Using Synthetic Leather on Curved Furniture
Synthetic leather is fast becoming the most widely used alternative for genuine leather as material for many products. It is partly because the former has been found to have several advantages besides being more economical. Most consumers are now using pleather (the slang term for synthetic leather) on furniture where once they only use the real thing. Synthetic leather is also easier to sew than genuine ones.
Even the former CEO of Apple, the late Steve Jobs, has a favorite leather chair he uses every time he would launch an Apple product.
Originally called American leather cloth, synthetic leather is a great innovation in looking for a substitute for real leather. Ethical reasons are also one of the reasons why many people most especially animal lovers, are shying away from genuine leather.
But not all uses of synthetic leather is advisable. There is one use for the fabric that you should be aware of. This is in utilizing synthetic leather as upholstery fabric in furniture, most specifically on curved items.
In my experience, it would be very difficult if not impossible to avoid having wrinkles on the synthetic leather being upholstered on curved furniture, a corner sectional sofa for that matter. It is due to the fact that synthetic fabric has some element of plastic and thus has no give. It does not have the property of giving in when you pull it in order for it to fit to the surface you are upholstering.
This problem is not very evident when it comes to straight or flat surface pieces because wrinkles formed on these surfaces can be somewhat persuaded to be pushed in a inconspicuous place with one hand, simultaneously pulling with the other hand.
However, if you still wanted to use synthetic leather on non-flat surface of your furniture I would suggest that you do some variations, for example by making pleats in a form of diamonds along the surface. By doing so, wrinkles will not happen. Wrinkles would only appear on plain surfaces of a curved piece.
Meanwhile, I would like to inform you about an old type of artificial leather that you should know. This leather uses a web of calico, a coarse cloth with a bright print, which is coated with boiled linseed oil. Several different coats of this mixture must be uniformly spread on a cotton surface. This type of synthetic leather will not stand up to the rigorous demands of some furniture items such as a massage chair and its mechanical roller system.
It is important that you understand the different types and properties of synthetic leather before deciding to choose the one furniture you like that is upholstered with the fabric. This gives you the perspective on why certain materials were selected for a given piece, for example, a massage chair which will be in constant pressure due to its vibrating function.
Here is a video on how synthetic leather is made: