Bicast leather is a type of synthetic leather fabric that’s used to make furniture, clothing, bags, and other items. It’s made from split cowhide that has been treated with polyurethane or vinyl coating for increased durability and water resistance. While it looks similar to genuine leather upholstery, its surface tends to be more glossy and it doesn’t patina or age like genuine leather.
While bicast leather is a popular choice for its affordability, it lacks the same quality as genuine leather. Its synthetic nature makes it stiffer than real leather and can begin to crack over time with regular use. With that said, even with proper care, it won’t last nearly as long as genuine leather.
What Is Bicast Leather?
Bicast leather is a type of synthetic leather fabric that looks similar to genuine leather. It’s made from split cowhide and treated with polyurethane or vinyl coating for increased durability and water resistance. It has a glossy finish and does not patina or age like genuine leather, making it a lower-cost alternative for upholstery, bags, clothing, and other items.
As bicast leather is synthetic, it lacks the same quality as genuine leather. It tends to be stiffer than real leather and can crack over time with regular use, making it more prone to damage than genuine leather. However, proper care and maintenance can help extend its lifespan.
How Bicast Leather is Made?
To make bicast leather, a split cowhide is tanned and treated with polyurethane or vinyl coating. The result is a single-layer synthetic piece of leather that’s significantly thinner than full grain leather. This helps keep production costs down while providing the same look and feel as genuine leather.
The polyurethane or vinyl coating used to make bicast leather provides increased resistance to scratches, stains, and other elements that can cause damage. It also helps give the surface a glossy sheen which some people prefer over natural leather patina.
Quality of Bicast Leather
While bicast leather provides a cost-effective alternative to genuine leather, its quality is not as good. It tends to be stiffer and more prone to cracking over time than genuine leather. As it wears down, the surface will become brittle and can break with enough force.
In addition, bicast leather is not as breathable as genuine leather, making it less comfortable to sit on or wear. The synthetic nature of the material also prevents it from developing a beautiful patina like genuine leather, limiting its potential for long-term use.
Appearance of Bicast Leather
Bicast leather has a glossy finish that makes it look similar to genuine leather, but the two can be distinguished upon closer inspection. Genuine leather will have visible pores and texture while bicast leather tends to have a uniform surface with fewer imperfections.
It’s important to keep in mind that bicast leather may not look the same after some time. The synthetic material tends to age faster than genuine leather, making it more prone to cracking and fading with regular use. This can lead to an unsightly appearance that is difficult to repair or restore.
Products Bicast Leather Is Commonly Used For
Bicast leather is commonly used in furniture due to its low cost and resemblance to genuine leather. It’s often used for sofas, chairs, headboards, and other pieces of upholstered furniture.
Clothing & Accessories
Bicast leather is also widely used in clothing and accessories. It can be found in jackets, purses, wallets, and belts. However, it’s important to note that its stiffness and lack of breathability can make it uncomfortable for some wearers.
Bicast leather is also used to make shoes, boots, and other types of footwear. It’s commonly seen in loafers, moccasins, sandals, and other casual styles due to its low cost and durability. However, it may not be as comfortable as genuine leather footwear.
How to Care for Bicast Leather?
When caring for bicast leather, it’s important to take extra precautions to help maintain its quality. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive materials as they can damage the protective coating and cause discoloration.
- Use a soft cloth to gently wipe away dust and dirt on a regular basis.
- Treat the leather with a conditioner every few months to help keep it supple and prevent cracking.
- Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as this can cause discoloration and fading.
- Store the item in a cool, dry place when not in use.
How to clean leather?
What to avoid
When cleaning bicast leather, it’s important to take extra precautions. Avoid using harsh cleaners and detergents as they can damage the protective coating and cause discoloration. Also, avoid abrasive materials such as steel wool or sandpaper as this can scratch the surface of the leather.
Don’t cut corners with the shield
When cleaning leather, you’ll also want to avoid cutting corners with the shield. This refers to the protective coating that is typically applied during the tanning process. When this coating breaks down or is compromised, it can lead to discoloration and other issues.
Using a Cleaning Solution
If necessary, you can use a mild cleaning solution to remove dirt and stains from bicast leather. Look for a product designed specifically for use on leather, such as saddle soap or a specially formulated cleaner. Always test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Cleaning once a week
To help maintain the quality of bicast leather and keep it looking its best, it’s important to clean it regularly. A weekly cleaning with a soft cloth is usually sufficient. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove dust and dirt from hard-to-reach areas.
In addition to using a mild cleaning solution, there are also special cleaners designed specifically for bicast leather. These products typically contain a combination of soaps and oils that help keep the leather supple while protecting it from dirt, grime, and other contaminants.
