Alcantara Leather: The Complete Guide

There are many kinds of leather, but not all are authentic or even close to real leather. Alcantara is just another type of fake leather with a suede feel. This leather has been around since the 1970s when it was first made.

Some people don't like the animal hides used to make actual leather goods; thus, the industry produced Alcantara Leather as an alternative. It's a simple way of saying that it's a cheaper alternative to animal hide for people who prefer the feel and touch of leather but want to save money.

But this type of leather is rarely utilized to make clothes. Instead, it is often seen in accessories like automobile interiors and furnishings.

What is Alcantara Leather?

Alcantara is a brand name for a type of synthetic fabric that is often used in clothing. It is known for being strong and has a silky, suede-like microfiber pile. Alcantara Leather is often used in cars to replace leather and vinyl in the inside trim. It is also employed in the fashion, marine, design, and consumer electronics industries.

What is Alcantara Leather Made From?

Alcantara is a microfiber material composed of approximately 32% polyurethane and 68% polyester. This unique blend of materials makes it exceptionally resistant to stains.

The manufacturing process of Alcantara involves several intricate steps, including needle punching, polishing, and impregnating, which contribute to its durability and luxurious feel. Despite being synthesized from chemicals, Alcantara's quality and texture are highly esteemed, often necessitating a firsthand experience to truly appreciate its distinct charm.

What is
Alcantara like to touch?

It genuinely feels very nice and smooth to the touch. There's a reason why this kind of fake leather sells so well. Alcantara leather looks beautiful and expensive, and when you sit on a sofa made of it, you feel very comfortable. Another wonderful thing about this product is that it's relatively easy to keep up with because it only changes a little when the weather is bad. Real leather can dry after being in the sun for a long time, while Alcantara can handle heat and wetness better.

Have you ever felt like you might fall off a leather couch? Well, that's not true when it comes to Alcantara because it grips well and keeps you in place.

How can Alcantara leather be used?

Alcantara makes furniture, clothes, jewelry, safety helmets, and cars. Second, it is utilized by several high-end OEM car manufacturers to make seats, dashboard trim, and headliners. It is often used to cover the steering wheel in high-performance vehicles.

Alcantara vs Leather: Understanding the Differences

When comparing Alcantara to leather, it's essential to recognize their distinct characteristics and uses.

1. Composition and Appearance

Alcantara: A synthetic microfiber material, composed of approximately 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane. Despite not being real leather, it closely resembles the look of genuine leather and suede.

Leather: A natural material made from animal hides, known for its unique texture, durability, and luxurious appeal.

2. Usage in Industries

Alcantara is widely used in high-end products like clothing, jewelry, fashion accessories, and smartphone covers, as well as in furniture and automotive interiors, including Formula One cars.

Leather, with its classic and timeless appeal, is also prevalent in similar industries, valued for its authenticity and long-lasting quality.

3. Unique Qualities

The resemblance of Alcantara to real leather and suede makes it a popular choice for businesses seeking a leather-like appearance without using animal products.

Leather, on the other hand, is celebrated for its natural characteristics, evolving patina, and the luxurious status it imparts to products.

4. Production and Branding

While products similar to Alcantara, like Ultra-suede, are manufactured globally, authentic Alcantara is exclusively produced by the Alcantara company in Italy.

Alcantara vs Suede: Comparing Car Seat Materials

When choosing materials for car seats, personal preferences are important, but knowing the differences between Alcantara and suede is key for an informed choice.

1. Durability and Wear

Alcantara: Offers superior durability compared to suede. It's resistant to wear over time, making it an ideal choice for car interiors.

Suede: Softer and has a more natural feel but tends to show wear more quickly than Alcantara.

2. Eco-Friendly and Vegan Options

Alcantara provides an eco-friendly, vegan alternative as it is not made from animal hides, unlike traditional suede.

3. Cost Considerations

Both Alcantara and suede are often premium materials in cars, usually available in higher trim levels or as upgrades.

The cost of these upgrades can vary, potentially increasing the vehicle’s price significantly.

4. Availability in Automobiles

Some car brands, such as Porsche (which names its Alcantara trims 'RaceTex'), feature these materials in specific models.

Ensure the availability of your preferred material by checking the specifications of different vehicles, particularly for Alcantara interiors.


