As part of our series on America’s top performance fabrics, today’s post looks at UltrasuedeⓇ, a classic manmade textile that offers a softer and more colorful alternative to leather. Ultrasuede is available in 97 colors, which penetrate the fabric completely, meaning it looks exactly the same on both sides. The price is similar to that of high-quality leather, while its durability has been shown in tests to be as good, if not better (more on that in a moment).
Ultrasuede consists of three layers of vanishingly thin ultra-microfibers — surface, structure and scrim — bundled with a polymer binder to create a soft, suede-like texture that’s durable and resistant to spills and stains. Its microfibers are so thin that a strand linking the Earth to the Moon would weigh less than one pound. It boasts excellent drapability, and is extremely versatile. Since its invention in the 1960s, Ultrasuede has been used in the manufacture of everything from luxury fashions to tablet covers. Tiffany and Co. use Ultrasuede to line their jewellery boxes, while boat builders and car manufacturers specify Ultrasuede in their interiors.
Of course, it is Ultrasuede’s performance as an upholstery fabric that matters most to us. Ultrasuede partners with some of the best manufacturers in the U.S., including American Leather, to produce furniture that can handle almost anything home life throws at it. Ultrasuede is tested for color fastness, air permeability (which prevents odors and mildew from becoming trapped), tensile strength, and abrasion endurance. In fact, it passes over 200,000 ‘rubs’ on the Wyzenbeek standard test, where ordinary fabrics typically score between 15,000 and 30,000. Its exceptionally high performance in these categories is well worth considering when choosing upholstery fabric for a sunny and humid climate like Florida’s.
Ultrasuede is not woven like a conventional fabric, which helps it resist scratching and stains, and its microscopic structure is too small to trap loose strands of fur, which makes it an excellent option for pet owners. Liquids bead up and run off Ultrasuede upholstery without absorbing, and most messes can be cleaned off with just laundry detergent and water. Allow your Ultrasuede to air dry, then use a soft brush to restore the famous suede-like nap.
Ultrasuede’s texture is what really sets it apart among technical fabrics, so when choosing your upholstery be sure to experience its hand for yourself. At the Sklar Furnishings showroom we have an array of beautiful samples and furniture made up in Ultrasuede, ready for you to see and touch.
See an example of Ultrasuede in action on the Logan Sectional Sofa, available at Sklar Furnishings!