Differences Between Alcantara and Suede

The biggest difference between suede and Alcantara is their source. Suede is made from leather or the hide of different animals. Alcantara is made in a science lab using a variety of chemicals and other products to make it look and feel like suede.

To let you know the differences between the two fabrics here is a quick comparison chart.

CategorySuedeAlcantara
Origina variety of animals found throughout the worldpolyester & polyurethane
Years of usesince the beginning of timemaybe the 1970s at best or even the 2000s
Durablenot that strongvery durable
Stain resistantno, it can stain easilyvery stain resistant
Applicationsfound in cars interiors, clothing, shoes and a host of other applicationsusually found in cars as a replacement for suede or leather
Feel & texturesoft, natural and has a great appearancecan be soft but artificial in texture and feel
Manufacturemade all around the world by many different companiesis a trademarked brand name like other modern synthetic fibers and made exclusively in Italy by a Japanese company
Pricecan be both inexpensive and costlymostly costly as the price per yard ranges from $40 to $99 and up

There really is no comparison. Alcantara is a synthetic fiber that is made from petroleum products, harsh chemicals and made to mimic suede. It may be more durable and flexible than suede can be but it is also more expensive by the yard than you would expect a synthetic material to be.

This material is perfect for those who do not want to have animal products in their vehicles. You will find this fabric more in luxury cars than any other model you can buy.

Suede, on the other hand, is soft, natural, and comes with a variety of applications as you can make handbags, coats, shoes, socks, and more out of this material as well as have it in your luxury or not so luxury car.

Unfortunately, suede does not last as long as Alcantara but it is still the better material of the two.

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