Many natural raw materials have remained popular over the centuries due to their abundance, availability, and their ability to be shaped and modified to meet our many specific needs. Industrial and technological revolutions have led to not only the production of goods on a larger scale but also to provide alternatives to and substitutes for common natural materials such as wood and leather. Plastics and the combination of plastics with other materials have transformed all aspects of modern society in a number of obvious and beneficial ways.

Faux Leather Bags and Luggage

Faux leather literally means ‘false’ leather, and as the name suggests acts as a substitute for leather in large number of industries and products e.g. fashion and upholstery. Developments of faux leather have led to many types and brands over time for example:

• Poromics: Breathable polyurethane coated fabric / fibrous based materials developed by DuPont.
• Koskin: Artificial leather found in e.g. laptop cases.
• Leatherette: A fabric base coated in PVC used in e.g. book binding and clothing.
• Pleather: PVC or Polyurethane coated synthetic material.
• Naughahyde: A brand of Pleather.

Whatever the name, the production of many of these materials often involves a fabric base component which is them coated and treated with plastic / synthetic materials with the intention of making them look, feel, and behave like real leather. Since travel bags, cases and trunks have traditionally been made from or contained leather components, this made them the perfect candidates for large scale substitution with the new synthetic materials.

It is often the case however (no pun intended) that just because something looks and feels right on initial inspection, it will not necessarily do so when exposed to the test of time, frequent use, and the stresses and strains of modern life.

The Benefits and Limitations of Each

Faux Leather

On the plus side, Faux or artificial leather bags are widely available, relatively inexpensive, and can incorporate great flexibility in design and appearance. On the down side, they can be weaker and less durable.


Leather travel bags are also widely available, and particularly when you take the Internet into account. Leather bags also offer great flexibility in design and can incorporate many fashionable and practical features. Unlike faux / artificial leather travel bags, real leather travel bags are extremely strong and durable, they keep their shape, they will not crack and fade and they have an integral element of style and finesse which their synthetic counterparts find it hard to match. Leather travel bags have a distinctive and pleasant feel and smell, and seem to mature in positive way rather than deteriorate. Although they are derived from living things, and therefore can be less ethical in that respect, at the end of its useful life, leather unlike plastic will decompose, so in fact they are an environmentally friendly option in the long term. Most high quality leather travel bags can however last a lifetime for the traveller, and this long term value can offset the higher purchase cost of leather, and the higher opportunity cost of having to purchase several faux / artificial leather travel bags over time.

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