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October 30, 2022 3 min read

by April Quibido

A wife, a mom, and a definite homebody who loves writing about all sorts of interesting things online. She loves fashion, interior design, and other creative pursuits—writing included. She also has entrepreneurial endeavors and, like everyone else, wants to thrive and grow in all aspects of life.


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Maybe you’ve heard of the term ‘bi-cast leather’ when shopping for furniture or handbags before. One thing you should know about this type of leather is that, although it is made from natural leather, it is not actually genuine leather.

So, what is it exactly? Let’s take a deeper look into what bi-cast leather is.

Bi-Cast Leather

Bi-cast leather is a shiny, glossy leather material that is made by combining leather backing and an embossed layer of polyurethane or vinyl. It was originally made to serve as a glossier and more cost-effective alternative to leather in the shoe industry. Since then, it has extended past shoemaking and is used to make furniture, handbags, belts, and some jackets.

How It’s Made

To make bi-cast leather, you need to split authentic leather into different layers. The leather’s top grain should be removed first. For thick leather, the layers must be split up until only a thin bottom layer remains. A layer of vinyl or polyurethane is then used to cover this layer. To complete the process and make it resemble real leather, the combination is embossed.

Appearance

Bi-cast leather that has been manufactured properly can look very similar to authentic leather. The top layer of vinyl can be imprinted to mimic how the top grain of real leather looks.

One distinct quality of bi-cast leather is its polished and glossy appearance. It is almost impossible for authentic leather to achieve the gorgeous sheen that is present in bi-cast leather.

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Bi-Cast Leather vs Other Types of Leather

Compared to genuine leather, bi-cast leather lacks any durability which means it can crack and tear a lot quicker. The only way to repair bi-cast leather is to completely replace the entire vinyl coating.

It also shouldn’t be confused with the other synthetic type of leather called polyurethane or PU leather. This type of leather is made through a purely vegan process, which means that no natural leather hide is used to manufacture it. Instead, it uses a layer synthetic polymer blend that has shell coating applied to resemble real leather.

On the other hand, bonded leather also differs from bi-cast leather in that bonded leather is made from leather scraps connected together. It is then coated with polyurethane and embossed to mimic the look of genuine leather. This is why bonded leather is often called recycled leather.

Pros and Cons of Bi-Cast Leather

The advantages of bi-cast leather include the following:

  • Cheaper than natural leather
  • Has a more unique look compared to real leather
  • A lot more stylish

Of course, bi-cast leather also has its disadvantages which include:

  • Becomes dull after prolonged periods of regular use
  • Can crack easily
  • Scratches on the surface end up deepening over time
Bi-cast leather

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for products that need flexibility and durability, then bi-cast leather is not for you. However, it is still a decent enough leather to purchase, especially when you’re on a budget and are not necessarily looking for furniture or products that last a long time.

What do you think of bi-cast leather? Is it something you’re willing to try out instead of real leather? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and share this with your friends!


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