‘Eco-suede’ seems to be a fabric of the moment and is popping up a lot recently, as it did in my previous post ‘New hybrid car to be launched at Paris motor show’. But what is it?
There are many recent articles about interior, upholstery, automotive and fashion manufacturers using eco-suede. The general specification seems to be that a percentage (figures I found ranged from 17% to 100%) of the fabric is made from post-industrial and post-consumer plastic waste… so basically plastic bottles and industrial waste ground into flakes, spun into yarns which are then woven and given a suede finish (which normally involves ‘brushing’ the fabric).
A representative for one company using eco-suede in their furniture range claims “the suede so closely resembles true suede leather it can be hard for non-furnishings experts to tell the difference”. Blimey!
So the difference between eco-suede and plain old faux-suede is whether the yarn is recycled or not…