Leather comes from cowhide and is very durable and long-lasting. It also costs a lot more. Leatherette is a form of artificial leather, made by covering a fabric base with plastic. Artificial leather is a fabric intended to substitute for leather where a leather-like finish is required but the actual material is cost-prohibitive, unsuitable, or unusable for ethical reasons.


The difference between leather and leatherette is that they come from different sources. Leather is a source of animal hide that is used for leather. Leatherette is a source of vinyl or plastic coated fabric.

The leatherette that we use is indeed high quality. It’s not just “cheap vinyl” that you may be used to seeing. However, many people feel that nothing compares to the feel and even smell of real cowhide.

A disadvantage of leatherette is that it is not porous and does not allow air to pass through it; thus, sweat can accumulate if it is used for clothing. One of its primary advantages is that it requires little maintenance in comparison to leather, and does not crack or fade as easily.

Leatherette PROS:

  • Won't crack or fade
  • Washable
  • Not bothered by rain
  • Holds up in the hot sun

Leatherette CONS:

  • Gets hot
  • Sweats 

Leather PROS:

  • Breathes. Your body heat and moisture are free to pass through the material
  • Stretches in all directions. Unlike vinyl that retains a bias in that it stretches differently in different directions, leather has a 360° give

Leather CONS:

  • Leather does require more care. It should be kept clean and oil-free. 
  • Leather should be kept dry.
  • Leather should be kept cool. Do not leave it in a car window in the hot sun.
  • Imperfections. Please remember that leather used to be a cow. Cows get scratches, cows get scars, and cows get wrinkles just like us. These are not considered flaws unless they are determined to weaken the leather.