Skeuomorphs

The skeuomorphic qualities of plastics have been used by manufacturers to aid the user in the acceptance of new materials, for example, the transition from wooden radio cases to wood-like phenol formaldehyde and eventually radios made of many plastics materials in a variety of shapes and colours.  The electric bed warmer has features found in a rubber hot water bottle, the shape and patterns are familiar, the process of warming the bed on a cold night is the same except for the replacement of hot water with an electrically charged heating element.

The roof tiles and kerbstones use the colouring and textures of the original stone to create discrete alternatives to traditional material.  Both are lighter in weight putting less pressure on the roof structure in terms of the slates, and being easier to man handle without additional machinery in terms of the kerbstone.

Ceramic plates and glass bowls can be easily broken, by replacing them with plastics alternatives, like melamine and polystyrene respectively, a pleasing finish can be achieved without the fear of damage.

Plastics can also provide a cheaper, whimsical nod to the grandeur found in high-class silverware, ceramics, and cameo jewellery found in grand houses.

Wood and slate flooring can require treatment with waterproofing chemicals to create a suitable surface for the kitchen or bathroom.  Vinyl alternatives do not need this additional care; spills can be mopped away with little fear of staining.  The wet surface will often be non-slip making vinyls more safe for a family environment than the traditional wood or slate which can be slippery when wet.  The easy care nature of these materials is also reflected in the artificial grass which needs no feeding or mowing to stay green and lush looking all year round

The use of traditional craft methods using plastics creates objects which look remarkably like those using traditional materials.  The woven seat of the stool utilises polyethylene instead of rush or cane to create an attractive and robust seat.  The bags use traditional methods, such as weaving and crochet, but without disguising their material heritage. 

The moulded skeuomorphs of lace, weaving, and turning are created cheaply and in a fraction of the time of the tradition hand craft methods.

Plastics are used to replace natural materials which are either difficult to obtain and process, like marble and amber, or are controversial, like the furs, skins and other animal products.