Switch to fake leather
Since the Middle Ages, we humans have been using animal fur for clothing purposes. In this way they kill animals to get their fur. This practice is opposed by animal lovers and environmentalists as it threatens the extinction of many animal species. Therefore, to overcome this problem, the “fake animal fur” was invented.
It looks and feels exactly like natural leather. It consists of processed and dyed polymer fibers. After the treatment and dyeing process, the fabric is cut to match the texture and color of a particular coat. This fabric is also known as pile fabric. If we try to compare genuine leather with fake animal skin, it is difficult to tell them apart. This is due to the use of modern technology for the production of such fake skins.
History of artificial leather
If we study the history of clothing, we will find that fur was one of the oldest forms of clothing worn by men and women. Human beings have always been fascinated by animal fur, but it has always been an expensive item that was also in short supply. When artificial fur was first introduced, it was made from the hair of a mammal called an alpaca. Although the fur is of low quality compared to furs such as mink and beaver because it provides warmth and is cheap, manufacturers continue to produce it and improve its quality and color. True modern artificial leather was introduced in the late 1950s. This became possible because acrylic polymers were replaced by using alpaca hair.
Special features of acrylic polymer include: light weight compared to other faux leather fabrics and also provides the volume needed to mimic real leather. It was much easier to texture and paint this polymer. Continuous research and innovation has been carried out to give faux fur a more realistic look and feel, as well as making it fire resistant. This is achieved when acrylic polymers are mixed with other polymers. This new breed of fabric developed is called modacrylic. This newly developed fabric is now primarily used for the production of artificial leather.
Faux animal skins are manufactured in such a way that they have the look and warmth of real animal skin. Although it is impossible to match real animal fur exactly, these fake furs have additional advantages over natural fur, as faux furs can be dyed in any color shades, they are more durable and less susceptible to environmental damage. environment. Even some of them can be hand washed. Before the invention of faux leather, only the rich and famous could wear it. But now, as faux furs are cheaper and readily available, more and more people are buying them. Hence protecting the interests of animal activists and environmentalists as well as saving the slaughter of innocent animals for their fur.
Faux leather is made from a variety of materials. Faux leathers are produced using acrylic polymers, modacrylics, or a combination of these polymers in an appropriate ratio. Acrylic polymers are made up of chemical compositions. The chemicals used in the production of acrylic polymers are derived from coal, air, water, limestone and petroleum. When the acrylonitrile monomer undergoes chemical reactions under controlled conditions of elevated heat and pressure, an acrylic polymer is produced. Modacrylic polymers are copolymers. They are produced by a reaction between acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride monomers. The increasing use of modacrylic in the production of fake fur is due to its property of being easily dyed with real-looking animal skin dyes and it is fire resistant.
These chemically produced polymers have many advantages over natural fur. They provide the fluffy look of the garment, lighter and more elastic. They are also resistant to various harmful environmental situations such as heat, smoke and sunlight. They are also very easy to maintain as they can be easily washed or dry cleaned without any problems. In addition, they are not attacked by insects. They have the property of absorbing low moisture and therefore dry quickly.
Other natural materials such as silk, mohair and wool are used to improvise the feel and look of the faux leather garment. In combination with polypropylene, cotton or wool are used to make the base of the fibers. Different types of resins and silicones are used to give shine and smoothness to artificial leather. Then dyes and colorings are added. Designers, in order to give a natural look to artificial leather, use colors similar to those of natural leather.
In order to achieve this natural look of the fur, it is important for the manufacturer to maintain the quality of the artificial fur. To this end, every phase of production must be carefully inspected. Therefore, from the inspection of raw materials to the final finished fibers produced by polymerization reactions, care must be taken to produce high quality synthetic leather. Certain physical and chemical tests are performed on the fibers to ensure they meet the required standards. Some of these tests check pH, density, appearance, and melting point. Absorption, elasticity and durability were also tested.
During the production process, line inspectors check the fiber at various stages to ensure that size, fiber strength, appearance and sewing quality are appropriate. In addition to the manufacturer’s own standards, industry and government have also set quality parameters. The government has also set some standards which are known as L-22 to test the fabric properties like pilling, shrinkage and wear.
Constant experiments are being made to produce artificial skins that are more durable and most closely resemble natural animal skin. Therefore, the focus is on developing new fibers with better processing and lower production costs. The beginning of the twentieth century marked the revolution in the production of artificial leather. A more specialized and efficient production method is being developed.
Special animal simulation techniques have recently been developed. One of these techniques involves simulating long and short hair sections of mink or river otter fur by mixing shrinkable and non-shrinkable fibers. To get the feel of beaver fur, some fine and coarse fibers are mixed together. Because these artificial leathers are made up of synthetic fibers and have a similar texture, color, appearance and better insulation than real leather. Faux fur is PETA approved.
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