Suede-like fabrics to replace leather seat covers


Organised by IQPC, the 10th Innovative Seating Conference took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the end of February, with 120 participants. This time the event had a separate, well-attended session devoted to textiles where a range of novel information was discussed.

Dr Andreas Eppinger, group vice president technology management, Johnson Controls Automotive Seating, Germany, presented advanced material applications in automotive seating using Fresh Per4mance coating technology to impart anti-stain, antimicrobial, anti-odour and antistatic performance.

To improve seating comfort, climate fabrics with improved moisture transportation and absorbance based on three-dimensional spacer technology are being introduced. This environmentally friendly technology will also be used to replace foam, which is not recyclable or sustainable.

New, luxurious suede-like fabrics, which use light coating/lamination, will replace leather seat covers that contain up to 60% of chemicals by weight. These chemicals are required for leather to comply with the strict standards for abrasion resistance and appearance and are not sustainable, said Eppinger. Seat cover personalisation is achieved by digital printing using special ink technology.

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