One of the most versatile materials, it covers everything from car seating to hospitality banquettes. Made from plastic with a clear topcoat sealing the plasticizers, vinyl is waterproof and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
With proper care vinyl can retain its appearance and resiliency for years – sometimes up to twenty years – depending on the quality of the material. However if the vinyl is of lesser quality, it can start to stiffen, crack, and deteriorate in heavy use areas. This is why it is so important that you ask the manufacturer of the vinyl what the warranty on the product is, and steer clear of a product that has a short warranty. Ranges such as Warwick’s Lustrell Charisma has a warranty of three years and has been tried and tested in the market.
So why do some vinyl’s crack and split? When the clear topcoat wears away, that’s when the cracks start to appear. Unlike leather, torn vinyl creates sharp edges and curls upward. These can be fixed DIY-style by using a liquid vinyl repair kit or turning your chair into an upholsterer to mend. However even the most skilful repairs often result in a slightly elevated mound so it is often a more viable solution to reupholster your seating rather than repair torn vinyl.
In conclusion, vinyl can split and crack over time. However more commercial grade vinyl’s are of a much higher quality than those of old and it does last longer than you’d expect. It’s many benefits surely outweigh its risks.