[Q&A] Features and comparison of PU leather (polyurethane resin).
Please tell me about the PU leather mentioned in the description of Uluwatu Tiger.
Having actually visited over 3,000 fabric stores across the country and researched fabrics, I would like to introduce the advantages and disadvantages of PU leather.
PU in PU leather stands for polyurethane. This technology was first put into practical use in the 1930s by the German company IG Farben, which handles dyes, inorganic chemical products, nitrogen, and photographic products , and has a history of 90 years. PVC leather is a similar material and may be mixed together, but they are completely different materials due to their properties.
PU leather is characterized by its supple strength and skin-like texture, making it the highest grade of leather materials similar to natural leather such as PVC. It is breathable and highly water-repellent, making it suitable for bags and sofas as it matches Japan's four-season climate, just like Germany .
・Maintenance-free material with high water repellency and stain resistance
・Easy-to-handle fabric suitable for Japan, which has four seasons ・30% to 50% lighter than genuine leather ・Often higher quality than cheaper genuine leather at the same price ・Vegan leather that is not animal-based
- It has the property of repelling water, but if used in an extremely humid place, it may cause a chemical reaction with moisture and cause hydrolysis.
- PU leather has a wider price range than genuine leather, and the cheaper ones are inferior to leather.
・It cannot be used for a lifetime like genuine leather.
・There is no aging like genuine leather.
Yokohama is the birthplace of omnibuses, and there is a street called Bashamichi.
This road, located near Sakuragicho in Kannai, began with the opening of the port at the end of the Edo period, and the road that was built to allow horse-drawn carriages to pass through in the 3rd year of the Keio era was the beginning of today's ``Bashamichi.'' In this era, the seats for the servants who drove the horses in carriages were typically made of cloth. In other words, its original roots lie in the fact that cloth was more expensive at the time.
However, as the performance of fibers has improved, cloth has become a substitute that can achieve both functionality and price. On the other hand, the rarity and unique texture of genuine leather came to be prized, and a reversal occurred in which the use of genuine leather became a sign of luxury.
However, since genuine leather is a natural material, if you don't take care of it as carefully as you would a horse-drawn carriage, the texture may harden, crack, etc., resulting in disastrous results. In order to maintain the texture of genuine leather, which is a natural material, it has become a product that requires a certain amount of knowledge and maintenance time from the user himself.
Recently, the number of car models using PU leather has increased even in the domestic luxury car industry, which is an industry other than bags. Nissan Cima's seats are a mix of PU leather and jacquard fabric called Neo Sofeel.
The idea that PU leather is more suitable for the interior of luxury cars has been around for a long time. However, as a user's psychology, I think people tend to think that PU leather is cheap. It was thought that.
However, in recent years, materials have been improved and even beautiful high-quality materials that are hard to tell are genuine leather have appeared.
PU leather is also referred to as synthetic leather, and many people have the impression that it is cheap and fragile, but it is a durable fabric that is often used in domestic luxury cars and branded bags.
In order to use PU leather as fabric for bags, it is necessary to purchase premium fabrics with the same budget as leather, and to strictly control the humidity in the warehouse where pre-sale products are stored.
At Uluwatu Tiger's storage facility, we have installed five commercial dehumidifiers based on humidity management knowledge gained through our own research. This allows us to minimize deterioration over time and deliver our products to our customers in the best possible condition.
I don't think there is any other bag company that is so particular about humidity control.
As a side note, Louis Vuitton's monogram fabric, which is famous for its luxury bags, is made from Egyptian cotton material coated with PVC leather. Speaking of PVC leather, it is generally said that it is inferior to PU leather, so considering that Louis Vuitton bags are of high quality, there is actually little debate about whether or not the type of fabric alone is high quality. It doesn't make any sense.
In the end, it is best to choose a bag made of premium fabrics such as PU, PVC, or genuine leather based on the design you want, rather than the type of fabric. Uluwatu Tiger selects premium fabric such as PU leather to make its bags.