How to Tell It Apart from Real Leather
Real leather is very supple
One of the key differences between real and bicast leather is the suppleness of the material. Real leather is very soft and will easily conform to your hand when you touch it. Bicast leather, on the other hand, tends to be stiffer and less pliable.
Real leather has visible pores
Real leather also has visible pores while bicast leather tends to have a smoother surface with fewer imperfections. If you look closely, you should be able to see the tiny pores in genuine leather that can’t be seen in bicast.
Another key difference between the two types of leather is the smell. Genuine leather has a distinct, natural odor while bicast tends to have a chemical smell due to its synthetic nature.
Grain looks too perfect
Another way to tell the difference between real and bicast leather is by looking at the grain. Real leather will have a unique, random grain pattern that’s impossible to replicate with synthetic materials. Bicast leather often has a more uniform grain pattern that looks too perfect and can be an indication of its synthetic origin.
Splits and cracks
Finally, real leather is much more durable than bicast and won’t crack or split with regular use. If you notice any splitting or cracking on the surface of your leather item, it’s likely to be bicast leather.
Pros and Cons to Buying Bicast Leather Furniture
- Cost: Bicast leather is much more affordable than genuine leather, making it a great option for those on a budget.
- Durability: Bicast is very durable and can last for years with proper care.
- Easy to clean: Unlike some types of fabrics, bicast leather won’t absorb dirt or spills, making it easier to keep clean.
- Poor breathability: Bicast leather is not as breathable as genuine leather and can get hot when exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures.
- Abrasion resistant: The protective coating on bicast may wear away over time, leading to discoloration and cracking.
- Uncomfortable: Bicast leather can be stiff and uncomfortable to sit on for extended periods of time.
Real Leather vs. Bicast Leather
When it comes to deciding between real leather and bicast, the choice will depend largely on your budget and intended use. Real leather is more expensive but offers better quality, comfort, and breathability. Bicast leather is much less expensive but won’t last as long or be as comfortable. It’s important to weigh all of these factors when making your decision.
Keep in mind, too, that both types of leather require regular cleaning and upkeep to maintain their look. Regular dusting with a soft cloth and occasional conditioning can help keep your leather furniture looking great for years to come. With proper care and maintenance, either type of leather can provide beautiful and long-lasting furniture for any home.
Is bicast leather good?
Bicast leather is a great option for those on a budget who are looking for durable furniture that’s easy to maintain. It won’t be as comfortable or breathable as genuine leather, but it can offer good value for the price.
Is bicast leather the same as faux leather?
No, bicast leather is not the same as faux leather. Faux leather is a synthetic material designed to mimic the look and feel of genuine leather without using any animal products. Bicast leather, on the other hand, is made from real splits of cowhide that are treated with a protective coating.
What is bicast leather made of?
Bicast leather is made from splits of cowhide that have been treated with a polyurethane coating. This coating helps to protect the leather and gives it a unique look and feel.
How long will bicast leather last?
Bicast leather can last for many years if it’s properly cared for. It’s important to clean and condition the leather regularly to help maintain its quality. With regular upkeep, bicast leather can provide long-lasting furniture at a great value.
What is Ikea leather made of?
Ikea leather is made of bicast leather, which is a combination of polyurethane and splits of cowhide. It’s an affordable option that looks and feels like genuine leather but offers greater durability.
Does IKEA use genuine leather?
No, IKEA does not use genuine leather in its products. All of their leather furniture is made from bicast leather, which is a combination of polyurethane and splits of cowhide.
Does IKEA sell real leather?
No, IKEA does not sell real leather furniture. All of their leather products are made from bicast leather, which is a combination of polyurethane and splits of cowhide.
What is most fake leather made of?
Most faux leather is made from polyurethane, a synthetic material designed to mimic the look and feel of genuine leather without using any animal products. It’s often used in upholstery and other items that don’t require the durability of real leather.
Do luxury brands use fake leather?
Many luxury brands use real leather for their products, but some may also use faux leather depending on the item. It’s important to read the product descriptions carefully to make sure you know what type of material is being used.
What are the best types of fake leather?
The best type of faux leather will depend on your needs. For furniture and other items that require more durability, it’s best to choose a high-quality synthetic material such as polyurethane or vinyl. For items that don’t need to be as durable, low-cost materials such as PVC can provide a good alternative. In any case, it’s important to read the product descriptions carefully before making a purchase.
Useful Video: Bonded leather/Bicast leather
Bicast leather is a great option for those on a budget who are looking for durable furniture that’s easy to maintain. It won’t be as comfortable or breathable as genuine leather, but it can offer good value for the price. With regular cleaning and upkeep, bicast leather can provide beautiful and long-lasting furniture for any home. Whether you choose real leather or bicast, it’s important to read the product descriptions carefully before making your purchase. With the right care and maintenance, either type of leather can provide attractive and comfortable furniture for years to come. Happy shopping!