I have picked on faux leather pants to talk about, but in truth there are so many articles of clothing made of this wide choice of fake leather materials, it is a never ending subject. Suffice it to say that any garment, furniture covering, shoes, luggage, handbag, etc that can be made of leather, can and are also made of faux leather. The word faux comes from the French for fake or false.
These days there are so many types of fabric to substitute for leather, depending on the use it is required for. Not all ‘pleathers’ are the same. Polyurethane is washable, can be dry-cleaned and allows some air to flow through the garment. PVC pleather in contrast does not “breathe” and is difficult to clean. PVC cannot be dry-cleaned because the cleaning solvents can make the PVC unbearably stiff.
Apart from the lower cost of leather substitute fabrics, there are several other reasons why these faux leathers are popular, the principle one is obviously the objection to wearing an animal skin. This can be based on the perceived cruelty aspect or purely a dislike of leather.
There are many designers and clothes manufacturers now, who actively search for new fabrics to replace leather, one of those is Patrice Catanzaro who has a very special fabric made exclusively for him. It is made from Elastane or a type of spandex, which is treated and covered in Polyester. It is light, but hangs beautifully like raw silk, and has the appearance of very fine, high quality leather.