Here is a summary of key information about Naugahyde:

History and Origin

  • Naugahyde was invented in 1914 at the U.S. Rubber Company plant in Naugatuck, Connecticut. It was the first rubber-based artificial leather ever made.
  • The name “Naugahyde” comes from combining “Naugatuck” (the town where it was invented) and “hide” (to resemble leather). 

Composition and Manufacturing

  • Naugahyde is a composite material made of a knit fabric backing coated with expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • It was originally developed by the chemist Byron A. Hunter at the U.S. Rubber Company (now called Uniroyal Engineered Products LLC).
  • Naugahyde is currently manufactured in Stoughton, Wisconsin after over 50 years of production in Naugatuck. 

Uses and Properties

  • The primary use of Naugahyde is as a durable substitute for leather in upholstery for furniture, automobiles, etc.
  • Key properties are abrasion-resistance, stain-resistance, fire-retardancy, and antimicrobial capability.
  • It is supplied in long rolls allowing large upholstery sections to be covered seamlessly.
  • Naugahyde is also used to make clothing, luggage, handbags, and other consumer goods.

Benefits of using Naugahyde for upholstery


Naugahyde is highly durable as an upholstery material. The sources state that it is “very durable in this application”, the “longest-lasting, most durable option”, and “endlessly durable”. This makes it well-suited for high-wear upholstery uses.

Ease of Maintenance:

Naugahyde upholstery is easy to keep clean, maintain, and repair. It can be cleaned just by wiping it with a damp sponge or rag. This ease of upkeep makes Naugahyde popular in busy settings like households and restaurants.

Attractive Appearance:

Naugahyde has an attractive leather-like appearance that works with many decor styles from classic to modern. It allows large seamless upholstery sections for a smooth look.

Cost Savings:

As a synthetic leather substitute, Naugahyde provides cost savings over real leather in upholstery applications. So it offers leather’s appeal at a more affordable price point.


Key safety benefits include stain resistance, fire retardancy, and antimicrobial properties. This makes Naugahyde suitable for high-traffic commercial spaces.

So in summary, Naugahyde is an American classic artificial leather product invented over 100 years ago and still manufactured in the US today. It was the first of its kind and set the standard for vinyl leather-like fabrics.

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