Global Synthetic Leathers Market: Introduction
Synthetic leather, also known as artificial leather or faux leather, looks and feels like real leather which is made from artificial materials such as polyurethanes and polyvinyl chloride. As compared to polyurethanes, PVC leather is not breathable hence commonly used in making clothing and other items. Different types of synthetic leathers such as polyurethane leather and polyvinyl chloride leathers are used in automotive clothing, shoes, interior designs, packaging, medical sector, etc.
The selection of synthetic leather type is dependent on its characteristics such as durability, permeability, comfort, breathability, weight, and insulation. The synthetic leather costs lesser than real or genuine leather, which is made by processing of animal skins mainly goat, sheep, cows, etc. Synthetic leather products are relatively light and can be dyed into any color and textures. It is made on machine and hence has a more consistent color and texture throughout. It is suitable and easy to clean but are not durable as real or genuine leather. Synthetic leather ideally has a life span of around one third of real leather product.
Depending on their end-use, different kinds of synthetic leathers are employed for different applications. For example, polyurethane based leather is softer, more flexible, and breathable, hence it is used for the manufacturing of high-wear products such as clothing (clothing that come into direct contact with skin) and upholstery. Polyvinyl chloride based leather is not as breathable as polyurethane, hence it is used where moisture repelling is necessary such as book bindings or cases for electronic devices.
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Global Synthetic Leathers Market: Dynamics
Synthetic leather is a cost effective alternative for real or genuine leathers used across various end-use industries such as automotive, footwear, building & construction, general clothing and packaging. Upsurge in demand for different end-use products and strict government regulations regarding animal survival are the crucial factors boosting the demand for synthetic leathers, which in turn, propel the overall growth of global synthetic leathers market. Also, the superior characteristics of synthetic leathers over real or genuine leathers such as low cost, lightweight, ease of dyeing & washing, and more consistent color & texture throughout, is pumping its growth in the global market. Development of various efficient technologies such as microfiber technology is further adding to the growth of global synthetic leather market.
Cracks may appear on the faux leather, since it is susceptible to UV-B rays as these rays affect the molecular structure of faux leather, which results in cracks on the surface of the leather. This is one of the main restraints of the global synthetic leathers market.
The durability and actual feel of real or genuine leather cannot be achieved with synthetic leather, hence real leather still have significant share in the global leathers market.
Global Synthetic Leathers Market: Segmentation
The global synthetic leathers market can be segmented on the basis of type and end use applications. On the basis of type, global synthetic leathers market can be segmented into polyurethane based synthetic leathers, polyvinylchloride based synthetic leather, and polyester- polyol based synthetic leathers. On the basis of end use applications, global synthetic leathers market can be segmented into automotive leather fabrics, footwear, upholstery & building materials, general clothing, sports equipment, cover & packaging, medical materials, and other leather goods (stationery, toys, etc.).
Global Synthetic Leathers Market: Region-wise Outlook
Asia-Pacific is expected to remain the key region in the global synthetic leathers market throughout the forecast period. Asia-Pacific is expected to witness relatively fast growth owing to the government regulations against the production of genuine leather from living things.
Global Synthetic Leathers Market: Market Participants
Examples of some of the key players involved in the manufacture of synthetic leathers include Phlox Tekstil San. Ve Tic. Inc., BioAmber Inc., Filwel Co. Ltd., NAN YA Plastics Industrial Co., Ltd., Mayur Uniquoters Limited, San Fang Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Kuraray Co. Ltd., The Mitchell Group, Kolon Industries, Inc., among others.