Recently a study was published in MDPI – A pioneer in scholarly open access publishing, Based in Basel, Switzerland named Comparison of the Technical Performance of Leather, Artificial Leather, and Trendy Alternatives by Michael Meyar, Sascha Dietrich, Haiko Schulz and Anke Mondschein.
They have carried out research in 3 dierent aspect of leather
and different materials.
1. Nature of Material
2. Analysis of Materials properties
3. Analysis on critical substance
2. Properties of the materials (Reference: Shoe upper leather)
The properties required by leather or any other material are determined by the final application. For example, the leather of a shoe should stretch during use, but not lose its shape after use. Where the leather/material has been sewn, it must be able to withstand the stresses of use. The limits given in
the relevant standards (ISO 20942, ISO 14930 and ISO 14931) are appropriate for the stresses in the shoe. As a general rule, any material must be able to withstand the stress scenarios caused by use in order to be suitable for the corresponding application
3. Critical Substance
Why did we want to know this? We live in a world that has improved significantly in terms of environmental protection. However, increasingly precise measurement methods show that we must continue to remain alert here. As consumers, we want to be as sure as possible that the production of materials is environmentally friendly, but we also want the materials we use not to have adverse effects on our immediate environment. So, we wanted to know whether the materials we examined release critical substances.
How we measure?
We measured critical components that are released, for example, when the material is exposed to heat. The method is used for
textiles, carpets, leather, plastic parts, etc. to determine emissions.
No critical emissions were recorded for leather, MuSkin, SnapPap, Naoni or Teak Leaf
Critical substances were measured in the remaining materials. For example, pesticides were measured in Desserto. Plasticisers were measured in Desserto and Pinatex. Further substances such as butanonoxime, toluene, free isocyanate, etc., were found and are reported in the study. Note: In this context, we found it at least critical that Noani is advertised as vegan, but was to contain leather fibre, i.e. that animal components were used.
Leather is unique. So far, it has not been possible to replace leather.
From our point of view, the materials that are claimed to be alternatives to leather can be divided into three broad clusters:
Consumer must be able to decide what they want. To do so, they must know what they are buying. This study provides clarity and makes it clear that leather is a special, natural material that humanity, even with a great deal of know-how, has not yet been able to reproduce with all its properties.
1. Information of this article was taken from Annex: Summary of the FILK Study on Leather and alternatives published by CONTACE – Confederation of National
Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the Europian Community.
2. You can read the results in FILK’s final report on the study here: https://www.mdpi.com/2079-6412/11/2/226.