The Differences between Faux Leather and Real Leather

If you're looking for your next brand-new leather accessory, clothing item or furniture, we're sure you've noticed the range of leathers you can choose from. It can be tricky at first to notice what type of leather you're looking at first but we've put together a helpful guide to help you see the differences plus the pros and cons between faux and real leather. 

What's the main difference?

The main difference between real and faux leather is what it's made from. Real leather is made from animal hides, mainly cows. Faux leather is plastic-based, known as PU leather or polyurethane leather and is then treated with dyes and wax to create a leather-like texture. 

Yellow and orange strips of leather on a brown surface

Real leather


Full-grain leather is made from natural animal hide and is a truly unique material as no two pieces of leather will ever be the same. There are stretches, marks and pores that will make your leather goods beautifully unique. However, real leather has limited colour options and you won't be able to get brightly coloured real leather goods. 

Leather also has a distinct natural smell that some people love. 


Real leather will always be the most expensive as it's difficult to use and manufacture. It can take time to cure and treat the leather so it's useable in the first place. 


The main advantage of real leather is its durability. Leather can last decades if it's looked after well. Even aged, leather has a distinct look to it with a patina texture to it. Leather won't crack and peel either. 

However, leather can be more difficult to clean as it can easily absorb liquids and is susceptible to staining. Looking after your leather goods can be a chore but can last years if you look after them well. 


Real leather is not suitable for vegans and the like due to it being made from animal hides, mainly cows. It can turn people off who want to live a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle. However, leather is a natural material and lasts much longer, can be repaired easily and can technically decompose, depending on the process and how it was cured. 

Faux Leather


In comparison to real leather, faux leather is very uniform and even though it's created to look like real leather, all the textures are synthetically created. On the bright side, faux leather makes it possible to print a range of colourful designs which makes it perfect for those who are more fashion-forward. 


Faux leather will always be cheaper than real leather. It can be mass-produced and more cost-effective as it's cheaper to make and produce. 


Faux leather is not going to be as durable as real leather but that doesn't mean it isn't durable. It's resistant to stains and will not fade as usually from UV lights. 

Faux leather is very easy to clean as it doesn't absorb liquids and most stains can easily be washed with warm water and a cloth. 


If you're looking from a vegan perspective, PU or faux leather is 100% vegan and doesn't contain any animal products. Some leathers can sometimes be made from endangered animals such as crocodiles. However, faux leather is made from plastic and will take years to biodegrade. 

wavy shapes and big polka dot wallet phone case in light pink, yellow and black lying on a table

In the end, it's down to personal preference if you want to use faux or real leather. Our faux leather wallet phone cases are perfect for those who want to add more practicality to their phone case while still staying stylish. Being made of faux leather, we're able to print our unique, colourful and bright designs onto them. 

Designed in London, each features our signature Harper & Blake style and one-off creations, including animal print phone cases, abstract art and more.

Shop our wallet cases here for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.