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Behind the scenes: Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette

By July 13, 2021 No Comments

12x more durable than regular PU leather. The same rich luster as luxurious NAPA leather.

 

What is Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette?

Our new-generation premium leatherette, available with the all-new Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022. Engineered to recreate the supple feel and rich, glossy luster of NAPA leather, Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette is our most advanced leatherette yet. 12x more durable than regular PU leather, and with improved abrasion and flex resistance, it is primed to last you through years of daily use.


Making a material difference

We’ve spent the past six years working with countless types of leatherette. During this time, we learned a lot about different leatherette compositions, the properties different materials conferred, and how to bring out the best in it. In 2019, we created Secretlab PRIME™ 2.0 PU leather, the result of three years of research and development with scientists at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

PRIME™ 2.0 PU leather set a new standard for the industry. 4x more durable than regular PU leather, it was designed to thrive in warm, tropical climates, a challenging environment for most materials.

But we knew we could do even better. Our engineers select materials based on a balance of function, looks and their ability to stand the test of time. By combining the best elements of the finest leatherette samples, we wanted to develop a leatherette that could truly rival NAPA leather in terms of looks, feel and durability, because you shouldn’t have to choose between how it looks and how it lasts.

 

Structural innovations

Regular PU leather is usually made up of three layers — a surface coating, a middle foam layer, and a backing fabric. When the middle layer takes in ambient moisture or is exposed to perspiration, hydrolysis occurs. The degradation of the middle foam layer, and the destruction of the leatherette from the inside out, is what leads to peeling.

To solve this, we stripped out the middle layer entirely. Using advanced technologies developed in our design lab, Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette features a unique resin top laminate bonded to a base PU layer. This resin layer is specially formulated to recreate the luster of NAPA leather, producing an ultra-smooth grain that is incredibly soft and supple. At the same time, the base layer is reinforced with a bespoke 3D structure of ultra-fine fibers for exceptional strength and durability.


How we test

Like its predecessor, Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette is engineered to perform in high ambient humidity and heat. At our state-of-the-art test lab, we go far beyond the industry standard to take our leatherette to the limit. Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette has gone through rigorous surface abrasion and tension tests, and is then placed in a humidity chamber to simulate years-long exposure to a tropical environment.

Martindale Abrasion Test

  • It is first immersed in an acidic artificial sweat solution to mimic frequent perspiration over time, and then subject to up to 3,000,000 cycles on the Martindale Abrasion Test. While regular PU leather started to peel early on, Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette exhibited no micro-cracks or peeling.

Surface Abrasion & Tension Test

  • We then subject it to 1,000 cycles of accelerated wear testing on the Taber Abraser. Uniform cracks and scratches were observed on regular PU leather, whereas Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette remained intact. We’ve engineered it to be more durable and resilient than regular PU leather in every way, featuring higher transverse and longitudinal tensile break strength to withstand long hours of daily use.

 Humidity chamber

  • Finally, it is immersed in a sodium hydroxide solution and then placed in a humidity chamber. Regular PU leather began showing significant peeling after just the first day, but no peeling was observed on Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette.


Primed for years of use

At Secretlab, our goal is to provide supportive comfort, all while mixing functionality with style.

With an expressive luster and resilience just like NAPA leather, Secretlab NEO™ Hybrid Leatherette redefines what you think of when you think of leatherette. Available in Stealth, BLACK, Classic, Ash and Royal, for those who want a modern statement piece for their setup.

Browse the complete Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022 collection today and discover a new evolution of comfort.