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What is Your Opinion about Polyester Leather?

By Jeff Frank


Found this beautiful sofa at Haynes furniture store for $1999.  I haven’t purchased yet.  Doing research first. It looks like leather. The salesperson stated it is what’s called polyester leather and is very durable and gives really well with your body and you sitting on it and it will not peel that’s my main concern. Please share your opinion about this fabric. 

Nov. 13, 2020


There is a new faux leather technology that combines polyurethane, polyester and sometimes vinyl. The percentage of each ingredient varies widely. I have seen these composite faux leathers with up to 98% polyester and others with as little as 5%.

In general, the more polyester in the material, the less expensive it is. In the past polyester has been occasionally used for faux leathers but the 100% polyester faux leathers were not nearly as similar to real leather as the polyurethanes, vinyls and bonded leathers.

Apparently the new composite faux leathers, even with high percentages of polyester, are acceptably close to looking and feeling like real leather.

It appears that after 10 years of handling thousands of complaints about bonded leathers, the major retailers finally have a material to switch to. Several have replaced bonded leathers with these new composite faux leathers.

At this point the composite faux leathers have only been around for a couple of years, so there is no track record of how durable they will be over an extended time period – but there is a very high chance that they will last far longer than the bonded leathers they are replacing.

The entire purpose behind bonded leather, when it was introduced about ten years ago, was that it bridged the gap between expensive real leather and cheap 100% synthetic faux leather.

At that time the vast majority of furniture shoppers were turned off by the thought of buying “fake leather.” Since bonded leather could be marketed as having “some real leather” in the material, it made the product more palatable to many consumers who were turned off by the thought of buying 100% synthetic faux leathers.

After thousands and thousands of complaints about bonded leathers, a large percentage of furniture shoppers have apparently relaxed their opposition to 100% synthetic faux leather materials.

Recent technological improvements that made faux leathers look and feel more like real leather have also helped.

Office seating and small accessory items (wallets, belts, handbags, etc.) seem to be slower in dropping bonded leather and substituting the new composites.

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