Naugahyde (sometimes abbreviated to Nauga) is an American brand of artificial leather (or "pleather" from plastic leather). Naugahyde is a composite of a knit fabric backing and 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, comes from the Borough of Naugatuck, Connecticut, where it was first produced. Uniroyal asserts that Naugahyde is one of the most popular premium pleathers. Naugahyde is manufactured in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
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
- American singer and musician Frank Zappa mentioned Naugahyde in the 1967 Mothers of Invention song "Brown Shoes Don't Make It": "Every desire is hidden away / In a drawer in a desk by a Naugahyde chair."
- British singer-songwriter Al Stewart referred to Naugahyde in his song "Gina in The Kings Road" on his 2005 album A Beach Full of Shells. Set in the swinging '60s in London, the song is about a young lady, popular with many gentlemen, with whom he forms a liaison about which he says "Don't you cast aspersions on my Naugahyde affair".
- Naugahyde is also mentioned in the song, "Randy Scouse Git," by the Monkees. The line from the song is, "Now they've darkened all the windows / And the seats are naugahyde. / I've been waiting for an hour, / I can't find a place to hide."
- Allan Sherman's parody of "Chim Chim Cher-ee" contains the line "My chair is upholstered in real Naugahyde; / When they killed that nauga, I sat down and cried."
- Naugahyde is also mentioned in the Warren Zevon song "Mr Bad Example": "I got a part-time job at my father's carpet store / Laying tackless stripping, and housewives by the score / I loaded up their furniture, and took it to Spokane / And auctioned off every last naugahyde divan."
- An extremely rare song by the Ohio group Devo, called "The Death of Lt. Casanova (AKA Naugahyde)", was played at The Crypt in Akron, Ohio, back in 1974. About three and a half minutes into the song, with bassist Gerald Casale on the lead vocals, the band backed him up, singing "Na-, Na-, Na-Naugahyde..."
- The Los Angeles band X, in "We're Desperate" (on the 1981 album Wild Gift), lists "Naugahyde and a tie-dye teeshirt" as punk accoutrements.
- There was a short-lived punk rock band based in Los Angeles in the 1990s named "Nagahyde Lounge" [sic]
- Primus released an album titled "Green Naugahyde" in which they referenced the material in the popular single, "Lee Van Cleef".
- In TerrorVision, the character interpreted by Mary Woronov mentions a new Naugahyde dress that she intends to wear.
- In the novel Silver Star by Jeanette Walls the Maddox family have a Naugahyde couch.
- In the TV series Fringe, the character Astrid Farnsworth is playing a computer word tile game (akin to Scrabble) and is not allowed the word "Naugahyde", to which she comments "It was very popular in the 70s!"
- One of Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novels mentions "naugas" as a real alien animals, commenting that "their skins are durable and can be frequently encountered in doctors' waiting rooms", parodying naugahyde use for a budget upholstery.
- In the French novel 37º2 le Matin by Philippe Djian, (better known by it's 1986 filmed title Betty Blue), the narrator describes the central female character Betty as being "like a flower with translucent antennae and a violet naugahyde core". - However the use of "naugahyde" here appeared only in the Americanised English translation of the novel by Howard Buten, and not in the original French text, which actually read as : "...cette fleur étrange munie d’antenne translucides et d’un cœur en skaï mauve." (...this strange flower fitted with translucent antenna and a purple leatherette heart.)
- 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.
- youtube user TuriMuzik jan 14, 2013
- "CHIM CHIM CHEREE Lyrics – ALLAN SHERMAN". liriklagumu.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
- "Devo: "The Death of Lt. Casanova"".