• Oct 17, 2006
Apparently swathing the dash of a Ferrari or the headliner of a Noble wasn't enough for the sellers of Alcantara leather around the world. The suede-like leather product that has until now been reserved for exotics and upper end cars is going to be find its way into Chryslers, Cadillacs and even Mercury Mariners. As Dave from Kicking Tires notes, the grippy material probably won't seem out of place in the Chrysler SRT models or Cadillac's V series, but the Mariner seems a stretch.

We've now seen Alcantara in almost every make's catalog. Scion has it in the tC 2.0, Mitsubishi and Subaru in their rally-inspired offerings, too. M-B, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Noble, Audi, Peugeot, Lancia, Mazda, VW, Honda, even SMART. Looks like Alcantara is shapin up to be the fabric of the future.

[Source: Kicking Tires]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yi Yi...maybe you have leatherette? I have no problem at all with the leather in my BMW.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "...sellers of Alcantara leather around the world. The suede-like leather product..."

      It's not leather, it's synthetic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My Integra Type-R has alcantara bolsters. Seven years old now and this synthetic suede (sometimes called ultrasuede) has shown little wear. It's more durable than real suede and easier to maintain. For basic cleaning, all you need is luekwarm water and something to blot it with. A lint brush works well, too.

      Nice material that holds you in the seat. Good stuff.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My parents had this entirely covering the seats on their 2000 Mazda Millenia S -- remember that car? Anyway, they had it for 4 years (lease) and it looked as good as new when they turned the car in. They now have a G35 Coupe and the driver's seat is starting the get worn, especially the door-side bolster. The Alcentera looked great and you don't slide around.
      • 8 Years Ago
      wish bmw would get some better leather. total garbage.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, it's my new favorite material. I'm replacing my seats soon, and when I do it's alcantara all the way.
      -Taylor
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have Alcantra (also called Escaine) set inserts on my Lexus IS300 (factory installed option). It's a great material -- smooth, durable, beautiful, but perhaps the best part is that your bottom doesn't slide around as much with it as with leather when taking curves at speed :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Porsche uses it as headliner.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "The suede-like leather product…"

      It's not leather at all. Fully synthetic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is what I've heard: The House of Givenchy wanted to have a fabric for women's off the rack 'haute couture' in the 60's so they commissioned a Japanese fabric company to come up with a fake suede. I think the company was Toyu or something close to that. The created a method to pull a polyester thread to 1/100ths of a human hair. That was the key. Then the wove it into a cotton backing and all the fine ends of the polyester gave the pile of suede, and Givenchy named it Ultrasuede ad pantented the process and name. They made miniskirts and vests and pantsuit outfits and promoted the stuff as wash and wear suede. The Givenchy process patent expired and someone else refined it a tiny bit and came up with the name Alcantara and patented it again, but Givency held the Ultrasuede name. Then in 2000, all patents expired, the furniture industry got ahold of it, and it gave it the creative name of "microfibre." (blech). There are different piles and densities creating more/less plushness, but it's all durable as hell. You can scrub it with 409 or harsh cleaning solvents and it will keep it's color since it's plastic with the color in the fiber, not dyed or stained. It's important not to soak it too much, just to wash the surface fibers and sponge up excess, since the cotton backing and the underlying support (foam mostly) will be damaged with too much water/solvents. Remarkable stuff, but real Alcantara and trademarked Ultrasuede (if you can find it) are two of the best.