Nonwovens / Technical Textiles


Toray to introduce an environmentally friendly non-woven material with a suede texture

Toray Industries, Inc. announced that it would introduce "Ultrasuede® BX", a non-woven material with a suede texture which is about 30% made of plant-based raw materials in January 2019. The material realizes the highest proportion of plant-based raw materials – Polyester and Polyurethane in this case - in the world.

"Ultrasuede® BX" is the world’s first non-woven material with a suede texture using plant-based Polyurethane.

Toray plans to market "Ultrasuede® BX" as environmentally friendly material that offers both high sensitivity and functionality in wide-ranging applications such as automotive interior, fashion and upholstery. It aims for sales of 500 million yen from the product in fiscal year 2019 and 3 billion yen in fiscal year 2023, five years later.

A non-woven material with a suede texture is manufactured by impregnating the three-dimensionally entangled structure of Polyester ultra-fine fibers with Polyurethane, coagulating it and buffing to form suede-like surface structure.

"Ultrasuede® BX" uses Polyester polymerized with Ethylene glycol made from waste molasses of sugarcane and Polyurethane composed of Polyol made of castor oil from unedible castor-oil plant, which gives the suede texture material the world’s highest content of plant-based raw materials by around 30%.

Before it, Polyurethane made of plant-based raw materials faced to the technical issues on physical property such as low durability and hand, and could not be used for a non-woven material with a suede texture. To solve these issues, Toray used its unique design technology from polymer to product structure and Polyurethane coagulation technology and succeeded in development of the "Ultrasuede® BX", which has high levels of plant-based raw materials, superior feeling and functionality such as high durability, air-permeability and easy maintenance.

Marketed globally by Toray, Ultrasuede® is a non-woven material with a suede texture, an advanced product made using optimum Japanese quality.

Since Toray developed an innovative product in 1970, through continuous technological advancements, Ultrasuede® has evolved as a highly functional material not only for fashion and interior designs, but also for automotive and aircraft interiors, sports gear and accessories for smartphones and mobile devices.

Toray also has been focusing on development of environmentally friendly sustainable products and has been marketing "Ultrasuede® PX", which uses partial plant-based polyester since 2016. The addition of "Ultrasuede® BX" to the brand’s product lineup further expands the company’s deployment of a non-woven material with a suede texture that realizes both sustainability and creation.

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