Material Matter: Eco-Suede

By Brittany DiBenedetto | Material Matter
Posted Jan 31, 2017

Traditional suede fabric is a type of leather that comes from the underside of the animal skin. It is given a napped finish to provide a soft texture making it a desirable material in the fashion industry. An Italian manufacturing company has figured a way to create high quality suede without the use of animal hides.

To add to our innovative list of Italian material manufacturers comes Miko, a company that started off creating non-woven fabrics for furniture. Now the manufacturer produces the first and only high performance microfiber, with a large array of applications, known as Dinamica®. With the help of Japanese partner Asahi Kasei, Miko was able to develop an ecological suede using recycled polyester fibers and PET products. By using recycled polyester,energy consumption and CO2 emissions can be reduced up to 80%. The Dinamica® material guarantees sustainability throughout its entire production process, ensuring low levels of polluting emissions as well as energy consumption for Miko.

With a production process similar to that of recycled paper, no harmful chemicals or toxic solvents are used. Dinamica® is a material that is comprised of three layers: the face, inner scrim and backing. The inner scrim is submerged into a water solution containing suspended polyester fibers. These small fibers are then attracted to both sides of the inner scrim and compacted with a needle punching process to form the face and the backing. The microfiber is then immersed in a water polyurethane bath to further compact the fibers, giving them elastic and resistant qualities. The material is more durable than traditional suede, but is still able to supply the same soft touch and comfortable feel while providing other extended qualities.

“Dinamica® was born in order to overcome today’s standards and to become a model for future innovation.”

- Miko Luxury Brochure

Dinamica® is designed for easy disposal and is 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life. The microfiber is also extremely versatile in its use when submerged in different solutions. Within the fashion sector, Miko has shared Dinamica® with brands such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Stella McCartney, and Beyond Skin. Although the automotive sector is most prominent with this material, with brands like Mercedes, Volkswagen, and GM, Dinamica® has the ability to be used in different sectors as well including furniture, aviation, marine, and medical.

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