Is Faux Leather Waterproof?

If you're in the market for a new bag, jacket, or shoes, you might be considering faux leather as an option. Faux leather is a popular choice because it's more affordable and cruelty-free compared to genuine leather. But, is faux leather waterproof? This is a common question that many people ask before purchasing faux leather products. In this article, we'll explore the properties of faux leather and whether it's waterproof or not.

Understanding Faux Leather

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Before we dive into whether faux leather is waterproof or not, let's first understand what faux leather is. Faux leather, also known as synthetic leather or vegan leather, is a man-made material that imitates the look and feel of real leather. It's typically made from a layer of fabric or paper that's coated with a polymer such as polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The result is a material that looks like real leather, but without the cost or ethical concerns.

Faux Leather vs. Real Leather

One of the main differences between faux leather and real leather is how they react to water. Genuine leather is known for being porous and absorbing water easily. When real leather gets wet, it can stain, discolor, and even develop mold if it's not properly dried. On the other hand, faux leather is non-porous and doesn't absorb water like real leather does.

Is Faux Leather Waterproof?

Now, to answer the main question - is faux leather waterproof? The short answer is no, faux leather is not completely waterproof. While it's true that faux leather doesn't absorb water like real leather, it can still get wet if exposed to moisture for an extended period. The coating on faux leather can start to break down and peel off if it's exposed to water or humidity for too long. Additionally, some faux leather products are not completely sealed, which can make them more vulnerable to water damage.

How to Care for Faux Leather

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Although faux leather is not completely waterproof, there are still ways to protect it from moisture damage. Here are some tips on how to care for your faux leather products:

Avoid Getting your Faux Leather Wet

If possible, avoid exposing your faux leather products to water or humidity. If you do get them wet, wipe them down with a dry cloth as soon as possible and let them air dry in a cool, dry place.

Use a Waterproofing Spray

To provide an extra layer of protection, you can use a waterproofing spray on your faux leather products. Make sure to choose a spray that's specifically designed for faux leather and follow the instructions carefully.

Store your Faux Leather Products Properly

When you're not using your faux leather products, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.


In summary, faux leather is not completely waterproof, but it's still a durable and practical alternative to real leather.Β 

By following proper care and maintenance techniques, you can protect your faux leather products from moisture damage and extend their lifespan.Β 

It's important to keep in mind that faux leather, like any material, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.Β 

Ultimately, the choice between faux leather and real leather comes down to personal preference, budget, and ethical considerations.


Can I wear faux leather in the rain?

While it's not recommended to wear faux leather in heavy rain or for an extended period in wet conditions, it can withstand light rain and drizzle. Just make sure to wipe it down with a dry cloth and let it air dry if it gets wet.

Can I wash faux leather in the washing machine?

Washing faux leather items in the washing machine is possible, but with caution. Always check the care label and type of leather, and judge the item’s condition before washing. Wash them in gentle cycles with cold water and mild detergent, and air dry them.

Does faux leather crack or peel over time?

Faux leather can crack or peel over time, especially if it's exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures. To prevent this, make sure to store your faux leather products properly and avoid exposing them to extreme heat or sunlight.

How long does faux leather last?

The lifespan of faux leather depends on various factors such as the quality of the material, how often it's used, and how well it's maintained. With proper care and maintenance, faux leather products can last for several years.

Is faux leather environmentally friendly?

Faux leather is considered more environmentally friendly compared to genuine leather because it doesn't involve the use of animal hides. However, the manufacturing process of faux leather involves the use of chemicals and petroleum-based products, which can hurt the environment. Some manufacturers are now developing more sustainable and eco-friendly options for faux leather.