In recent years there has been a move away from moquette-covered seating in buses, as many companies take advantage of the properties of e-leather. There is no doubt that e-leather (and full leather) are easier to keep clean and are harder wearing than traditional moquette.
Moquette has a tendency to wear around the seams as any fold tends to expand the weave. Leather on the other hand can be expensive, but is harder wearing.
So enter e-leather. Whilst I have seen it used on buses and coaches I have never really understood how it is made.
What I do recall is a trade press article which suggests that it can be around £70,000 cheaper to trim a coach in e-leather against traditional leather. When new both have the same look, but apparently age differently. Over time traditional leather assumes a shiny finish whereas e-leather loses its sheen.
E-leather is made from discarded leather off cuts and also uses parts of the cow’s hide that is not actually used in the manufacture of real leather.
The off cuts and other materials are cut and separated into individual fibres with water jets then being used to link the fibres. Colour are added as pigments rather than dyes, which increases colour saturation and reduces the occurrence of fade. Once coloured grain and surface coatings are applied.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.