Naugahyde Upholstery - The History and Benefits

Naugahyde Upholstery - The History and Benefits

Naugahyde Upholstery Nauga Doll Blue with Red Mouth

Naugahyde is the ideal upholstery vinyl for almost every upholstery related need.  From boats to headboards to chairs, Naugahyde by Uniroyal has been there. 

If you are here to buy one of the Nauga dolls above, you are in luck, I have a link for you that takes you directly to Uniroyal's in house Nauga hatchery for Baby Naugas

If you didn't come for the history and you are looking to purchase Naugahyde upholstery, please click here.

You finally got around to ordering that piece of furniture you have always wanted. You spent a good chunk of your savings on leather upholstered chairs with a matching dining table. You've heard of Naugahyde upholstery but decide to go with the leather.

Mid-century style is the furniture of your dreams.

You are involved in a blissful state of new ownership with your table and chairs. 

Then it happens. Life happens. Your dog and kids are playing on your beloved chairs and the upholstery rips.

The fibers of a traditional fabric could not withstand this type of abuse. You thought leather would be more substantial. 

You figured this would be strong and durable. That you'd get your money's worth with the quality of leather, now, look what has happened.

You need to find a material that you can rely on. It must live up to the chaotic playground that is your home. You need to rely on something developed for this type of environment.

So now what?

First, you are going to have to get your furniture reupholstered. It would be best if you did some research on human-made furniture materials and their strength.

The History of Naugahyde Upholstery

In 1914, Naugahyde upholstery became established in the United States. First created at a rubber plant in Connecticut, Naugatuck rubber was an unprecedented development. It would be the first synthetic rubber-produced imitation leather. 

The synthetic would be the first in a series of product developments. The Manufacturing techniques used here would become revolutionary—Naugahyde upholstery fabric- known as a world pioneer in high-performance vinyl treated materials. 

The brand became well-known in an early sixties marketing strategy. The advertisement claimed that Naugahyde is from the skin of an animal called a "Nauga." The argument became an urban myth. 

The advertisement stressed that Nagas would lose their skin without damage to themselves, unlike other species that usually suffer for their hide.

Memorable Advertising Makes An Impact

The advertisement stressed that Naugas would naturally lose their skin. Without damage to themselves, unlike other species that usually must go to slaughter.

These remarks, a revolutionary statement for the period as animal rights groups were rare. Using animal rights awareness for marketing was not common in the least. 

Aside from this marketing campaign, the material became used on most household furniture—chairs and dining furniture with a vinyl surface. 

The first uses of Naugahyde upholstery materials began to show up from 1920 to about 1975. The early version of the material is still in use today in many iterations.

Manufactured For Durability

Naugahyde is a composite knit cloth with extended polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic cover. Byron A. Hunter, a senior chemist at the United States Rubber Company, invented the material, which is still prevalent.

It is now manufactured and marketed by Uniroyal Engineered Goods, LLC.

U. S. Rubber was such a significant force when Naughahyde became available. U.S. Rubber ( was one of the twelve firms to first appear in the first Dow Jones Index.

Faux leather material is quite robust and lasts longer than regular fabrics. Naugahyde coated fabrics gain abrasive resistance of between 250,000 and 3,000,000 times. Due to the company's business model for longevity, these materials stand the test of time.

U.S Rubber became Uniroyal in 1961. They are now owned by Michelin, which now has its corporate headquarters in Sarasota, Florida.

You've seen the company's name on tires and other rubber products. Think of the Michelin man, that's right, the marshmallow looking character from Ghostbusters. Naugahyde products have made their way into everyday culture. 

Naugahyde: Beautiful and Strong

Manufacturers provide an extensive range of Naugahyde designed for many modern-day uses: medical offices, furniture upholstery, industrial businesses, leisure cars, and more. The longevity and versatility of this substance have made it unique. Naugahyde and its rivals manufacturing plastic fabrics are prevalent in the modern world.

These materials are much closer to you than you think--Naugahyde furniture is everywhere.

The primary use of Naugahyde is as a leather replacement in furniture and upholstery. It is very durable in this application and easy to keep in repair, and in great shape. To properly maintain the fabric, clean it with a moist sponge or rag.  

The ease of upkeep has made the material popular for busy families, schools, churches. Naugahyde can experience a lot of wear and tear. Even though all the chaos, it will still be beautiful

The latest patterns in textiles show a continuous change in the industry. From fur and leather, the switch to alternative fabrics is beginning. 

Designers are searching for animal-free and environmentally-conscious fabrics. These imitations are referred to as "faux fur" and "vegan leather." Animal-free solutions to the leather industry project to hit $85 billion by 2025.

From fashion designers to carmakers, leading brands are making a move. Tesla, Audi, and BMW are only a few car firms to incorporate animal-free plastic fabrics. Their interiors, manufactured for sustainability.

Cruelty-Free Is The Future

Naugahyde, known as the first cruelty-free fabric, is a sturdy replacement for leather. Naugahyde wrapped materials are available in a wide selection of colors. Vinyl coated fabrics reflect the tactile appearance of leather. 

Naugahyde consists of exciting fibers and textures. Innovations in research and development are happening. It's the look of leather with no detrimental effects on the development of leather. 

The replacement of leather and its production methods is a leap of sustainability. Leather manufacturing is known to cause a variety of effects with its harmful pollution.

Innovations in the design and technology of leather substitutes allow the inclusion of durability. The fabric becomes protected with topcoat finishes. The substances provide extra protection to combat damages, mildew, and pathogenic microorganisms. 

