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®

Surface

The surface, made of intertwined, brushed ultra-fine microfiber, creates a uniquely soft and smooth texture, much like natural premium suede.

Non-woven structure

Intertwined microfiber strands and polymers form the internal structure, providing uniformity, durability and breathability.

Scrim

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.