Vinyl is a type of fabric. It has the texture and look of leather and is sometimes called “faux leather.” Actually, it is made from chlorine and ethylene and is classified as a plastic resin. In fact, vinyl is the abbreviated name of its formal chemical name, "polyvinylchloride" (also called “PVC”). It was invented in 1920 and remains to be one of the most commonly used synthetic fabrics.
Vinyl is very inexpensive (at least, in comparison to leather) and is quite durable. It can be dyed into different colors and cut to make different designs and patterns. It is often used as a cheap upholstery especially for furniture that goes through a lot of wear and tear. For example, it is often used in restaurant chairs or to cover the seats of recreational vehicles. It is also made into siding and flooring.
Vinyl can also be cut into different shapes. In fact, scrapbooking and crafting companies have made vinyl letters which can be used to decorate albums or to accentuate a room. Usually, the letters have a sticky backing making them easy to attach to paper or walls.
Vinyl is sometimes used to make jackets though it is not a breathable fabric. It is, however, ideal for making belts and bags. It doesn’t last as long as leather, though, and can crack or peel off after some wear and tear. It is also used to make doll clothing.
Vinyl was also used to make vinyl records, though these have fallen into disuse after the invention of compact discs.