The Science of Ultrasuede®
Since its debut in 1970, Ultrasuede® has undergone many technological innovations, and it continues its evolution today. Ultrasuede® begins with polyester ultra-microfibers spun so light and fine that a strand measuring more than 900km (560 miles) long would weigh less than one gram. By combining these ultra-fine fibers, Toray has succeeded in developing a nonwoven fabric packed with unprecedented high performance and functionality: Ultrasuede®.
- Microfiber technology has now advanced, thanks to the implementation of materials such as recycled and biomass-derived polymers.
- Extruded ultra-microfibers are bundled with polymer, creating what we call the “Islands in the Sea” configuration, with the filaments “afloat” in each strand.
- The strands are then transformed into a soft, felt-like material via a complex process that includes ironing, cutting and needle-punching.
- After being fortified with a polymer binder, it is further processed to create a fabric that is, almost paradoxically, as soft and supple as it is strong and durable.
- Finally, after advanced dyeing, Ultrasuede® is created. The remarkable process is finished with an unparalleled range of colors, all possessing excellent colorfastness.
The Structure of Ultrasuede®
The surface, made of intertwined, brushed ultra-fine microfiber, creates a uniquely soft and smooth texture, much like natural premium suede.
Intertwined microfiber strands and polymers form the internal structure, providing uniformity, durability and breathability.
Beneath the exquisitely soft touch lies the sturdy inner body, composed of a rope-like lining called the scrim—the secret behind the tautness and durability that make Ultrasuede® perfect for furniture, automobile interiors and so many other applications.