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Old 06-07-2012, 12:27   #1
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Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

Looking for the best material for saloon setties. Best for us is: able to handle some abuse, long life expectancy (does not fray/disintegrate/stretch too much with age), and looking NICE through most of its life expectancy.

We're looking at ultra-leather, ultra-suede, and semi-aniline full grain leather (all about the same price where we are now).

Are your boat setties upholstered in any of the above? Do you like it? Can you get the stains out of it? What about tears and scuff marks? How long have you had it and actively used it? Wish you had something different?


Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-07-2012, 13:01   #2
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

skip the leather, go with the ultras.

wears like iron, washes well, and doesn't have issues that real leather has.

More comfortable over all on bare skin.

I like the ultra suedes the best.
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Old 06-07-2012, 15:12   #3
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

G'Day K,

Well, we've had leather on all our saloon cushions for the whole 9 years that we've owned this boat, and it is still in geat shape. Dark green in color, no stain issues. Don't know what kind of production treatment it had, but we put some sort of leather furniture goo on it about every 6 months. We have lived aboard and cruised full time for all those years. Meanwhile, friends with ultra-suede have had to replace theirs... go figger!

So, there's a vote for the real thing... besides, did you ever hear of a cow wearing out?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 06-07-2012, 16:39   #4
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

The Ultra products rock! Real leather can mildew and should it do so you can kiss it good bye! Forget any fabric that has any natural fibers like cotton or wool - always! We redid all ours in Ultra Leather and it is pretty nice (white too). It cleans easily and wears well. It can scratch however.

Do what you will but I suggest NO natural fibers or organic materials. When they mildew there is nothing you can do to fix it! Modern non natural fibers can be cleaned easily. The "Ultra" fabrics are a bit spendy but they wear quite well. 20 years is possible.

The cheap Olefin fabrics do quite welltoo (think cloth car seats). The woven Glenraven Mills fabrics looks fantastic and wear like Sunbrella (same folks think expensive patio furniture) but look great but don't cost as much. They are solution dyed yarns and wear like iron. You can get attractive stuff that works well just avoid stuff you put in the living room of your home.

In upholstery there is also the foam under the fabric. Bad news! It's got VERY expensive over the past 5 years for the good stuff and the better fabrics will outlast the cheap foams. Foam gas tripled in the last 5 years - deal with it. A firm foam with a top memory foam layer makes the best possible boat cushion for sitting or sleeping.
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Old 06-07-2012, 17:02   #5
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

Ultra leather....wears well, cleans easily, doesn't absorb odors.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:44   #6
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

Thanks for your inputs!

So ultra-suede doesn't stretch out with age?
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:23   #7
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

I prefer ultra suede as the ultra leather feels a bit more sticky against bare skin in hot/humid conditions - at least to me.

There are a bunch of ultra fabric knockoffs but the major brands (e.g. Toray) do not stretch. It is used a lot in automotive applications. Go check the seats of your BMW M5

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Old 08-07-2012, 09:31   #8
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

my formosa has regular upholstery interior--cloth--has for over 15 yrs with same cushions and coverings..i live aboard and cruise--works well and no sticking to fabric or static electricity gotten when on slides, or tries to slide across the ultra swedes and fake leathers.
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Old 08-07-2012, 14:36   #9
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

I have ultra-suede (tan) that is now seven years old and the only thing that has managed to stain it is cetol (dumb owner error). Otherwise it looks as good as the day it was put in.
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Old 08-07-2012, 14:41   #10
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

I have recently developed some stains on the ultra-suede covered settee & chairs in the salon. Those of you who say it cleans up easily, could you let me know what you use?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:12   #11
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

A mild detergent should work. If whatever it was that made the stain has solids in it you'll need those to soften up so you can wash it away. I've use 409 spray on the Ultraleather but it pays to start with something mild like Woolite and water first. If you can get under the cover and work from both sides you can flush the stain through to the other side using a cloth on the other side to absorb the water and stain residue. The fabric should not really absorb the stain but it needs to be softened up after what ever it is hardens. If it had grease or oil then the detergent will help it let go.

Depending on the style of upholstery you can remove the cover and wash it. It's why we don't have "button" in the upholstery as all the cushion covers are removable. They really are made that way in the first place but when you add buttons they can't be removed.

The whole "Ultraleather" set of products has many "families" so it's not just one type of fabric. The UltraSuede is the same way too. Many of the knock offs really suck so you need to be sure as many if not most of them are just plastic. The "ultra" label is trademarked.

Ultraleather does breath in the "Bisa" family of products. Ours isn't sticky and really feels like very fine leather. It has been very stain resistant and wears quite well but you can scratch it on the surface. The boat originally was built with UltraSuede on it and we replaced it after almost 15 years of continuous use by liveaboards. It was not stained or torn but showed some wear but was a hideous seafoam green so it does hold up and I should think the newer versions would be much better and clearly have more choices in styles in terms of colors, look, and feel.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:41   #12
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

Thank you for that! Mine were installed by the PO but I'm pretty sure they're a high quality ultra-suede. They seemed quite stain-resistant until recently. I'll give your suggestions a try. Funny, I think they may also be "sea-foam green"!

BTW, it looks like my boat is "just down the street" from you, i.e. docked in Mobjack. I'm not from around there but I love the area, and Hayes/Gloucester is often my "big city" resource for supplies (Home Depot/Lowes, etc.).

Dan
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:54   #13
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

I have Ultra Suede on the boat, and Ultra Leather on the dining chairs at home. With a five year old and a 20 month old, they give it a great test! Both are great, but the leather just wipes off, while the suede takes slightly more work. I would have put the ultra leather on the boat but some CF posters suggested it could feel hot and sticky in a warm climate.

There is a photo of the boat cushions in my profile.

I would buy them both again.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:57   #14
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

My leather jacket turned green hanging in the locker on my boat in the tropics. Of course I didn't do anything to it while it was in there.
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Old 09-07-2012, 21:02   #15
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Re: Ultra-leather, ultra-suede, or leather?

We are looking as well, and may have settled on Ultraleather's Brisa product. On top of the great Ultraleather product, it breathes.
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