LEATHER, ARTIFICIAL. Under the name of artificial leather, or of American leather cloth, large quantities of a material having, more or less, a leather-like surface are used, principally for upholstery purposes, such as the covering of chairs, lining the tops of writing desks and tables, etc. There is considerable diversity in the preparation of such materials. A common variety consists of a web of calico coated with boiled linseed oil mixed with dryers and lamp-black or other pigment. Several coats of this mixture are uniformly spread, smoothed and compressed on the cotton surface by passing it between metal rollers, and when the surface is required to possess a glossy enamel-like appearance, it receives a finishing coat of copal varnish. A grained morocco surface is given to the material by passing it between suitably embossed rollers. Preparations of this kind have a close affinity to cloth waterproofed with indiarubber, and to such manufactures as ordinary waxcloth. An artificial leather which has been patented and proposed for use as soles for boots, etc., is composed of powdered scraps and cuttings of leather mixed with solution of guttapercha dried and compressed. In place of the guttapercha solution, oxidized linseed oil or dissolved resin may be used as the binding medium for the leather powder.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)