Leather VS Alcantara (Ultrasuede)


When the nobility used to use a horse carriage, the coachman seat was upholstered with leather; the passenger seat inside the coach with fabric. In the modern period when the main means of transportation was replaced by cars, the situation changed 180 degrees. Genuine leather is thought to be standard for luxury car seats across the world. I think the only option alternative to genuine leather would be Alcantara. It’s highly coveted by car lovers (especially Ferrari fans), a synonym for luxury artificial leather. Alcantara is a name of a brand and also a company in Italy that is a joint venture with a Japanese major chemical company, TORAY. The artificial leather was invented by a Japanese scientist.

Some people may be likely to avoid it just by hearing the word “artificial,” but Alcantara looks and feels real suede leather. You can see how it looks by googling with words “Ferrari” and “Alcantara.” In fact, whether it is fake or genuine is not the issue at least for car lovers because it has already been a brand. There have been some cars even sold labeled as something like “Alcantara Edition.” Still, some people may have a feeling of dislike only because it’s artificial. Indeed, it’s made of polyester and polyurethane, but most of them have already been produced from renewable biomaterials. Compared with genuine leather of which production (especially in the tanning process) puts a heavy burden on the environment, Alcantara can be said to be more eco-friendly.

TORAY itself produces the same artificial leather in Japan under a different brand, “Ultrasuede” that is one of our fabric collections. We have only 3 colors in our catalog, but that means we always have those three colors in stock. You can choose your favorite color from more than 80 standard colors of Ultrasuede, wider color variation than all of our leather collections. By upholstering our chairs with Ultrasuede, you can get a luxury feeling like being seated in Ferrari, Maserati, etc. in an eco-friendly way.


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.


Photo Credit: https://www.condehouse.co.jp/