Meurice’s Guide To Pleather! Pleather is always in!


Models wearing faux leather

Winters in New York City

Other than wool coats there is one think you are guaranteed to see, A LOT! That is leather and Faux Leather or “Pleather”. Faux leather is fantastic. A favorite from rocker girls, to hipsters, to NYU & FIT fashionistas, pleather is everywhere. Its less expensive than real leather so you dont have to worry if you get a tear or scuff, it looks almost exactly the same, modern faux leather even feels almost indistinguishable from real leather, if your socially conscience you don’t have to wear dead animals and still look chic and sexy, and most important of all, its much easier to clean and care for.

Faux Leather Leggings

Faux Leather Leggings

History Of Faux Leather

Fashionable Girl wearing Faux Leather Jacket

Fashionable Girl Wearing Faux Leather Jacket

Under the name artificial leather, faux leather was originally  designed as an alternative leather substitue for upholstery. Some early faux leathers were made with a web of  “calico” fabric, coated with boiled linseed oil and mixed with pigments. These were then layered, and spread over cotton and pressed with rollers. It then was passed through  various embossing rollers to give it a specific grain.

Types Of Faux leather

faux leather clothing

Poromeric Imitation Leather

Sometimes referred to as poromerics, poromeric imitation leather are a group of synthetic “breathable” leather substitutes made from plastic coating ( usually polyurethane) on a fibrous base layer ( typically polyester). The term “Poromeric” was coined by DuPont . The first Poromeric material was DuPont’s discontinued  Corfam which was introduced in 1963. Corfam’s advantages over natural leather were its durability, high gloss finish and ease of clean. Its disadvantages were its lack of breathability, stiffness and confusion with other faux leathers. Corfam is still used today on many materials after it was sold to a Polish company in 1971.


Koskin is the material that is most widely used on a variety of CD/DVD sleeve cases, and laptop carrying bags.


Faux Leather Jacket

Faux Leather Jacket

Leatherette is a form of artificial leather, usually made by covering a fabric base with plastic. The fabric can be made of a natural or a synthetic fibre which is then covered with a soft PVC layer.

Leatherette is one of the more popular materials for faux leather jackets, faux leather goth and nightclub wear, faux leather leggings, faux leather pants, bags, shoes and much more.

A disadvantage of plastic “leatherette” is that it is not porous and does not allow air to pass through it; thus, sweat can accumulate if it is used for clothing, car seat coverings, etc. One of its primary advantages, especially in cars, is that it requires little maintenance in comparison to leather, and does not crack or fade as easily.

During a fire, leatherette may cause serious skin damage, because it burns more vigorously than leather and can melt

Faux Leather Care

Faux leather is great because it is pretty easy to clean with just water and detergent. I would always test on a small area before you go ahead with the rest of the piece.

1. You can mix up some liquid dish detergent with warm water in a bucket and use a soft bristle brush to scrub your garment and then rinse with cold water. You may want to check if your garment can be machine washed. I would probably stay away from machine washing as it can start to wear on the finish. If your afraid to clean it yourself, you can always call some professionals who can take great care of it for you.

2. Make sure you HANG DRY!!! It is very important to hang dry and not machine dry because faux leather is made of PVC or some other kind of synthetic fabric and will either shrink and distort or melt. You could end up ruining other clothes by getting melted pieces of PVC on them.

3. Even though this material is not real leather, it can definitely crack and distort. I would find some PVC moisturizer and use that in small areas. You are going to want to make sure you keep your “Faux Leather” garments clean and not wash them too often. Over time the finish of the material can start to become brittle and flake right off. I personally have had this happen to shoes I wore only after a month.


  1. Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    i love faux leather! thanks for the “faux leather care” tips!

  2. Mari
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    What can one do if a jacket starts flaking off? I don’t mind the distressed look, but I want to treat it somehow so it doesn’t fully fall apart.

  3. Mari
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Is there anything I can do if a jacket starts flaking off? I don’t mind the distressed look, but I want to treat it somehow so it doesn’t fully fall apart.

  4. Amy
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    What about faux leather with felt checks? it looks like a checker board only part is felt and part is faux leather

  5. Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Hi Amy! The safest way to handle a garment that’s only part faux leather is to use something like painter’s tape to mask off the felt portions before beginning to clean

  6. Gail Murray
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    My pleather jacket got wrinkled in my suitcase. How do I get the wrinkles out?

  7. Linda Screeney
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I have a Michael Kors winter coat that has faux leather sleeves. The tag says dry clean but the cleaners told me they arent responsible if it cracks. The material is polyurethane with viscose as the backing. I can wipe the sleeves per guidance but what about the rest of the jacket?

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