Toray’s premium material for a new generation of automotive interiors
A new addition to the Ultrasuede® line, Ultrasuede® nu is a material created with a totally new concept that extends beyond the conventional leather categories of grain leather, suede, and nubuck. It maintains the functional qualities of the conventional Ultrasuede®, such as high breathability, comfortable stretch and easy-care handling, as well as impressive colour variations and easy processability. Winner at the PV Awards 2018, Première Vision Paris, for the most creative responsible fabric, Ultrasuede® nu is a non-woven material created using ultrafine fibres to have a genuine grain leather appearance. It features a luxurious texture with advanced functionality and offers a wide variety of creative design possibilities.
The Mazda Vision Coupé is a next-generation design vision concept car which showcases the ‘new elegance’ that has been developed by drawing upon Mazda’s long history of design, and then projecting the premium future for the brand. This concept sets the stage for Mazda’s eye-catching, furtherevolved Kodo design, and for the introduction of Ultrasuede® nu, which was used along the instrument panel, seat centres and door panels to reinforce the premium quality of the interior.
Ultrasuede® nu has found its inaugural production application in the new Mazda 6 (Atenza, in Japan). A critical part of the new interior at the premium trim levels of this model [pictured, right] is the use of Ultrasuede® nu on the instrument panel and door panels. This demonstrates the possibilities of the material for future applications. The texture and colours of Ultrasuede® nu – brown and white – have a richness that makes the material seem to change in different lighting conditions. “When the light falls on it, there’s just this little bit of play that forms an interesting element,” notes Ian Hedge, interior design manager, Mazda North American Operations.
Additionally, the Ultrasuede® nu complements the other materials in the interior, including the Japanese sen wood and the nappa leather on the seats, allowing a feeling of richness in the interplay of colour and materials. Ultrasuede® nu has been used in furniture applications, too. Sempre is a furniture and lifestyle product store in Japan which creates products to represent modern design, reflecting its values of simplicity and elegance as well as being peaceful and relaxing. Sempre has applied Ultrasuede® nu to bring a premium quality to its upholstered sofa and chairs, part of a living room collection.
Ultrasuede® nu, with its suede-like texture and leather-like appearance and the chance to create supple and soft draping, is also ideal for high-end clothing, and it has made inroads into the fashion world with its use by the innovative Tokyo brand Support Surface. Designer Norio Surikabe explains that a Support Surface garment “begins with draping. What I am looking for in Support Surface is to produce clothes that make women themselves really feel a high quality when [they are] put on, and that make them look more beautiful, including their expressions and behaviours.” Similar feelings and impressions are important when stepping into and experiencing an automotive interior as well.
Toray first developed Ultrasuede®, a nonwoven microfibre suede, in 1970 by making full use of its ultra-microfibre manufacturing and processing technologies. Over the past 45 years, this product has earned a high reputation for its luxurious texture and advanced functionality. It has become widely recognised as a premium-quality material not only for fashion items and accessories but also for uses in interior decorating, automotive upholstery, and industrial material applications. Now Ultrasuede® nu becomes the next chapter as Toray continues to evolve toward “Beautiful Possibilities.”