Why you should use Alcantara

Better quality of materials:

The cloth is made in Italy by a firm called Alcantara. As a microfiber material made of 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane, it is also utilized in various industries, including clothes, fashion and accessories, interior and contract, aircraft, marine, and consumer electronics. Alcantara feels like suede when you touch it. It is a high-quality material that will last for a long time.

Alcantara is a cutting-edge material with high-end looks, functions, and feelings that are hard to find in other materials. Elegant, comfortable, light, sturdy, and free of carbon emissions, it is the top choice for luxury car makers.

Easy to maintain:

It's hard to take care of and handle this high-quality material. But Alcantara is an easy fabric to clean and maintain because it doesn't soak up dirt or liquid. Also, the fact that it doesn't have pores makes it more resistant to spills of food and fluids. This means that Alcantara is resistant to stains and can keep its color. Therefore, when you want luxury and easy care and maintenance, Alcantara is a great option, especially if you have pets or children who are likely to spill on the chairs.

Material that doesn't burn or get scratched:

Alcantara is also resistant to fire, in addition to being water-resistant and long-lasting. Because of this, it is a favorite choice for high-end brands. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz utilize it for wrapping the insides of their cars and giving them a suede-like texture and quality. Alcantara is used to covering the roof, front console, steering wheel, gear shift knob, and other parts.

Not from an animal:

Alcantara is a synthetic microfiber fabric made by Toray Industries in Japan in the 1970s. The product is manufactured from a mix of polyurethane and polyester to create a soft-finished cloth that can be utilised for automotive interiors. This signifies that the goods don't come from animals, which shows that you care about them.

Gives you a good grip:

As we've discussed, Alcantara is used in the car business. In cars, it is utilised on the steering wheel, the gear-shift knob, and the seats. Because it is made of microfibers, it has less friction resistance, making it more likely to grip the road better when turning and in other driving situations.

Soft and high-end feel:

Even though Alcantara is lighter and more durable than real suede, it is nevertheless one of the most delicate textiles you can find in a car. The sophisticated, scratch-proof, easy-to-clean, adaptable, and 100% carbon-neutral substance offers a soft feel and a color that doesn't quickly fade. The official Alcantara website says the product will make you feel beautiful because of how well its Italian creators did their jobs. Because of this, Alcantara is used to making high-end clothes, handbags, and furniture for the inside of homes.

Alcantara is a popular choice among designers, whether they work for a brand, an automaker, or an architectural firm. Aside from these uses, it is also used extensively in consumer electronics. For example, it is used to make mobile phone covers different in texture and color from the others on the market.

Why do major brands use Alcantara?

There are many reasons why. Alcantara is nice to look at and feel. You know that Alcantara is strong and doesn't stain easily. The fabric is also very soft and not heavy at all.

Alcantara is also eco-friendly and has no carbon footprint at all. Alcantara is a strong and elegant material for your car. Here are some different kinds of Alcantara cloth that you can use:

Alcantara auto shadow:

Alcantar ais a strong fabric manufactured from a specific blend of polyester and polyurethane. It is woven in a way that makes it feel soft and sensual. Alcantara seat covers are used in many high-end European cars, like Porsche and BMW, because they are stylish and elegant. Alcantara leather seat covers feel velvety like suede and are strong like leather. You may even make armrests, headrests, and console cover that are made to fit the exact measurements of your car seats. You may also make beautiful seat covers out of Alcantara for the middle and back rows of seats.

Alcantara exo:

Alcantara EXO is an outdoor-rated fabric for boat seats, motorcycle seats, and outdoor furniture. Alcantara EXO comprises three layers, including a waterproof membrane in the middle. Alcantara EXO is more durable, long-lasting, and resistant to UV light because it is more resistant to UV light and can breathe better.

Alcantara panel:

Alcantara Panel is a single sheet of Alcantara fabric with no backing. It is the best choice for covering headliners, door panels, and pillars. It's not made for car seats or other seats.

Alcantara multilayer:

Alcantara Multilayer is wonderful for wrapping steering wheels and doing other things that need more thickness. About 1.2 mm is how thick the multilayer is. Only real Alcantara made in Italy is sold by us.

How do you clean leather Alcantara?

