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Is the Mixture of 85% Polyester 15% Polyurethane a Good Fabric For a Waylon Reclining Sofa?

By Jeff Frank


Is the mixture of 85% polyester 15% polyurethane a good fabric for a Waylon reclining sofa? After reading your article, I definitely want to stay away from bonded leather. 

Sept. 7, 2020


Over the past year, retailers seem to have finally realized that too many of their customers have heard of the horrendous problems with bonded leathers and are avoiding anything made with that material .

  • The bonded leathers are being replaced by composite polyester/polyurethane and polyester/vinyl/polyurethane blends.

Polyester faux leathers have been around for at least 10 years, but were very rare.

  • The older polyester faux leathers were durable and stain resistant, but were not good mimics of real leather.
  • Recent technological advances seem to have figured out how to use cheap polyester in combination with polyurethane and/or vinyl to produce fabrics that are acceptably close to real leather in look and feel.

85% polyester/15% polyurethane is a very inexpensive faux leather. The ratio of polyester to polyurethane is unusually high for the new composite faux leathers.

  • Typically the more polyester, the lower the cost of the fabric.
  •  However the difference may not be in durability, but in how close to the look and feel of real leather the fabric is achieving.
  • There may not be any problem at all.

Composite polyester/polyurethane blends have only been widely available for about a year.

  • Mills are still experimenting with the best combination of the materials to achieve a balance between cost, durability, look and feel.
  • It is too soon to know how any of these combinations will hold up over the long run.

Early bonded leathers were actually fairly trouble free.

  • The big problems did not begin until price competition made retailers request cheaper and cheaper versions of the bonded leathers.
  • After that, it took a couple of years before problems began to show up in large numbers.

The Waylon reclining sofas are made by Prime Resources International, a giant Asian manufacturer specializing in mass producing furniture at the lowest possible prices.

  • They ship container loads of their furniture to many of the major retailers.

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2 thoughts on “Is the Mixture of 85% Polyester 15% Polyurethane a Good Fabric For a Waylon Reclining Sofa?”

  1. So, based on information you provided about polyester vs polyurethane;How high should the polyurethane be to increase durability.

    • There are many factors that affect faux leather durability.
      I don’t know of anything that indicates whether increasing the polyurethane percentage will have any effect on fabric durability.

      Combining the two fibers into a composite faux leather can result in a fabric that is looks and feels similar to real leather (or bonded leather), but is less expensive than 100% polyurethane (for similar weights.)

      That is a very general statement because there is a very wide range of prices for faux leathers made from polyurethane, polyester, vinyl and other fibers.

      The technology for composite polyester/polyurethane faux leathers is only a few years old. That is not long enough to determine long term durability for any of the dozens of different formulations.

      Ashley Furniture was selling sofas with a composite faux leather that was 98% polyester and 2% polyurethane. I haven’t heard of any problems with this so far.

      There have been no reports of composite faux leathers peeling the way bonded leathers do.


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