Naugahyde seems to be an incredibly effective fabric alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic. Naugahyde can make disinfection easier. In a time where the concern for public health is excellent, this is very important. 

Naugahyde Chairs In The Making

Naugahyde chairs can get covered in a variety of fabrics. These types of materials can use in essential tension-reliant upholstery methods. This is when a fabric is stretched around the frame of the furniture and attached at the bottom.

When using Naugahyde, the material has less of a chance of ripping or becoming damaged from tension. Regular woven fabric can wear over time from the excessive tension on its natural fibers.

This allows the seat of the chair the remain resilient to wear and tear. Entire chairs can receive upholstering in the material-even sofas.

Naugahyde is so diverse it can be used in various ways to replace many other types of fabric.

Naugahyde for the upholstery portion of a chair. Although, you can wrap it around foam or another filling for a smooth look. Many applications are available for Naugahyde, but seating is the most popular. 

Materials made from Naugahyde remain in use for furniture construction. Wicker is a technique or form, not a material. During its production, small, durable strips of rattan, cane, bamboo, or seagrass—or even synthetic materials, such as Naughydel—are woven into unique designs to make wicker furniture.

It's not just a wrapped, white-painted patio package. Using Naugahyde to make wicker for chairs gives the natural material's appearance but without the hazard of damage to your furniture investment.

Imagine a beach chair you can damage. Very durable wicker is a godsend. Your next vacation can sing the praises of Naugahyde in all its woven glory.

Mid-Century Designs

When you buy antique mid-century modern furniture, you'll be working with Naugahyde upholstery quite a bit. Naugahyde is better than leather; it is sturdy and relatively easy to clean. Manufacturing Nauhahyde in big sheets is the protocol; it also permitted furniture to be wrapped without noticeable seams.

It is almost a guarantee that if you have mid-century furniture, you probably have something wrapped in Naugahyde. You have probably the shiny-slick material is vinyl if you are seen it on chairs. You may be assumed. Naugahyde was leather if you've seen it on a sofa.

It can pass for many other materials. Its chameleon qualities make it particularly useful and innovative.

Mid-century furniture tends to use cutting-edge material from the time of its invention. Naugahyde and chrome are a popular combination. You will see Naugahyde and plexiglass or bicarbonate. 

Think of an Eames chair. (If you love mid-century, you know the one.) Its smooth supple-looking surface has no seams. Its egg-shaped design allows for a lovely place to take a load off.

Sometimes these chairs are suspended from the ceiling. Sometimes, they are on a white pedestal base.

Traditionally chairs designed by Thomas Teams are unusual, but they have become relics from the past of the greatest decade of design. Mid-Century furniture loves Naugahyde. 

We have the polymer in Naugahyde for the continued ability to stand up to the test of time. Thanks to Naugahyde, we can appreciate can be appreciated for many more years to come. Vintage furniture will, thankfully, still be around for a lot longer.

Hospital and Medical Uses 

Naugahyde is most widely used in current situations in the medical field and for office furniture. Think of the material used to cover the medical table you sit on for exams at your doctor's office. Chairs in a medical setting using that smooth, almost vinyl material. You got it; that's Naugahyde.

Maybe the chair you sat in last week to get your blood drawn. Have you ever gotten tattooed and laid on a long massage type table during your appointment? All Naugahyde.

All of it finds a covering in Naugahyde. The material has been used so widely in the medical field because it is so easy to disinfect. 

Naugahyde does not contain absorbent fibers like regular cotton or canvas. These fibers can soak up germs and keep them living on a surface. Patients and clients need a clean, sanitary space to feel comfortable. Disinfection is essential in the time of the pandemic.

Pathogens are a significant area of discussion, and their reduction is vital amid a disease running rampant. Synthetic materials, such as Naugahyde, can reduce The spread of COVID-19.

Suppose medical offices and doctors used an absorbent material such as cotton in their exam rooms. The passing on of pathogens is the last thing anyone wants happening. 

With a smooth manufactured surface, little variation can occur, and rarely will incident happen with cross-contamination.

Green soap or other antibacterial cleaning substances can quickly disinfect smooth surfaces. For medical purposes, few other materials make little sense.

When using manufactured materials, the manufacturer can customize the variation of design. You can apply a topcoat to the furniture to help combat the virus to the fullest extent.

How Will Naugahyde Enrich Your Life?

Naugahyde upholstery can make your everyday objects unstoppable. If you are investing in a piece you love, shouldn't you see that it will stand the test of time?

If you are your family fall in love with a piece of Naugahyde upholstered furniture, an investment in the article should be something you heavily consider. These pieces are rare and can stand the test of time. Think of it as a new member of your household. 

Historically, Naugahyde has made the lives of busy families a much more relaxed and maintained place to live. So why not try Naugahyde furniture. Think of the peaceful, serene environment where you don't have to worry about the impact life has on your furniture. 

If you choose furniture upholstered with Naugahyde the reality of peace and zen could be yours.

Naugahyde Contact Information


1800 2nd Street, Suite 970
Sarasota, Florida 34236
P: (941) 906-8580
F: (941) 906-8582

Manufacturing Plant

501 South Water Street
Stoughton, Wisconsin 53589
P: (800) 873-8800
F: (800) 741-2237

Automotive Sales

34405 West 12 Mile Road, Suite 241
Farmington Hills, Michigan 48331
P: (248) 699-7460
F: (248) 699-7459


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