Originally Posted by Frosty
is alcantra fabric or a form of suede leather? ~Frost
"A versatile material, Alcantara is found in a variety of settings. The company outlines applications including furniture, clothing, jewelry, automotive, helmets and more. Alcantara is composed of 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane. It is this mixture of materials that gives Alcantara its increased durability and stain resistance.
The appearance and tactile feel of the material is similar to that of suede, and it may be incorrectly identified as such, or as "Alcantara leather", on occasion. It is finding application in seating as well as dash trimming and headliners in many high-end OEM automotive applications. There are currently three versions of Alcantara available: cover (made for seating surfaces); panel (made for door/dash applications); and soft (made for headliners).
Some of Alcantara's Ultrasuede (tm) is flame retardant. Some versions are designated as flame retardant in order to meet certain fire standards for both furnishings and automobile applications.
One unique property of this non-woven product that sets it apart from non-Toray Industries materials, is that it is virtually identical on both sides, with the exception of the Alcantara 'cover' material which is made for seating surfaces. Many of the other "micro suedes" and "micro fibres" are distinctly different on both sides and are often a woven fabric. One way to test for this "non-woven" characteristic is to cut very thin strips off the material...if it frays it is not Toray Industries' Ultrasuede or Alcantara."