Backpack Fabrics: PVC Leather Leather vs. PU Leather Leather

Mục lục

In modern fashion and consumer choices, man-made leather materials such as PVC leather and PU leather play an important role in the manufacture of accessories such as backpacks and wallets. Not only do they offer a diverse range of design and functionality options, but they also raise concerns about sustainability and environmental impact. When faced with these choices, understanding the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each is essential to making informed consumer decisions.

Backpack 201_副本

What is PVC leather and PU leather

PVC leather:short for polyvinyl chloride, is a synthetic plastic material with a variety of uses, including the manufacture of bags.Known for its durability, versatility, cost-effectiveness and glossy texture, PVC leather is the world’s third most popular plastic-derived synthetic material.

PVC leather is produced by the polymerization of vinyl chloride monomers (or bondable molecules). The process produces a meaty yet lightweight material that can be easily molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, making it a popular choice for making bags and fashion accessories.

PU leather:short for polyurethane, is a synthetic material made from petrochemicals. It is abrasion-resistant and heat-resistant, making it known as one of the most popular materials.

The main component of PU leather is polyurethane, a polymer compound created through a chemical reaction between Diisocyanates and polyols. This reaction produces a versatile and durable material that can be used in a variety of applications, including the production of PU leather leathers.

PU leather

Advantages of using PVC leather in bag manufacturing

1.Versatility and aesthetics The unique texture of PVC leather offers great design flexibility. Brands and manufacturers using PVC leather can create eye-catching bag designs in a variety of colors, textures and patterns. It can mimic the look of materials such as leather or create a unique transparent look in its natural form.

PVC leather

2.Durability and longevity. pvc leather’s high heat and abrasion resistance makes it a great choice for everyday, travel or heavy duty bags. It can withstand harsh conditions, such as exposure to moisture or extreme temperatures, without compromising quality. These qualities ensure that PVC leather bags maintain their structural integrity and visual appeal for over a decade to come.

3.Affordable. PVC leather is an affordable material compared to leather and other fabrics. Manufacturers use it to create stylish bags without compromising on their visual appeal as well as quality.

4.Waterproof. PVC leather has excellent waterproof properties and is perfect for bags that need to withstand wet environments, such as outdoor bags, travel bags, or rainproof bags. With a PVC leather bag, the wearer can be sure that their belongings remain dry and protected.

5.Easy care: PVC leather is easy to clean and care for, and it comes in handy for lazy people. It takes almost no effort to keep the backpack in tip-top shape; all the wearer needs to do is wipe away stains or dirt with a damp wipe.

The advantages of PU leather in bag manufacturing

PU leather

1.Diversity and plasticity:PU leather texture is similar to genuine leather, according to different processes PU leather leather can imitate the appearance of genuine leather to a certain extent, the manufacturer can make use of its characteristics, to create a variety of colors, styles and designs of bags.

2.Waterproof:PU leather has good waterproof, but the waterproof performance is affected by different processes, some PU leather products will be treated with additional chemicals or coatings to enhance its waterproof.

3.Affordable:PU leather is an affordable fabric for backpacks. The appearance of backpacks made of it can be comparable to that of leather bags, but the price is much lower!

4.Easy to clean: PU leather material is very easy to clean, you just need to wipe it with a damp cloth to restore a clean backpack.

PVC leather manufacturing bag shortcomings

  1. Flexibility:PVC leather is usually flexible, but if it is to make highly flexible and soft bags may not be suitable for the use of PVC leather.
  2. heat sensitivity:PVC leather is sensitive to high heat. Manufacturers, suppliers and consumers should avoid exposing PVC leather bags to extreme heat when storing or transporting them, as this can compromise their structural integrity and cause them to deform in value.
  3. Weight:PVC leather is slightly heavier than other synthetic materials. For travel convenience or other reasons, people who worry about the weight of the backpack to avoid using PVC leather bag
  4. UV resistance:PVC leather is susceptible to UV degradation, especially when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Without proper protection, this material may fade or become brittle over time. Manufacturers can overcome this problem by using UV resistant additives or coatings.
  5. Environmental concerns:As an oh petroleum-based product, PVC leather may have a negative impact on the environment. Although environmentally friendly alternatives to PVC leather exist, the production of traditional PVC leather generates plastic waste and often uses harmful chemical additives. Manufacturers using PVC leather should implement appropriate recycling and waste management measures to mitigate its environmental impacts.

