leatherette n : fabric made to look like leather [syn: imitation leather]
Leatherette is a form of artificial leather, usually made by covering a fabric base with plastic. The fabric can be made of a natural or a synthetic fibre which is then covered with a soft PVC layer.
Leatherette bound books and 20th century cameras are good examples of leatherette. Leatherette clothing of various kinds (including lingeries) also exist.
A disadvantage of plastic "leatherette" is that it is not porous and does not allow air to pass through it, thus sweat can accumulate if it is used for clothing, car seat coverings, etc. However, one of its primary advantages, especially in cars, is that it requires little maintenance in comparison to leather and does not crack or fade as easily.
During a fire, leatherette may cause additional serious skin damage because it not only burns more vigorously than leather, but can also melt. This phenomenon was described in the song Warm Leatherette by the Normal, which was popularized by Grace Jones.
Leatherette in German: Kunstleder
Leatherette in Dutch: Kunstleer