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April 20, 2020

What is the Difference Between Real Leather and Vegan Leather

What is the Difference Between Real Leather and Vegan Leather

From cotton to polyester, wool to linen, jackets are available in a variety of materials. Nonetheless, out of all the available materials,  leather is arguably the best material to go for. However, before you invest in a leather jacket, you should know that not every type of leather is the same. Leather material can be divided into two classes – real leather and synthetic leather. Confused as to which one to go for? We’ve got you. This article will review the major points of differences between real leather and vegan leather to give you a better understanding of these two different leather materials.


Real leather refers to leather sourced from animal hides. Cow skin, goat skin, deer skin, lamb skin and bison leathers are examples of animal hides which can be tanned and industrially treated to produce real leather. 

Vegan leather, often referred to as faux leather is a synthetic type of leather not gotten from the hides of animals. Common materials for vegan leather include synthetic plastic polymers like polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and natural materials such as cotton, cork, mushroom and pineapple leaves. These materials are treated with chemicals via a series of industrial processes to create leather.

Physical Features 

Real leather is not smooth. If you run your fingers across the surface of your leather jacket, you should feel some imperfections on the material if it was sourced from real animal skin. For vegan leather, because it is artificially produced, the surface is typically very smooth and uniform, free of the imperfections of animal hide. Also, you can expect real leather to be thicker than its lightweight synthetic counterpart. However, these differences are only obvious on closer observation and generally speaking, you may not be able to tell the difference between real and vegan leather at a glance.


Real leather has what is best described as a natural and organic smell, which has come to be regarded as a “leathery” smell. For vegan leather, owing to all the chemicals used in the production process, you are likely to get a more “plasticky” than “leathery” smell.


Real leather is quite durable. It can last for years and even when it begins to age, the leather develops a patina which only adds character and value to the material. Vegan leather however, is not quite as durable as real leather and doesn’t age as well either. But when given proper care, it can endure for a considerably longer time, although it will still be outlasted by real leather. 

Environmental Impact

Vegan leather was created to provide an option for people who would rather not use clothing from animal products. However, while vegan leather might be cruelty-free, it is not the more eco-friendly option. When the animal hides are gotten from sustainable farms and naturally tanned, real leather is potentially less harmful to the environment than most types of vegan leather especially those made from PVC or PU.

These synthetic plastic polymers release toxic gases into the air which can be dangerous to humans and the environment. Also, as vegan leather wears out faster than real leather, they need to be replaced more often, which only exacerbates its impact. However, when vegan leather is produced with natural products like cotton, cork and mushroom, the negative environmental impact is reduced by a substantial degree.

Finally, the type of leather you go for should be dependent on your personal preferences and requirements. For instance, if you want a good leather jacket that will last you for a very long time, then you can get that durability from real leather. However, as vegan leather is more lightweight, it is easier for fashion. 

It is also important to understand that both real and faux leather jackets are available in a variety of quality so it is necessary to ensure that you are getting the best quality of any type you go for. Nonetheless, no matter what your preferences may be for the leather material when shopping for leather jackets, you will find it at Luca Jackets. We have an impressive collection of comic inspired jackets available in both real and vegan leather. Check out our store for high quality real and vegan leather jacket of all designs and sizes.


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