Vinyl versus skai | CouleurCouleur

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Vinyl versus skai

 
This weekend I decided to figure out what the difference is between vinyl and skai (= faux leather). Why? I picked up this delicious little Expo 58 chair, and I have no idea what’s that cracked black thing on it.

People like leather. It’s natural, comfortable and a bit of a status symbol. But also expensive! So there are many alternatives that get pretty close to the real deal. In my opinion, skai can be a reasonable substitute for leather, but skai is not!
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?

1 reactie

Liquid error: translation missing: nl.date_formats.short_month • Gepost door TG

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.

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