PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer used for making furniture or shoes.

PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer used for making furniture or shoes. 100% PU leather is completely artificial and is considered vegan. There are some types of PU leather called bicast leather that have actual leather but has a polyurethane coating on top. This type of PU leather takes the fibrous part of cowhide that are leftover from making genuine leather and put a layer of polyurethane on top of it.

PU leather also goes by a few names. Whether you are looking for artificial leather or looking to avoid it, it is best to know the many names that make up artificial leather. When looking at tags, artificial leather can be called:

  1. PU Leatherpoly
  2. Bicast Leather
  3. Split Leather
  4. Bonded Leather
  5. Reconstituted Leather
  6. Corrected Grain Leather


The main difference you will find is the cost. PU leather will generally be cheaper than genuine leather because it is easier to produce.
PU leather will have a distinct smell to it. PU will have a plastic or chemical smell to it that genuine leather will not have.
Doing a water test is also an easy way to determine if it is real or fake leather. Although it wouldn’t be advised to do a water test to a product you don’t own, genuine leather will absorb the water. PU leather will not absorb the water.


  • Appearance: Since they look just like genuine leather, PU leather bags are fashionable and go great with casual or formal outfits.
  • Less expensive: Thanks to lower production costs, bags made of PU leather are less expensive than genuine leather.
  • Waterproof: You can bring PU leather bags outside in the rain without worrying about it ruining your bag.
  • Cruelty-free: Pure synthetic PU leather is free from animal products.
  • Easy cleaning: Cleaning a PU leather bag is simple – just use soap and water. No special solutions are necessary.
  • Sustainable production: Compared to genuine leather, PU leather is produced in a more sustainable fashion. This is because it does not require use of livestock, which is one of the major sources of global pollution and deforestation.


If you properly store and clean your bag, you’re already doing a lot to maintain it. But there are more simple ways you can keep your bag working well and looking good.

  • Avoid moisture. Even though PU leather is fairly water-resistant, it’s better to avoid water as much as possible. If it’s raining, it’s better to bring a different bag along. Humidity can also be damaging, so try to avoid prolonged exposure.
  • Keep it out of the light. Don’t bring your PU leather bag if you’re going to be out in the sun for hours. Also be aware of light shining through windows. It’s easy to not notice if your bag is sitting in sunlight inside your car. You can cover your bag with a blanket if sunlight is unavoidable in your car.
  • Be gentle. If your bag is usually stuffed to the brim it will wear down more quickly. Keep from stretching or putting pressure on your bag, and it will maintain shape and usefulness longer.
  • If it is time for you to pack your bag or are moving house, remember to put some waste newspapers or papers inside to build up its original shape.
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