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What is the history and origin of faux leather?

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Many researchers believe the Chinese around the 14th century invented parasol-resistant fabric that had similar properties to that of synthetic leather. After which over the years many attempts were done to invent petroleum-based plastic fabric which was more durable and functional.
One of the earlier forms of synthetic leather was called Presstoff, which was manufactured using paper pulp. During the period of the second world war in Germany, the supply of Genuine leather was limited, so to satisfy the need for leather, synthetic leather was invented. However, the popularity of Presstoff was limited within Germany and people started to prefer other leather alternatives. The main reason for its deterioration was that it was not able to survive continuous abrasion and moisture.

After a lot of research, the U.S. Rubber Company which was founded in 1892 invented Naugahyde in 1920. After the invention of Naugahyde, synthetic leather gained its popularity in the international market. Naugahyde was used originally to manufacture handbags and remained popular in the market as an alternative to genuine leather for many years especially throughout the 1930s and in the 1940s.

After the 1950s many companies tried to manufacture synthetic leather until the 20th century when people got to realize the negative and harmful impact of synthetic leather. As awareness increased, many companies started to experiment with other non-biodegradable and environment-friendly alternatives for synthetic leather. Many companies came up with vegan leather but still, they are not able to make a significant change in the market of synthetic leather.

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