Leather goods are fashionable to use in every fashion season. It has been a fan favorite for decades. But, with the changing times and demands, a lot of us choose to go for a plant-based lifestyle for environmental reasons and many other reasons. To meet these demands in not only the accessories sections, but also in fashion and lifestyle, vegan leather has become a popular option.
Vegan leather is faux leather and it is alternatively used to replace animal-derived leather goods. It is common to wonder- how vegan leather is made? The process of making vegan leather is completely different from the industrial making of real leather. It is usually synthesized from different chemicals, vegan raw materials, and a completely different process.
Because of cruelty-free awareness and environmental sustainability, a large number of fashion brands and manufacturers are shifting to the faux leather industry. Vegan leather can be made from various materials. It commonly includes PVC leather, PU leather, leather made from natural derivatives, etc.
Making vegan leathers is a step-by-step process. However, the process may vary from one manufacturer to the other. The most commonly used materials for making vegan leather are Polyurethane, PU, and Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC. Leathers made from these materials are commonly called “Pleather”. The process of making pleather vegan leathers are as follows.
The first step in making vegan leather is to obtain the base material. In making pleather, the most commonly used material for making the base is cotton or polyester. In some cases, nylon or rayon is also used. This choice may vary among different manufacturers.
For use in the vegan leather fabric, the polyester oder cotton fabrics that are used should be porous and rough. This means that the cotton or polyester that is to be used for making vegan leather needs to be specially manufactured. A lot of manufacturers produce their base material. However, it is common to obtain it from a separate, third-party producer.
After completing the process of obtaining base materials, we move on to the next step which is formulating the plastic. This step will be different depending on what plastic substance or other selected natural derivative is to be bonded with the selected base fabrics.
In the case of using PVC, constituents of salt and petroleum are combined. After that, the manufacturers produce chlorine. It is done by exposing salt to electrolysis and combining it with the petroleum derivative that is ethylene. The result is called ethylene dichloride. This product is converted into polyvinyl chloride resin after several chemical processes.
The process of creating PU is different from the process of PVC. To create PU, different additives are involved, which include- polyols, isocyanates, etc. The components react with each other to produce polymers. They are then processed to produce PU. To achieve the flexible final material, the PU is combined with plasticizing additives.
Binding the two components together is a crucial step. In this step, the previously selected base materials and the obtained plastic for the vegan leather are processed to bring in together and get a finished result. The quality of binding will highly reflect on the quality of the vegan leather or the leather. So, this step must be conducted with immense care and attention.
Vegan leather manufacturers bind PVC or PU with the obtained base fabric. The process used for that differs from one manufacturer to the other. Generally, to complete the task of binding these to materials the process that is used is- melting. The selected plastic is melted and then it is overlaid on the base fabric. This creates the desired texture of faux or vegan leather.
The last step in making pleather is preparing, cutting, and shaping the fabric. This step completely depends on the producer’s choice and preferences. There are no selective guidelines to follow in shaping the derived pleather fabric. The only thing to follow in this step is to use leather cutting tools and machinery to shape the fabric. Otherwise, it may be ruined.
Cutting and shaping the fabric is the last step. Wait until the plastic has been bound to the base material or textile completely. In a lot of cases, the prepared vegan leather is sold by measuring the yards in long strips. However, if the manufacturer is making it for use in producing vegan leather goods, they can directly use the prepared pleather.
Vegan leather fabrics can be used to substitute animal-derived leather. It is a direct replacement alternative to genuine leather. So, the areas that it can be applied to are the same as all the ways genuine leather is used.
One of the most common applications of vegan leathers is upholstery or, in the use of furniture. For example- vegan leathers are widely used in chairs, sofas, car seats, different tables, etc. items of day-to-day use. All commonly used items that use leather coverings are the areas where vegan leather can be generally used. It is a great alternative for real leather use.
Another common use of vegan leather is for apparel and accessories. This is one of the largest industries for vegan leathers. Since the beginning of awareness of animal cruelty and vegan lifestyle choices by a large majority of people, many fashion brands, manufacturers, and industries have shifted to using vegan alternatives. It is a widely used area for vegan leathers.
Vegan leathers are now one of the most commonly used fabrics in several different industries. It has quickly gained recognition and approval across different countries around the world. How vegan leathers are made- has been one of the top questions by its users. The procedure ensures that no animal derivatives are used. As a result, there remains no risk for animal cruelty.
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