“Leather alternatives” are a great way to expand offerings even if you’re not searching for an animal-leather replacement. I love animal leather, no doubt, and plan to use it as long as my fingers can stand it. So if you’re looking for someone who eschews leather for [insert your own reason here], I am not the craftsman for you. Thanks for visiting, and have a great day!
Still here? Awesome. :0)
Some leather workers display a knee-jerk reaction to the idea of non-animal “leather” — to the extent that they flat out refuse to try a material “because it’s not real leather”. Which is no big deal; if they want to stick with leather as their specialty they’re on the right track by excluding these other options. I’m of the opinion that while something not made from an animal should not be called leather, I realize that’s a battle we can’t likely win. I’ll do my part by putting the word leather in quotes when referencing a non-animal-based “leather” and then think of each offering as yet-another-material to appreciate, drool over, and use on its own or in combination with leather.
Here are some I’m following with interest. I’d be happy to try any (where publically available and monetarily feasible*) should a customer desire to be a guinea pig, er, an explorer who cares to venture into the unknown along with me. I do turn up my piggish snout at materials made from petroleum products and as far as I can tell in my research so far, the ones I’ve listed are not petroleum-based.
Existing and up and coming options are pretty exciting. Matrix will be updated from time to time as new info becomes known to me. Know of something else that fits here? Feel free to drop me a line!
* To my customers: Do understand that the price you see on a linked site will be less than what you’d be charged for the material due to ye olde overhead and ye olde markup costs necessary for making a profit on the end product; suffice to say, most of these (cork notably excepted) will be more expensive per square foot than most non-exotic leathers. Because any of these would be a non-standard product for me at this time, a deposit will likely be required. Interested? Let’s talk. :0)
** Leather thickness is typically referred to in mm or ounces.