Disadvantages of PU leather for bag manufacturing

  1. Plastic texture. PU leather has a strong plastic texture, and bags made from it will look cheap and low quality. Can’t imitate the glossy feeling of real leather.
  2. Odor irritation. Because PU leather for petrochemical synthetic materials, PU leather leather odor and leather is very different, PU leather leather smells like plastic or chemicals, while the smell of leather is more natural, almost undetectable.
  3. Durability. PU leather leather’s durability is not good, it is easy to be pierced or torn. the service life of PU leather is about 1-2 years, when the PU leather leather aging will appear after the phenomenon of peeling, cracking.
  4. .Air permeability: PU leather leather does not have air holes like leather, it is not permeability. Therefore the pursuit of permeability fabric consumers can give up choosing this fabric.
  5. Environmental problems:one of the main problems of PU leather is its manufacturing process volatile organic compounds, they are released into the air in the form of gases from some products, including some adhesives used to produce PU leather leather and coatings. These chemicals can cause a range of health problems.

Sustainability and environmental impact of PVC leather as well as PU leather.

The environmental impact of artificial leather has been a hot topic of ongoing discussion in the field of sustainability. As plastic-based materials, the production of PVC leather & PU leather is associated with the use of toxic chemicals and their release into the surrounding environment.

Ba lô cuộn

PVC Leather

  1. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) although it is inexpensive, its production and disposal can have significant costs to the environment.
  2. Dioxin emissions: The production of PVC leather releases dioxin, a highly toxic chemical that persists in the environment and accumulates in the food chain. Dioxins have been linked to a range of health problems, including cancer, immune system disorders and reproductive problems.
  3. Harmful additives: Plasticizers such as phthalates are added to enhance the flexibility and texture of PVC leather. These additives have been linked to hormonal disruption and adverse effects on human health.
  4. Persistent Waste:Like polyurethane, PVC is not biodegradable and can accumulate in landfills, exacerbating the plastic waste crisis. Incinerating PVC releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, further polluting the air.

chất liệu da PU

  1. VOC emissions VOCs are a group of chemicals that are released into the air in the form of gases from certain products, including certain adhesives and coatings used in the production of PU leather. These chemicals can cause a range of health problems (headaches, dizziness, and eye, nose, and throat problems).
  2. Heavy metals: for example lead and cadmium. These metals are toxic to humans and animals, and exposure to high concentrations can cause serious health problems, including nerve and kidney damage and cancer.
  3. non-biodegradable. PU leather materials are non-biodegradable, but can be recycled to a certain extent. However, the cost of recycling is high, and not all regions have the infrastructure to recycle PU leather. As a result, many PU leather products end up in landfills, where they can take hundreds of years to finally decompose and cause environmental degradation.

Which is better, artificial leather or genuine leather?

Generally speaking PU leather only lasts 1-2 years, PVC leather will last a little longer, but no matter what after that it will show signs of tearing and skin damage. Genuine leather, however, is different and can last a lifetime or more with proper care.

But in terms of cleaning and maintenance, PU leather and PVC leather are much easier.

In terms of ethical and environmental issues, many people will think that killing animals is unethical and avoid genuine leather, but think about it from another angle, is genuine leather really not environmentally friendly. In the case of cowhide, which is widely used and hard-wearing, leather comes from beef cattle that have been bred. This means that the leather industry is actually a by-product of the livestock and beef industries. Utilizing cowhide, which is not loved by the public, actually reduces waste.

Additionally the leather material is naturally biodegradable, and although it needs to be soaked in some chemicals, it is not nearly as impactful as synthetic leather.

PU leather


When choosing whether to use PVC or PU leather, it is important to consider their advantages and disadvantages as well as their impact on the environment PVC leather is favored for its durability, versatility, and lower cost, and is particularly suited to applications where water resistance and ease of cleaning are required. However, there are negative environmental impacts associated with its manufacture, such as dioxin emissions and persistent waste issues, which need to be treated with caution. In contrast, while PU leather is more simulated and affordable, it also suffers from environmental issues such as VOC emissions and heavy metal releases, and is less durable.

From a sustainability point of view, leather is relatively more environmentally friendly as a biodegradable material and as a by-product of animal husbandry. Although it requires strict management and handling to avoid environmental pollution, under the right conditions leather is still an option with lasting value and texture.

Therefore, the selection of the right leather material should take into account functional needs, durability, cost, and environmental impact. In practical applications, the recovery and recycling of materials should also be promoted to minimize resource wastage and environmental burden.

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