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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 United States Rubber Company, and is now manufactured and sold by Uniroyal Engineered Products, LLC, a privately held company. Its name, first used as a trademark in 1936,[1] comes from the Borough of Naugatuck, Connecticut, where it was first produced. It is now manufactured in Stoughton, Wisconsin.[2]

Advertising campaign showing the fictional Nauga character. Note that the Nauga's skin is made of vinyl.

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.[3] 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.[4] The Nauga doll, a squat, horned monster with a wide toothy grin, became popular in the 1960s and is still sold today.[5]


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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trademark Electronic Search System, United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  2. ^ "Naugahyde Corporate Information". Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  3. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara (2007-02-18). "Naugahyde and Seek". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  4. ^ "A Nauga Story". Uniroyal. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  5. ^ Nauga dolls, Uniroyal website.

External links[edit]