PU Leather (Polyuretherane Leather)

PU Leather (Polyurethane leather) (also known as bi-cast leatherby-cast leather, sometimes described as split leather) is material made with a split leather backing covered with a layer of polyurethane that is applied to the surface and then embossed. Because it is only used for the backing, the leather portion of this material is generally not visible in finished goods made from bi-cast. Bi-cast was originally made for the apparel industry for glossy shoes, and more recently was adopted by the furniture industry. The resulting product is easy to clean and maintain, as is the case with most plastic materials.

When used for upholstery, it cannot be considered equal to conventional leather as it lacks the strength, breathe-ability, and durability of the natural product.

Production of synthetic, artificial/faux "leathers" has evolved so that a shell coating layer is applied on top of a synthetic polymer blend, so the definition of "synthetic", "artificial/faux" leather methods of production no longer necessarily requires composite leather blends of (coated) raw-tanned cowhide grains or its fibrous layers. Such purely synthetic materials are called PU leather (short for "polyurethane leather") or vegan leather.


The use of terms like "leather", "genuine leather" or "100% leather" in relation to PU Leather treatment is considered a misrepresentation and therefore not permitted in some countries. Furniture made with PU Leather exhibits none of the characteristics associated with aniline leather; it will not develop a patina or suppleness nor otherwise "improve with age". With constant use, the polyurethane layer may crack and split free of its backing, and abrasion may cause large unsightly marks.

Life span on the PU Leather can range from between 3 - 7 years depending on the grade and quality of the materials utilised in its manufacture.Therefore, when purchasing a couch/sofa, that is custom made whereby you are able to select your fabric. Dont be fooled into selecting a cheap quality PU Leather and do some research on the suppliers that the manufacturer utilises. Establish if they will be making your custom couches with quality products.

Although not 100% Genuine Leather, with a short life span. It does have its own advantages. the price pint being the biggest. You are able to purchase your custom made sofa at a fraction of the cost and therefore able to change the style of your furniture ever so often without being stuck with an expensive Genuine Leather set that leaves begrudging feelings of not wanting to redecorate because of the hefty price tag. 

Modern technology enables up to four stratified layers to be taken from a single hide. There is a thin layer used from the backing of the PU Leather remaining after other layers have been removed for traditional leather work.

Furniture manufacturers say that the main benefit of PU Leather is its surface appearance at a low price. Lower grades of leather can be used during the manufacturing process, and treating with polyurethane gives a uniform shine and a long-lasting "like new" appearance. PU Leather looks best, they say, on furniture with taut seat cushions and pillows, and should not be folded or creased sharply. It can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth. New PU Leather furniture can have a chemical odor, but this typically dissipates about a week after the piece is exposed to air.