Know the difference between upholstery options

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 3:11 pm
Difference between leatherette, leather and leather-appointed

Difference between leatherette, leather and leather-appointed

When everything is already complicated in the car-buying experience, you might think the one area you have down is your upholstery options. After all, there’s cloth and leather, right? Well, no. Vinyl used to be an option too, and now it isn’t (and good riddance!). This doesn’t mean there aren’t other artificial options, and the terminology can be a tad confusing. We’re talking specifically about the difference between leatherette, leather and leather-appointed seats. What does this all mean?

What are leatherette and leather-appointed seats?2017 nissan maxima leather appointed seats

We’ll assume you have a firm grasp on what leather seats are, but what is leatherette? And what does it mean if seating is “leather-appointed”?

Leatherette seating isn’t leather at all, but rather a man-made material that imitates the look and feel of leather. It’s a bit like the modern-day vinyl, but not as prone to cracking and that awful sticky feeling. Plus, it looks a lot better. Typically, leatherette is a premium option over cloth seating, but not as favored as genuine leather.

Leather-appointed seats are seats that are partially leather, and partially another material. Usually the leather is what is sat on, while the edges of the seating might be leatherette or cloth. In some Nissan models, you might find there are Alcantara (faux suede) or diamond-quilted inserts there are durable and create a visual distinction over solid leather.

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Benefits of leatherette vs leather-appointed vs leather seating

Some people prefer cloth seating for its simplicity and the fact that it doesn’t get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter, but staining can be a real issue. One not found in any of the leatherette/leather combinations. It’s easy to differentiate between leather and cloth, but how do you break down the benefits of premium options?

Upholstery Pros Cons
Leatherette • Low cost
• Leather look-alike
• Not prone to fading from sunlight
• Repels food/liquids
• Better scratch-resistance
• Cruelty-free
• East to clean
• Doesn’t breathe as well
• Low resale value
• Hotter in the summer
• Not biodegradable
Leather-appointed • Best cost/value balance
• Cooler temperature where you sit, more durable where you don’t
• Best cost/value balance
• Cooler temperature where you sit, more durable where you don’t
Leather • Higher resale value
• Breathes better (not as hot)
• Can become softer over time
• Many enjoy the smell
• Expensive
• Easier to scratch/mar
• Needs to be conditioned to retain supple feel
• Can feel colder in winter
• Not vegan-friendly

What’s your preference for automotive interiors? Share your thoughts with a comment below, and be sure to check back here at the Glendale Nissan Blog for more answers to FAQs.

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