Difference Wiki

Fabric vs. Leather: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 4, 2024
Fabric is a textile material made from fibers or threads, while leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal hides.

Key Differences

Fabric is made from natural or synthetic fibers woven or knitted together, such as cotton, silk, or polyester. Leather, on the other hand, is made from animal hides, primarily cattle, which undergoes a tanning process to become durable and flexible.
Fabrics vary in durability based on their material and weave, with some being delicate and others robust. Leather is generally more durable, resistant to wear and tear, and ages well, developing a patina over time.
Fabric care depends on the material, with some requiring special cleaning methods like dry cleaning. Leather requires regular conditioning to maintain its suppleness and prevent cracking.
Fabrics offer a wide range of comfort levels and can be lightweight or heavy, stretchy or rigid, making them versatile for various uses. Leather, while less versatile in terms of texture, adapts to body shape over time and provides a unique comfort and fit.
The production of fabric can vary in environmental impact, with natural fibers generally being more eco-friendly than synthetics. Leather production involves animal products and chemicals in tanning, raising ethical and environmental concerns.

Comparison Chart

Source Material

Made from natural or synthetic fibers.
Made from animal hides.


Varies widely; some are delicate, others robust.
Generally more durable and ages well.


Care varies; some require special cleaning.
Requires conditioning to prevent cracking.

Comfort and Adaptability

Wide range of comfort, versatile in use.
Adapts to shape over time, unique comfort.

Environmental Impact

Varies; natural fibers often more eco-friendly.
Involves animal products and chemicals.

Fabric and Leather Definitions


A building material, like bricks or wood.
The old mill's fabric was primarily composed of stone and timber.


A durable and flexible material made from animal hides.
The leather jacket was both stylish and warm.


A cloth material made by weaving or knitting fibers.
The dress was made from a soft, silky fabric.


A covering material for furniture.
The luxurious sofa was upholstered in fine Italian leather.


The makeup or structure of the cosmos.
Scientists study the fabric of the universe to understand its origins.


Material used in making sports gear.
The baseball glove was crafted from high-quality leather.


The underlying structure or framework of something.
The fabric of society is held together by its laws and norms.


Symbolizing toughness or resilience.
His leather-like determination helped him overcome obstacles.


Referring to the texture or quality of something abstract.
The novel weaves a complex fabric of intrigue and mystery.


A material used in clothing and accessories.
Her leather boots were perfect for the rugged hike.


A cloth produced especially by knitting, weaving, or felting fibers.


The dressed or tanned hide of an animal.


The texture or quality of such cloth.


Any of various articles or parts made of dressed or tanned hide, such as a boot or strap.


Is leather water-resistant?

Leather is naturally water-resistant to some extent but can be damaged by excessive moisture.

Can fabric be waterproof?

Some fabrics are waterproof, especially synthetics treated with waterproofing agents.

Are fabrics eco-friendly?

The eco-friendliness of fabric depends on the material; natural fibers are generally more eco-friendly than synthetics.

How do you care for leather?

Leather should be regularly conditioned and kept away from excessive moisture and heat.

Can fabric be recycled?

Some fabrics, especially those made from natural fibers, can be recycled.

How do you clean fabric?

Cleaning methods for fabric vary depending on the material, from machine washing to dry cleaning.

What is fabric made of?

Fabric is made of natural or synthetic fibers woven or knitted together.

How is leather produced?

Leather is produced by tanning animal hides, primarily from cattle.

What are common uses of fabric?

Fabric is commonly used in clothing, upholstery, and various household items.

How long does leather last?

Leather can last for decades if properly maintained.

Are fabric and leather sustainable?

The sustainability of both fabric and leather depends on their production methods and materials used.

Is leather biodegradable?

Leather is biodegradable but takes a long time to decompose due to the tanning process.

Is fabric breathable?

Many fabrics, particularly natural fibers like cotton, are breathable.

Does leather stretch over time?

Leather can stretch and mold to shapes over time, adding to its comfort.

Can fabric be allergic?

Some people may have allergies to certain fabric materials, like wool or synthetic fibers.

Can leather be dyed?

Leather can be dyed, and it's often colored during the tanning process.

What are common uses of leather?

Leather is used in footwear, furniture, clothing, and accessories.

Are there vegan alternatives to leather?

Yes, there are vegan alternatives like faux leather made from synthetic materials.

Does leather require special care in humid climates?

Yes, leather requires extra care in humid climates to prevent mold and damage.

Is fabric suitable for outdoor use?

Certain fabrics, especially those treated for outdoor use, are suitable for outdoor environments.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons