The “bicast leather” ottoman you might own. Yup, it’s just plastic.

It’s time for yet another misleading term only found in the world of marketing:

bicast leather (n.)

Bicast leather is to leather what astroturf is to turf, or what white chocolate is to actual chocolate.  It is a horrible aberration that you can legally say is leather, even though it is really just plastic with a backing of paper-thin waste material that happened to once come from a cow.

Thanks for the loophole, US government!

You’ll see a lot of “leather” furniture for sale at Target, Pier One, and even Crate & Barrel that is made of this so-called bicast leather.  Sadly, though, the material is not leather at all: it’s just a micrometer-thin layer of split leather that’s been covered over with a thick polyurethane coating.  In fact, in the UK and New Zealand, you’re not even allowed to call it leather, and for good reason: because it’s plastic!   Clever, clever US marketers….

See also: chocolatey coating

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