Faux leather has many uses: furniture, seat covers, bags, belts, and shoes can be made from it. Some qualities are flame-retardant and well suited for public areas. It is also used in medical environments after an antimicrobial finish is added. Generally, imitation leather is easy-care, wear-resistant, and robust. It has a regular, even look and is a lot easier to work with than genuine leather. This makes it an inexpensive alternative. The material consists of a knitted or woven tissue or nonwovens plus a coating. The coating can be made from PVC, PUR (polyurethane) or polyester and creates the feel of the fabric. The fabric base - made from natural or synthetic fibres - affects the elasticity of the artificial leather, which is important when upholstering edges. Knitted fabrics are more stretchable than woven fabrics.
Care instructions for faux leather:
You can clean imitation leather pretty easily with warm water and a light soap solution. Make sure you check that your cleaning agent is safe by trying it out on a hidden spot! Some qualities can be machine washed, please check the care instructions that come with each piece. You can refresh the colours of all faux leathers with specially coloured creams. Attention: faux leather in lighter colours is very sensitive towards darker clothing (e.g. jeans) and rather resistant to cleaning agents. Contact should therefore be avoided.
How to work with faux leather:
When working with artificial leather you should beware: stitches are irreversible! If you want to fasten the fabric with needles, make sure it's in hidden spots like the seam allowance. When sewing, it is important to keep the front of the fabric from touching the feed dog, as this damages the surface. If contact cannot be prevented, our advice is to put a little masking tape on the feed dog. This will protect your artificial leather but also prevent the material from being fed into the machine. You will have to push the material manually. Don't be afraid: it works well with a little practice. If you don't want to sew, you can always glue, staple, or nail. Make sure you do not fold the material while storing it as the creases will be permanent. Also keep the fabric away from sharp or pointy objects. For the seam, use a high-quality polyester thread (all-purpose-thread) with a needle size of 70. The optimal stitch length is about 3 to 4 mm. Seam allowance is usually set to 1.5 to 2 cm.