Imitation leather

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A flexible fabric or paper imprinted or embossed to simulate the appearance and feel of leather. For inexpensive imitation leathers, a base cloth of a heavy fabric, such as cotton duck or fiber rayon, is coated with a plastic, such as resin vinyl, acetate cellulose acetate, nitrate cellulose nitrate, polyethylene, or chloroprene rubber. Some imitation leathers are made without a fabric lining. One method uses thick, embossed sheets of slightly elastomeric plastic (natural rubber or polyurethane) while a second method uses compressed, pulped leather scraps and a third method uses textile fibers mixed with a polymeric binder. Imitation leathers are used for upholstery, luggage, bookbinding, and automobile seat covers. It is unlawful to use terms that imply a material is leather when it is an imitation. See also Fabrikoid and Naugahyde.

Synonyms and Related Terms

artificial leather; cuir artificiel (Fr.); imitacin de cuero (Esp.); imitacin de piel (Esp.); namaak leer (Ned); leerdoek (Ned.); leatherette; leather cloth; Fabrikoid; Naugahyde;

Additional Information

G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, 10th edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1971.


  • G.S.Brady, G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 203
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Polymer Handbook, Polymer Handbook, Sealants and Adhesives
  • Website address 1, Website address 1 Comment: American Leather Chemists Association Glossary at

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