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Ultrasuede is the trade name for a synthetic microfiber fabric invented in 1970 by Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto, a scientist working for Toray Industries. In Japan it is sold under the brand name Ecsaine. It's an ultra-microfiber. It is often described as an artificial substitute for suede leather. The fabric is multifunctional: it is used in fashion, interior decorating, automotive and other vehicle upholstery, and industrial applications, such as protective fabric for electronic equipment. It is also a very popular fabric in the manufacture of footbags (also known as hacky sacks) and juggling balls. Other manufacturers such as Sensuede and Majilite also produce similar product lines of synthetic microfiber suede construction.
Fabric content ranges from 80% polyester non-woven (100% recycled ultra-microfiber) and 20% non-fibrous polyurethane to 65% polyester and 35% polyurethane depending on the product line. Ultrasuede feels like natural suede, but it is resistant to stains and discoloration; it can be washed in a washing machine. It has a woven fabric surface, but resists pilling or fraying because it is combined with a polyurethane foam in a non-woven structure. As with its Italian sister fabric, Alcantara, automotive grade Ultrasuede meets OEM specifications as well as FMVSS302 flammability requirements for automotive use as well as it being virtually identical on both sides, making it somewhat reversible.
Ultrasuede has applications in fashion including shoes, interior furnishings, industrial use, and marine & automotive (such as in seating, dash trimming and headliners in many high-end OEM automotive suppliers).
Ultrasuede vs. Alcantara
Alcantara is made in Italy, and Ultrasuede is made in Japan.
Due to lack of brand recognition, the term 'Ultrasuede' has been used to describe a large majority of the microfiber suedes on the market.
- "The Indian Head Connection - Skinner & Sons - Fabrics.net Fabrics.net". fabrics.net.
- Robert Kanigel Faux real: genuine leather and 200 years of inspired fakes, National Academies Press, 2007 ISBN 0-309-10236-7 p. 169
- Ultrasuede Soft
- Ultrasuede Ambiance
- "Ultrasuede® - TORAY". ultrasuede.com.