PVC lining vs. PU lining

Hello Everyone!

I have a beginners question in regards to fashion boots lining:
What is exactly the difference between PU lining and PVC lining, looks wise, tactual feeling wise and how does it feel inside a PVC lined boot in comparison to PU (I haven’t ran into a PVC lined boot yet)?
Is the PVC lining commonly used? Is it used only on cheap ranges? Would it be, for example, completely unreasonable to use PVC lining on a nubuck upper boot in order to reduce its price?
And the last question is, knowing that some countries condemn the use of PVC, is it possible to encounter a legal problem to export PVC lined boots to some countries?

Thanks in advance,

I’ve never used p.v.c. as a lining, p.u. is bad enough but wouldn’t p.v.c. be really sweaty? I’m not sure about safety issues apart from that I know some UK customers ban it’s use on kids shoes coz it’s carcinogenic, you can get p.v.c. that isn’t but it costs more.

So no, I’ve never heard of p.v.c. lining. Can’t you find something more comfortable to use, see if they have a non woven lining, like an imitation cambrelle or something like that? You can also get a lining which I used to know as ‘swanskin’ it’s a knitted nylon textile, really thin with a thin layer of foam backing for comfort. Still really vile but a bit more comfortable. You then just use a bit of p.u. around the topine, so it looks a bit better.

Thanks for your reply shoenista!

So allow me to ask a different question.
As I’ve already mentioned - I’m a “beginner” and therefore my next question might be quite obvious to some but not to me…
The boots I’ve designed are way more expensive than the company’s target prices.
How do I approach the need of reducing prices at this point.
Meaning, which elements do you tend to change first and what questions should I ask my supplier so to know how to reduce costs.
I, for example, wasn’t aware of the fact that I have the option of using “imitated stacked heel” which is printed instead of a real one…

And another question, if you want to replace nubuck with a cheaper material which would look most similar, what material would you choose?

Thanks in advance,

Im guessing you are doing ladies fashion shoes, not sport shoes?

In terms of your original question, i would say that PVC vs. PU would generally feel similar and indeed PVC is a bit cheaper. Also typically you can get more “fashion” finishes in PVC (ie. metallics, faux leathers, wild prints, etc.). Im not sure about the PVC importation rules.

As for costing, there are a lot of factors that make it a pretty complicated subject. A lot depends on the supplier you are working with #1. If you can trust them to provide honest quotations, and/or a complete CBD (cost break down), you will be further ahead then just guessing to start.

I would try to first get yourself a complete part by part cost break down. Each part on a CBD should show material cost (per sq.ft or 54" typically if synthetic), usage, loss, and then adjusted usage (incl. loss) and total cost per part. all details (ie printing, laces, etc.) should also be itemized.

You CBD should also show labor costs, fty overhead, thread+glue, packing ,etc. and fty/agent profit then your final FOB price. Once you have this (which many factories are unwilling to provide so they can hide true costs), you are better off to negociate and see which areas/parts are the ones that are adding up to cost you more than your target.

Looking at it this way (and working with the fty is they are willing to do so), you can focus on the “big ticket items” instead of spending time changing small parts that will only save you fractions fo a cent.

First things to look at would be expensive materials (like the nubuck you mention - maybe change to pig suede if you want to keep it leather, or there are also lots of nice synthetic nubucks (PU))., outsole costs, large embroidery or other expensive details, then labor costs, overhead and fty profit.

In general, though as first mentioned, a lot depends on your situation. If you are with an experienced fty, have a long relationship, and do millions of pairs per yr, its a different story that a new, low cost supplier with no forecast to offer…

Best of luck. A way to start might also be to approach you supplier and tell them your traget FOB price and ask for suggestions. Remember that you and the supplier are actually on the same side. You both have the same goal to make money and sell shoes and if they are overpriced they wont sell and then neither of you will be satisfied.


Hi there.

When you get back home, I’d suggest you do some research in the value market - see how the big value market players do it.

If you are making in China, its the material costs that you need to watch the most.

Also consumption is a consideration, consider adding more seams, centre back, centre front and blind seams accross the ankle.

If you want leather alternatives - can I ask you is it cow leather you are using at the moment? When I’ve had problems with price in China, I’ve switched to sheep or horse instead, ask about these alternatives. I have used a lot of horse leather in China. It is good value compared to cow and (IMO) can look better.

I’m not sure how cow or sheep nubuck looks or if it exists, but its worth asking.

On the subject of synthetic alternatives, you could consider microsuede, microfibre suede or brushed wet p.u. Ask to see some swatches.

Hi Guys… this is a great Thread!

I am very interested to see an example of a CBD that you may have received for any basic rubber cupsole shoe that you may have developed.

I am in a position now with my supplier where they are asking me to draw up a form for them to fill out so that its easier for them. I wanted to know about any other hidden costs that i may not be aware of. for example; double lasting.

Thanks in Advance…

Sorry, but I cant share any form or example of costing.

In my post above however, ive covered most of the important points and costs. You should be able to draw up something based on that and in discussion with your fty.

A good factory will be happy to share a CBD with you to enable a happy transparent negociation that both of you will benefit from.

All (almost) factories will do one, even if it is internal so they can provide you with a FOB quote.

If they are unwilling to share it with you, try to convince them that its in their best interest so you can provide reasonable target prices and better develop to actual costs to save development $. Most reasonable ftys should appreicate this (its better than you spec’ing a shoe for development, sampling, only later to be far off the price and need to renegociate or de-spec).

There’s still plenty of places a fty can “hide” charges even with a complete CBD, esp. for someone new to the costing process, so most ftys will comply. At the very least (even if still inflated), it will give you a basis of comparision for future projects and help your knowledge of costing increase.