Synthetic Suede’s Rise to Luxury Auto Interiors
From kangaroo to ostrich to calfskin, animal products have long been hyped as the most popular and, therefore, greatest options for interior automotive design. Today, thanks to polyurethane, a new – though perhaps unexpected – high-water mark for luxury upholstery has been established with the introduction of synthetic suede.
A vegan product made from two-thirds polyester and one-third polyurethane, synthetic suede is a great modern-day fabric option.
Thanks to the rise in car-sharing and high-end driving services, today’s luxury interiors must be prepared to withstand tremendous amounts of passenger wear and tear – and synthetic suede can take a beating. It’s well suited to handle high-volume usage; the material resists spills and temperature variations, while still maintaining its shape and luxurious feel.
First produced in the 1970s, synthetic suede was initially intended for use in apparel. As time passed, demand for synthetic suede in clothing dropped. As tastes changed, the material was repurposed for use in luxury automobile interiors.
Today, synthetic suede can be found in hundreds of luxury car models around the world, with more being added all the time as automakers learn more about the benefits of this futuristic material.