Leather remains a popular choice for multiple things. From apparel to footwear and industry safety kits, the material is widely used all around the world. However, there are different types of leather used for different purposes. One of the vastly used yet lesser-known types is patent leather. Known for its shiny appearance, this type continues to grow in popularity. But what is PU material? And what is patent leather made of, and what makes it so popular?
We will do a detailed overview of patent leather to answer all related questions.
What is Patent Leather?
Patent leather aka PU material or enameled leather is a type of leather with a glossy, polished finish. The glossy appearance is achieved by applying a high-gloss finish to the leather surface. The finish can be either natural or synthetic, with synthetic finishes being more common due to their affordability and durability. Enameled leather is vastly used in fashion accessories such as shoes, handbags, and belts.
One of the highlights of patent leather is the glossy finish. It is made possible by applying a coating of lacquer or varnish to the surface of the leather. This coating gives the leather a shiny, reflective surface that is resistant to water and stains. The coating is available in a variety of colors, which allows for a range of customization options.
How is Patent Leather Made?
Wondering what is this material? The production process can give you a better idea. The production process of patent leather involves several steps which are listed as follows:
- Preparing the leather surface by removing any imperfections and smoothing it out.
- Manufacturers coat the leather with a layer of lacquer or varnish, which is allowed to dry.
- Once the first layer has dried, additional layers may be applied to achieve the desired level of glossiness.
- After applying the coating, workers heat the leather at a high temperature.
- The resulting material is slashed and shaped into the desired product, such as a shoe or handbag.
Pros and Cons of Patent Leather
Patent leather has several advantages and disadvantages as a material. Some of the advantages of this leather type include:
- Glossy appearance
- Resistance to water and stains
- Easy to clean and maintain
However, there are also some disadvantages to using enameled leather. Listed below are the disadvantages of patent leather:
- Prone to cracking
- Prone to peeling over time. Particularly when exposed to high levels of heat or sunlight.
- More prone to scratches and scuffs
- Appearance may alter because of the scratches and peeling.
What is PU Material?
PU material or polyurethane material is a substitute for genuine leather and is commonly used in the industry. This is produced by combining polyurethane polymers with backing material, such as fabric or polyester.
The end result is a material highly resembling genuine leather. As there is a noticeable difference in price, PU material remains a popular choice in the industry. This should answer your question about what is PU material and its uses.
PU Suede vs Patent Leather
PU suede is a type of synthetic leather that is commonly used in fashion accessories. It has a soft and velvety texture, which makes it a popular material for shoes and handbags. PU suede is made by coating a layer of polyurethane on a fabric backing that is designed to mimic the appearance and texture of genuine suede.
While both types are synthetic materials, they have several differences. One of the main differences is the texture. Patent leather has a glossy, reflective appearance, while suede has a soft and velvety texture.
Another difference is the level of durability. Patent or enamelled leather is more durable than suede and is resistant to scratches and abrasions. PU suede is more prone to wear and tear and may require regular maintenance to maintain its appearance.
Is Faux Leather Waterproof?
You must know by now what is PU material and what is patent leather. Now comes another type – faux leather. Also known as synthetic leather, it is a type of material that is designed to mimic the appearance and texture of genuine leather. Faux leather is commonly used in fashion accessories such as shoes, handbags, and jackets.
While some types of faux leather may be water-resistant, not all faux leather is waterproof. The level of water resistance will depend on the specific type of material used to create the faux leather. Some types of faux leather have a water-resistant coating to improve their water resistance.
However, it is important to note that even water-resistant faux leather may not be completely waterproof and may still be prone to water damage if exposed to moisture for an extended period.
Maintaining Patent Leather
Knowing what is patent material is one thing but maintaining it is a whole other story. Maintaining patent leather is relatively easy and requires minimal effort. One of the best ways to maintain this type of leather is to clean it regularly using a soft cloth or sponge. It is important to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the surface of the leather.
Additionally, store it properly when not in use. Stored it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Moreover, It is also important to avoid folding or bending this type, as this can cause creases and damage to the material.
This brings us to the end of our guide on patent leather. Both are vastly used in the fashion industry and are known for their durability and attractive features.
When doing comparisons like PU leather vs bonded leather or others, each type comes with its own set of pros and cons. Therefore, do your research on the types to decide the right one for yourself.
Stay tuned for information about different leather types and more.