What is the difference between PU leather and real leather?


If you are in the market for new leather wallet, you might have realized by now that you can no longer just approach the counter and ask for a wallet.

There are a number of different kinds of wallets for different purposes.

Even the material they are made can be confusing.

If you’ve been doing some window shopping on Amazon or eBay, you might have encountered the terms PU and genuine leather. Last time you checked, there was only one kind of leather, so what gives?


Product of Demand

Leather wallets are a necessity for modern man.

No longer is it just a symbol for the rich and famous gentlemen of society but even the everyday jack needs one.

In the past, people who weren’t too particular with wallets did not care much about what it is made out of as long as it serves it purpose. As time passed, more and more people switched to wallets from coin purses and putting their money in their pockets. Due to this rising demand, wallet makers needed to find a way to create quality wallets in record time without making it cost a fortune.

The result are wallets that look like they are made out of leather but aren’t.

See, leather wallets are nice to look at but making them is not easy.

First, you have to skin an animal and then cure and cut the leather to specific sizes then lastly stitch them together to form a wallet. Just imagine how many cows, lambs, deer, fish, goats, and ostriches are killed just to make wallets for everybody. Plus, not everybody is particular with the make of their wallets so leather wallets still are a thing for the brand conscious. For these reasons, PU leather was created.

So what is PU Leather?

Well, PU leather is simply artificial leather.

It was created to look and feel like leather but without having to use real animal skin.

It is safe to say that when you see a wallet that says it’s made with PU leather, it’s not authentic leather. There are a number of ways to make PU leather but the most common one is to use split leather and combine it with polyurethane then paste it on to a surface. Although PU leather is different from genuine leather, there are still a number of similarities with the real thing. After all, PU leather was created to fool your sense of sight and touch. That’s why a lot of people who aren’t connoisseurs can get confused in telling the two apart.


Difference Between PU Leather and Genuine Leather

The first red flag you should be wary of would be the price.

PU leather wallets are usually at the lower end of the price spectrum.

This is because PU leather is easily manufactured compared to genuine leather. While PU leather looks genuine enough at times on the surface, careful examination of the back side can make you see how the “leather” part is just glued on.

Lastly, check the surface of the item. Genuine leather may not be 100% smooth because animal skin has natural grains and imperfections. PU leather, on the other hand, are smooth to the touch because they are manufactured that way. You can also check the leather for pores as natural and genuine leather come from real animals so the pores will be present compared to PU leather.

Here is our infographic on: 5 ways to Distinguish PU leather and real leather


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What is the difference between PU leather and real leather?
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One thought on “What is the difference between PU leather and real leather?

  1. “Let the Buyer Beware!”
    Sellers should be honest about what they’re selling in their advertising and online listings. Too often they are not or try to avoid coming out and calling it what it really is. Not caring if the buyer is fooled into buying their product as long as they get paid before the buyer finds out. Chances are once a buyer finds out they’ve been ripped off they won’t do anything about it. Which is what these unscrupulous sellers are hoping for. So they can just wait for the next sucker to come along.
    Many buyers and sellers do not know what PU Leather is and ignore the PU part entirely, to just assume if it has the word “Leather” in it that it must be leather.

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