Alcantara is an Italian-made synthetic fabric that is durable and feels like suede. Alcantara has a soft, suede-like microfiber pile and is renowned for its unmatched durability. Alcantara is commonly used in car interiors such as Alcantara car seats or Alcantara steering wheel covers.
What is Alcantara made of?
Alcantara fabric is made of roughly 68% polyester and around 32% polyurethane. The actual "recipe" for the fabric is unknown and is proprietary information that belongs to its maker. While many consumers refer Alcantara fabric as Alcantara leather, Alcantara isn't a type of leather.
Where does the name 'Alcantara' come from?
Though the brand name is Italian, it is derived from the Arabic word "al qantara," meaning "the bridge". You could say Alcantara fabric is a "bridge" between animal leather and cotton fabric, although Alcantara is completely animal-free.
What is Alcantara used for?
In addition to being featured prominently in popular consumer products such as Microsoft Surface keyboards, Alcantara is used by various companies in the fashion, interiors, automotive, yachting, and aviation industries. A globally-renowned automaker that uses Alcantara in the automotive industry is Porsche.
According to a Porsche dealer in California, the luxury vehicle maker uses Alcantara for three different applications:
- Alcantara cover for seating surfaces
- Alcantara panel for door/dash applications
- Alcantara panel for headliners
Why do major brands use Alcantara?
There are a variety of reasons. Alcantara looks and feels good. If you have read our previous article, Alcantara Automotive Fabric: How to Clean Your Alcantara Material, you know that Alcantara is durable and stain-resistant. The fabric is also incredibly soft and lightweight.
Alcantara is also sustainable and 100% carbon neutral. In our recent article, Alcantara Suede: Global Sustainable Automotive Fabric Maker, we stated that Alcantara has achieved carbon neutrality, which means Alcantara’s net balance of CO2 emissions is zero. This includes not only the production process, but also the utilization and disposal of the product.
Alcantara is a beautiful and robust fabric for your car. Here are different types of Alcantara fabric for your application:
Alcantara Car Cover
As mentioned above, Alcantara is a durable fabric made from a unique blend of polyester and polyurethane that is specially woven to create a soft and luxurious feel. Used in many high-end European vehicles such as Porsche and BMW, Alcantara seat covers are perfect for outfitting luxury cars for its style and elegance. Alcantara seat covers are soft to the touch like suede, but durable like leather. You can even design custom-fit seat covers to fit the exact specifications of your vehicle seats, including armrest, headrest and console covers. You can also design elegant Alcantara seat covers for middle and rear rows of seats.
Alcantara EXO is a type of outdoor rated textile ideal for marine applications, motorcycle seats, and even outdoor furniture. Alcantara EXO encompasses three layers, with the middle layer being a waterproof membrane. Alcantara EXO has enhanced UV resistance and breathability - features that further enhance the robustness, durability and longevity of this Alcantara fabric.
Alcantara Panel is a single layer of alcantara fabric with no backing, and it is the preferred choice when upholstering headliners, door panels, and pillars. It is not designed for car seats or seats in general.
Alcantara Multilayer is great for wrapping steering wheels or any other application where that little bit of added thickness is desired. Multilayer is approximately 1.2 mm thick. We only supply genuine Alcantara that is Made in Italy.
Alcantara Perforated is a double-layer material with a woven backing used for seating applications and other areas where increased textile strength may be required. We only supply genuine Alcantara that is Made in Italy.
Alcantara is also an innovative, major player in the aviation space that offers impeccable fabric for seats, paneling, and the like.
Alcantara has previously introduced an alcantara fabric collection named “Infinito” into the aviation space. This alcantara for aviation textiles are inspired by automotive interior trends, with the aim of offering aircraft interiors designers the same performance and amenities that are appreciated in luxury cars: an exclusive, unmatched feel, comfort, grip, and weight saving. Infinito can be used on cabin elements including seats, paneling, shells and cabinets.