This is why:
Vinyl is plastic. From what I found on the internet it’s 100% plastic. The most common use for it is flooring, but think also about medical gloves and catheters. Not a sexy product.
PRO - bacteria resistant and easy to clean
PRO - cheap
CON - doesn’t breath
CON - it’s basically plastic. And it feels like plastic.
Skai (this is actually a brand name turned into a generic name) or faux leather:
To imitate the leather, textile is printed with a plastic. In this plastic, they print a structure or design, often making it look like leather.
PRO - becomes softer with aging
PRO - sometimes it can be really difficult to see the difference with leather
PRO - no cows were killed (and I say this eating a delicious roastbeef sandwich)
CON - more expensive then vinyl
Conclusion: when the boyfriend ripped it apart, the bottom of the black cracked thing was soft like fabric. So it’s skai, not vinyl. I think. What do you think?
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That’s right … I’ve read the answer just before mine, and I confirm that : vinyl fake-leather = Skaï . It’s just the same thing. Actually, during the 1960s, a German company started to make fake leather based on vinyl, the brand was “Skaï” (it still exists, besides !), but with time, it eventually became a generic/common name (just like the brand “Klaxon” became : klaxon for = car’s horn; in some countries …).
Mercedes-Benz was among the first car companies to use Skaï for its car seats, instead of leather, – even on some of it’s “prestigious” models (like the “Pagode”, for instance); and few people noticed the difference. The advantages are that it’s more durable in time and almost indestructible. So yeah : vinyl fake-leather IS = skaï
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You did a good job investigating, but perhaps not necessary. Skai is a trademark (ok, genericisised trademark) of plastic leather substitute. Skai was (na d perhaps still is), mainly based on vinyl.
It’s usually calle “vinyl” (after its main ingredient, PVC, or polivinyl chloride) because PVC is used in the manufacturing proces. You described it. Instead of PVC, PU (polyurethane) is used, which is more leather-like subsitute.
The fact wheher it softens with age or not, depends on the way PVC is processed (softened), as I found PVC based “skai” often hardening with age.
Of course vinyl can be made into practically anything: pipes, sheets, tiles, Rolls and used for a variety of purposes: bookbinding, tablet covers, plstic items, anything.
Skai was conceived as a cheap substitute for leather which was getting more and more expensive and (biggest problem) hard to get. While all people wanted to get new sofast every now and then and the chemical industry was looking for new use for PVC they started making.