I have no pertinent comments on leather upholstery vs. anything else (or like meat vs. plant). All I can say is that this whole thing reminds me of a funny CAR-RELATED story (at least it's funny to me and to the others who were there at the time). Back in about 1967, a guy in our car group who had a rich daddy, got a 1965 (I think) Dodge with a 413 and a TorqueFlight tranny. He thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Bucket seats. Vinyl. Which he promptly treated with some brand of silicone stuff to "clean, soften and protect". I think you all know where this is going.
He was so pumped to show off his hot ride, and put on displays of power from that big motor. When he got in the car to go drag Main Street, he couldn't keep his rear-end (his, not the cars) planted. Darned near slid out of the seat and onto the floor several times. Had to slow down to about 5 MPH just to turn a corner. Heaven forbid going fast and then having to jam on the brakes at the next light. But the seats looked great.
It took about 4-5 weeks to get that stuff all wiped/worn off, and the seats weren't really safe to sit in for months after that.
I don't know whatever happened to that guy, but often when the remaining members of the "old gang" get together and talk about our mis-adventurous days, the story comes up and we have a good laugh. We also thank goodness that we learned to not silicone our vinyl seats!
I think your old guy told you the truth. I have a recliner that's covered in leather, and a different chair that is vinyl. When it's chilly and I sit on the vinyl, it seems to me like ice for quite some time. When I sit on the leather, it's cold, but warms more quickly. Purely subjective observation and certainly not scientific, but my bum seems to support the theory...
Let's park the caffeine and testosterone and focus: To some of the sneering from the posters suffering unrequited machismo, consider the animals killed for meat/leather are every bit--or more -- as sentient, social as your pets.
Every international and med school study comes to the same conclusion: A plant based vegan diet is streets ahead of any other, preventing not just heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, inflammation, but even dementia and Alzheimer's.
Lewis Hamilton, the leading Formula One driver, is vegan, as are NFL players, unlimited cage fighters for those who think there's something macho about waddling into Safeway for a piece of Saran Wrapped animal.
Half our nation's fresh water is consumed by the meat industry. According to the UN, animals raised for meat and dairy produce more greenhouse gas than all the world's cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, ships combined.
Prewar Buick, Cadillac, Packard convertibles offered whipcord that was cooler, more comfortable than leather and wore like iron.
Any car somehow diminished foregoing animal skin wasn't much to begin with.
And Tom T. Hall said, "Faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, more money!" I'm sure he had his sexist reasons for the younger women part, but I must confess that I've had nothing but troubles from the younger gals in life, and nothing but the very best experience with my wife, who is slightly older than I am. But as far as freedom, whiskey, fast horses, and money, I'm for them all. I miss David E., Bedard, Yates, et al from the old days of reading C&D mag.
There must be a joke about Orange Peel in there somewhere, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to connect "interior seat covering materials" with "paint blemishes". Someone help me out, please!
But one thing's for certain: neither leather nor vinyl nor cloth will give you splinters when you turn a fast corner...