Naugahyde is an American brand of artificial leather (or "pleather" from plastic leather). Naugahyde is a composite of a knit fabric backing and expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic coating. It was developed by Byron A. Hunter, senior chemist at the United States Rubber Company, and is now manufactured and sold by Uniroyal Engineered Products, LLC, a privately held company.
The primary use for Naugahyde is as a substitute for leather in upholstery. In this application it is very durable and can be easily maintained by wiping with a damp sponge or cloth. Being a synthetic product, it is supplied in long rolls, allowing large sections of furniture to be covered seamlessly, unlike animal hides.
A marketing campaign of the 1960s and 1970s asserted humorously that Naugahyde was obtained from the skin of an animal called a "Nauga". The claim became an urban myth. The campaign emphasized that, unlike other animals, which must typically be slaughtered to obtain their hides, Naugas can shed their skin without harm to themselves. The Nauga doll, a squat, horned monster with a wide toothy grin, became popular in the 1960s and is still sold today.
In popular culture
- Naugahyde is referenced in the 1991 song "Mr Bad Example" by Warren Zevon, in which his anti-hero stole his victims' furniture and "auctioned off every last naugahyde divan", and in The Monkees' song "Randy Scouse Git".
- Gnawgahyde, a G.I. Joe character
- Trademark Electronic Search System, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- "Naugahyde Corporate Information". Retrieved 2011-06-22.
- Mikkelson, Barbara (2007-02-18). "Naugahyde and Seek". Snopes.com. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- "A Nauga Story". Uniroyal. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Nauga dolls, Uniroyal website.