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Owing to the lower costs associated with synthetic leather and rising applications in clothing, footwear, furnishing and automotive industries, the global synthetic leather market is estimated to grow at a significant level during the forecast period (2017-2023). The increasing demand-supply gap and high cost of genuine leather has led to the widespread adoption of synthetic leather. Synthetic leather, also known as faux leather, is a man-made polymeric material produced from PVC or PU. It is treated and dyed for making shoes, clothing, head gear and others.
The global market for synthetic leather has been segmented in terms of type, end-use industry, and region. By type, synthetic market has been categorized into PU-based, PVC- based and bio-based. Polyurethane (PU) leather is waterproof, dry-cleanable, soft, supple and lighter than the actual leather. PU is made from soft polymers and without the addition of plasticizers. PU tears off easily but it is resistant to fading and cracking under sun, and hence, are used to create spandex and to add buoyancy to competitive swimsuits. PU are comparatively more environment-friendly than PVC-based synthetic leather market. The demand for these types of synthetic leather are widely increasing in the Europe and North America regions. Additionally, the growing automotive and fashion industry in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to further spur the demand for global synthetic leather market during the forecast period.
On the basis of end-use industry, the global synthetic leather market is classified as footwear, furnishing, automotive, clothing, bags, purses and wallets. The market is led by the footwear industry due to the growing disposable incomes and rapid change in the human lifestyle. On the basis of region, the global synthetic leather market is categorized into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and South America. Asia-Pacific is expected to lead the global synthetic leather market, in terms of value, followed by Europe. The growth in the Asia-Pacific region is attributed by the rapid growth in clothing, automotive and construction industry.
The major restraint to the growth of global synthetic leather market is the stringent regulations set by the government against the usage of toxic chemicals including PU and PVC that poses health and environmental concerns. This would in turn, result in countries focusing on bio-based routes to shift towards the production of synthetic leather across the globe.
The major companies in this market are KURARAY Co. Ltd., SAN FANG CHEMICAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD., Teijin Limited., Mayur Uniquoters Limited, NAN YA Plastics Industrial Co. Ltd., FILWEL CO., LTD, Zhejiang Hexin Industry Group, Alfatex, H.R. Polycoats Pvt. Ltd., and Yantai Wanhua Synthetic Leather Group Co. Ltd.