Leather is more breathable the less coated (pigmented) it is. Aniline leathers with a natural look and grain whose grain pores are exposed are more breathable than conventional homogeneous leathers that are protected and embossed, which could be compared to polyurethane (leatherette) in this respect, and which in turn retain a higher breathability than PVC (polyvinyl).
In principle, less so than a fabric, as use gives it a nice ageing effect, which is particularly appreciated and pleasant in anilines, the fabric does not age over time, it simply gets damaged.
The original leathers are neither thick nor thin, it is the result of the cross-cutting of the grain (outer layer, upholstery) and the split (inner layer, leather goods) that confers the thickness that we appreciate and that depends exclusively on the final aspect that we want to give to the tanned leather (more marked grain, hardness, flexibility, etc. ….).
The leather does not have a defined colour before being tanned, and it is during the tanning process that it is dyed to the required colour (the natural colour is a fantasy).
Is it more environmentally friendly to use leather than synthetics?
Both in the leather manufacturing process and in the synthetic one, industries can adopt more or less environmentally friendly systems. As for natural fur, its use is a way of making the best use of animal resources.
Yes, polyurethane, unlike PVC (polyvinyl), is biodegradable, and this virtue is also one of the technical parameters that must be analysed when choosing the different degrees of resistance to polyurethane degradation (hydrolysis), which is measured in weeks of resistance to the “jungle test”, each week corresponding to one year of use in adverse conditions.
It is the most noble of the polyurethanes, and is used to create synthetic leathers with hydrolysis resistance (degradation due to sweat, light, temperature and humidity) of more than 5 years.
What is the optimum resistance of a polyurethane? In upholstery we recommend not to work with hydrolysis lower than 3 years, which for automotive and nautical applications should be higher than 5 years. Due to the fact that polyurethane has a very high resistance to abrasion by nature, it is recommended to take into account factors such as adhesion and flexion as determining parameters in the choice.
No, as polyurethane is biodegradable, it is not optimal for outdoor use, as hydrolysis deteriorates it rapidly. Polyvinyl (PVC) suitably treated to resist sunlight is a perfect option for outdoor use, as its imperishable character and great solidity make it the perfect product for extreme installations.
Yes, because the surface compact layer must be thick and heavy to ensure good abrasion, it is an ideal product for covering furniture exposed to water.
No, Polyvinyl is currently manufactured free of heavy metals and there is no toxicity in its use.
Currently in Europe the UNE 1021 part 1 and 2 is the mandatory standard for use in communities and projects that must comply with the CTE (technical building code). Since 2006, the old MI, M2… have been cancelled in Spain and the new standard has been adapted. This standard is broadly based on the fabric’s ability to prevent fire from entering the interior of the upholstery. It is not at all, as many people think, an extinguishing test in which the fabric does not ignite in a vertical position (curtains). In France, Germany, Italy and England, the old standard is still used in each country, causing high approval costs for each product. The nautical, automotive, aviation, railway and transport sectors have specific regulations.
Anti-stain is a protective film of fluorinated resin that prevents stains and is adopted by fabrics with different commercial brands. In no case is it a guarantee of impermeability nor does it prevent stains one hundred percent. There are very resistant treatments that even manage to prevent ink and pen stains from sticking to the fabric, such as our “Splash Nanotech” finish.