When you touch Alcantara, it looks like genuine Italian lamb suede. Because high-end companies like Mercedes, BMW, etc. use it, it can be very expensive. Because of this, you should clean it with your full attention. But Alcantara is easy to care for and keeps in good shape.

Make sure to clean up any spills or spots right soon. If not, that area will always be there. Aside from that, if your Alcantara is exposed to dust, you should clean it daily. Dusting Alcantara with a gentle brush, a dry towel, or a vacuum cleaner would be adequate. Since it is made of synthetic material, you don't need to condition or keep it moist.

What is the price?

All of these benefits come at a price; by the way, only some people like Alcantara. Many people prefer natural materials. Alcantara is usually included in the pricing of higher-end vehicles, but it can cost between £1,000 and £2,000 as an optional extra.

Is Alcantara worth it?

Alcantara is a beautiful material that can truly make the inside of a car look better, but it does have certain problems. If you're happy with periodically cleaning it to keep its softness, and it doesn't annoy you having the nap and fibres run in different directions depending on whether the surface has been disturbed, it's worth acquiring. If you want to hop in your car and drive and appreciate a tranquil life with little maintenance and upkeep, you might want to think about a different material finish.


Alcantara isn't the only material with flaws; there are others. One of the most obvious problems with Alcantara is that it can show signs of wear, which is a downside since it is commonly used in places people touch and handle regularly. Alcantara has a delicate, slightly fluffy look and feels when it's new. This is called "nap," but it can lose its nap over time and become flat and less soft.

Alcantara, which has been used a lot, loses a lot of its good looks and can feel rough, gritty, or oily to the touch. This is partly because Alcantara takes in oils from your hands and dirt from your clothes.

Regular cleaning of Alcantara can stop or stop this from happening. Cleaning Alcantara is easy, but it needs gentle cleaning solutions and brushes. Before you try to clean Alcantara, check the manual for your car or the directions on any cleaning products.

The nap of Alcantara also means that when you sit on seats made of the material, the piles of the fabric lay differently than piles that have not been touched. This makes the cloth look like it has multiple colors. This might not bother you, but it might bother owners who are pickier.

Alcantara in Cars

Alcantara used to be found primarily in the fastest race cars, but now manufacturers are putting this popular material in more of their new automobiles.

The suede-like material is typically seen in sportier automobiles, like hot hatchbacks or performance-oriented saloons. You can still find Alcantara in many high-end sports cars and supercars. Some examples are the Porsche 911 coupe and Audi cars with the RS badge and high-performance BMWs from the M division. Alcantara and Sensatec faux leather cover the seats in the all-electric BMW i4.

Alcantara is a nice material, but people who buy a new car typically have to pay more for it, and it can be hard to find a vehicle with this material because it is so expensive.

How does Alcantara compare to other materials used inside cars?

Alcantara is more durable than suede and doesn't get as wet as suede. It also grips better than standard leather or textiles. It's less stable than conventional leather or fabric and needs to be cleaned more often. It is also usually an extra that you can buy or a component of a higher trim level.

Can water get into Alcantara?

Alcantara can stand up to water and won't get soiled by it. It does, however, soak up the oil on your hands and any filth on your clothes. It can also stain.

How Alcantara and real leather are different

Even though leather and Alcantara have a lot in common, they are also very different in important ways.

First, leather is soft in a way that nothing else is. But Alcantara looks nicer than leather and gives the inside of a car an exotic sense. It comes in more colors than leather does as well.

Leather, on the other hand, lasts longer than Alcantara. Even though the cloth is also strong, it wears out quickly when there are a lot of contacts. Also, it has a higher friction coefficient than leather, which is something to remember. Alcantara is better than leather since it doesn't fall off when it gets oily. Because of this, most race vehicles are made out of it.


The domestic, contract, fashion and accessory, automotive, and interior markets all use Alcantara because of its excellent quality and luxurious appearance. Alcantara is considered a premium material. It is the best choice for sports automobiles because it has a high coefficient of friction. Also, when the material is utilized on a dashboard, the sun's rays don't reflect off of it, so drivers can see well. Alcantara is a reasonably long-lasting material that doesn't wear down easily and can handle things like cutting objects and heat from a cigarette. Alcantara repels dust and pollutants.

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