What is Microfiber Leather?

Photo of brown microfiber leather. What is microfiber leather?

If you’ve heard all about microfiber leather but aren’t entirely sure what it is compared to faux leather or authentic leather, you’re in the right spot to know all the essential details on what is microfiber leather!

Microfiber leather is considered modern, high-quality synthetic leather. It’s made from microfiber, non-woven fabric that’s then clearly covered with polyurethane (PU) resin that mimics authentic leather.

Of course, this is synthetic or faux leather, but many leather experts and lovers consider it the most realistic and quality-made form of faux leather. It’s antibacterial, eco-friendly (sorta), lightweight, breathable, and easy to care for.

Read on to know all about this up-and-coming false leather!

Is microfiber leather real leather?

While looks can be deceiving when comparing both side by side (and even touching it), microfiber is considered synthetic leather, not genuine leather. Microfiber is a third-generation synthetic leather, though. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s the most modern, highest-quality artificial leather you can find on the market!

Is microfiber leather eco-friendly?

Did you catch how I said that the eco-friendly attribute is slightly mixed? That’s because this is made from resin (plastic) and synthetic fabric (more on that later). Both of these are created with chemical processing and the use of plastic. There’s no way to create synthetic leather without using some amount of PU. Since that never biodegrades and creates a lot of pollution in the process, microfiber leather’s eco-friendly consideration is very much a mixed bag.

Is microfiber leather vegan?

Microfiber is considered vegan, yes. There are many ***types of vegan leather out there, but microfiber leather is your highest-quality one for its longevity, durability, and the overall impact of looking and even feeling like genuine leather.

What is microfiber leather made of?

I talked about this generally above, but I want to get more detailed about it to help you understand it from its core materials. Microfiber is made from polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene. Woven tightly together, professionals apply the resin coat directly on top of that fabric and then bond together into a soft and breathable faux leather.

What does microfiber leather feel like?

The top coat of the leather will be very similar to genuine leather in its texture and buttery finish. This is why other leather lovers like myself consider it the most realistic form of synthetic leather. 

The undercoat of the leather is where you get the benefits. It’s soft on the skin yet tough regarding flexibility, overall use, and stress. It’s still breathable, so you’ll be able to wear these kinds of leather items and enjoy an even temperature and natural moisture-wicking!

Is microfiber leather good?

I mean, this mainly depends on how you would define good. Generally, it’s a great alternative to authentic leather because it’s the best in the faux leather world. While it’s not authentic leather, it’s the next best thing that will also be an excellent choice for your pocketbook and doesn’t take much effort to care for!

Is microfiber leather durable?

Yes, microfiber leather is very durable! It’s perfect for use in shoes, jackets, luggage, and anything else that gets a lot of wear and tear.

Is microfiber leather waterproof?

Microfiber leather is waterproof, which is one of the huge perks for those that have found traditional leather to be a bit frustrating in outerwear. You’ll have to learn how to dry leather if you ever get your leather items totally saturated!

Is microfiber leather breathable?

Most wearers and users find that microfiber leather is breathable, which is due to the use of a microfiber base! Many lower-quality faux types of leather don’t have this same breathability.

Does microfiber leather stretch?

The natural stretch of microfiber leather is a huge perk for those who want jackets, briefcases, and anything else that often gets worked out as far as fitting in and so on.

What are the differences between microfiber leather and genuine leather?

There are a lot of subtle differences between genuine and microfiber leather when you push aside the actual material to use itself. These areas include:

  • Durability
  • Scratch resistance
  • Waterproofing
  • Longevity
  • Care and maintenance
  • Breathability

Generally, microfiber wins when it comes to all of these categories. Some die-hard authentic leather experts and lovers will tell you that authentic leather has more longevity than microfiber leather, though. After all, microfiber leather bags might be passed down from generation to generation, just like genuine, authentic leather bags! Time will tell…

The other main argument, where genuine and microfiber lovers butt heads, is with the breathability. There’s no clear winner, it’s comparing apples and oranges since the source material of each is so inherently different. 

It’s neat to see that microfiber leather can hold its own against authentic leather in all of these categories since many synthetic leather options can’t even come close to that kind of list.

Pros and cons of microfiber leather

As always, there are exciting pros and relevant cons to consider when deciding which is best for you and your lifestyle. Let’s look closely at them to see how they stack up:

Pros of microfiber leather

  • Durability and longevity
  • Scratch resistance
  • Breathability
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Easy to work with during production
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Considered vegan leather

Cons of microfiber leather

  • Not entirely eco-friendly
  • Can peel after a lot of use
  • Doesn’t have the classic leather smell
  • Flammable
  • Static can cause dirt to cling to it

I chose to put the eco-friendly debate as a con simply because I feel that’s where it belongs. However, this is something that many debate, so you, dear readers, can place it wherever you think it’s the most accurate for our approach to environmentally responsible decisions!

How do you take care of microfiber leather?

I’ve talked a bit about how easy it is to care for microfiber leather, so let’s dive into the actual care process. It’ll be part of your decision, after all, right? The care routine for this will be almost identical to any other inferior faux leather, according to WikiHow

You’ll want to remove the dust and dirt with a vacuum or a clean and dry microfiber cloth. Since fur and dust can get stuck to it more than genuine leather, you’ll find this one of the most important steps! Try this after wearing or using your product 3-4 times. If you want to get into a habit, you can do it every time!

Next, use a damp microfiber cloth to gently clean the leather all around. Use light strokes and scrub a bit on stained or particularly dirty areas. For a bit more scrubbing and odor-removing power, you can also use baking soda and add it to the water or sprinkle it on dry. 

You can also use a baby wipe if you want an “all in one” step that will help you care for your synthetic leather faster and easier. Plus, they smell great and will help give your leather item a bit of a glow-up!

I’ve found that learning about microfiber leather is really fascinating! It’s a high-quality, modern synthetic leather that can match and even outperform genuine leather in many categories.

Microfiber leather is made from polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene and then coated with a PU resin that will so closely imitate genuine leather in its look and feel that it will be hard to distinguish. Its main selling points are that it’s breathable, durable, soft on the skin, and very easy to care for.

If you know someone who’s going to love learning about this prestigious synthetic leather, then share it with them!

Andre from leatherninja.com

Andre is a passionate leatherworker who spends his spare time working with leather. He loves the smell and feel of leather, and he takes great care in selecting the right pieces of leather for his projects. Read more here.