Material Monday: Alcantara

Material Monday: Alcantara

Posted 26 September 2016 by Nirvana CPH

Alcantara is a high quality composite material, produced using an advanced spinning process, that combines 68% polyester fibres (PET) with 32% polyurethane (PU). The result is a luxurious and soft material that offers an extraordinary combination of beauty and functionality.

Although it looks very similar to suede, this versatile material is actually much more durable, water-resistant and resistant to fraying when cut, making it an appealing option for hard-wearing applications, ranging from flooring to furnishings.

Alcantara is very versatile and can be processed through multiple techniques including print, embossing, laser-cutting, lamination, electric welding, thermoforming, stitching and thermal bonding.

Japanese design studio Nendo recently designed a set of timber-patterned furniture by using sheets of Alcantara in an interesting way.

To create a woodgrain effect with Alcantara, studio Nendo layered the artificial suede sheets on top of each other and then rolled it into a cylinder. They then sliced the cylinder at a vertical angle – resulting in  ‘tree ring’ like slices. These slices are then formed into planks, which can be inserted into frames for furniture or applied to walls, floors or ceilings as a decorative surface material.

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