Difference Between Leather and Leatherette

Leather vs Leatherette

Leather is a natural material created from the hides of animals after tanning. It is used in upholstery and making accessories for use in daily lives. There is another word leatherette that confuses many as it looks and feels just like leather. There are many who feel that both leather and leatherette are the same and the two words can be used interchangeably./ However, despite similarities, the two materials are not the same and there are many differences that will be highlighted in this article.


Leather is animal skin that has been in use since time immemorial. It has been used to make not only garments, purses, belts and other accessories but also for making the upholstery inside houses, offices, and even the seats of cars. Leather is the skin of cattle that has undergone tanning after all the flesh from it has been removed and hair of animal has also been removed. It is not just cow and pig whose skins are used to make leather as horse, camel, leopard, crocodile, and even snake skin is used to make leather.


Leather is a quality substance, but it is very expensive and also requires maintenance on the part of the user. It is also not available in huge quantities as per the demand in the markets. This gave birth to a necessity of a material similar to leather but not made of animal skin. Leatherette is a kind of artificial leather as it is produced by covering fabrics with a vinyl coating. In fact, leatherette is a man-made material that looks and feels like leather but is much less expensive than natural leather.

It is not just monetary considerations that have given birth to leatherette as there are millions around the world who do not like the idea of using animal skin for their comfort and use. Leatherette has plant origins, and no animal produce is used to make it.

Leather vs Leatherette

• Leather is natural while leatherette is manmade.

• Leather is of animal origin, whereas leatherette is of plant origin.

• Leather is more soft and plaint than leatherette.

• Leatherette gets very hot and uncomfortable during summers and also very cold during winters.

• Leatherette is cheaper than leather.

• Leather is animal hide whereas leatherette is a fabric covered with vinyl.

• Leather is porous but, being made of plastic, leatherette is not porous.

• Leatherette is more durable than leather.

• Leather requires more maintenance than leatherette.

• Leather has a natural feel, and it breathes.

• Leather has a smell that is loved by some but hated by others.

• Leather wars faster than leatherette.

  • Basfrommobay

    How can leatherette be of plant origin when it is basically high grade vinyl? Vinyl is a form of plastic which is most likely derived from petroleum.