Alcantara: leather or fabric?

The truth up front: Alcantara is not a type of leather, but a fabric. We see time and again that many consumers are under the impression that Alcantara seats in their cars give them a high-quality leather interior.

It is due to the nubuck-like appearance and the pleasant softness of this upholstery material that it is often mistaken for suede. At first glance, Alcantara undoubtedly resembles nubuck leather. But the difference becomes clear at second glance at the latest, when you look at the back of the material: with Alcantara, you can see the microfiber fleece layer, whereas with nubuck leather, the back is also genuine leather.

How do I care for Alcantara?

Properties - cleaning and care tips


Our recommendation

The PURATEX® Cleaning Set for microfibre is ideal for thorough cleaning of Alcantara. Removes dirt and stains and ensures colour-fresh cleanliness!


Where does the name come from?

Alcantara is a high-quality “leather substitute” from Japan and is technically a microfiber fabric. The term Alcantara is only the brand name of the manufacturer, not a general material category.


A polyester microfiber fleece is coated on both sides with polyurethane (PUR). The fleece is then cut in the middle. The hairs protruding from the cut form the nubuck-like surface, while the outer urethane surface becomes the reverse side.


We have already mentioned the leather-like look and the pleasant, soft feel. In addition, Alcantara, like microfiber fabrics in general, is very easy to care for and hard-wearing, antistatic, elastic and virtually crease-resistant. Compared to real leather, Alcantara has the advantage of being lighter, easier to care for and more slip-resistant. On the other hand, the fabric is not less expensive, as it comes at a price due to its complex and time-consuming production.

Further product recommendations

PURATEX Degreaser Spray
Removes oily and greasy stains from textile upholstery

Efficient spray for removing oily and greasy stains from textile upholstery:

  • for cleaning oily and greasy stains
  • spray dries to a fine powder with the dissolved grease
  • simply vacuum the residue
  • treat with PURATEX® Strong Cleaner afterwards
200 ml PURATEX® Degreaser Spray
18,70 €
incl. VAT, plus shipping
PURATEX Chewing Gum Remover
Removes chewing gum on textile upholstery and adhesive residue from labels

Chewing gum residue on textile upholstery? Adhesive residue from stickers or labels? With PURATEX® Chewing Gum Remover possible to remove.

20 ml PURATEX® Chewing Gum Remover, 50 ml PURATEX® Strong Cleaner, metal brush, cloth
17,25 €
incl. VAT, plus shipping
PURATEX® Strong Protector for textile upholstery
High-efficient impregnation against stains

Giving a basic protection to a non-treated textile upholstery. Furthermore, this product is to renew the protection after intensive cleaning with the suitable PURATEX® Cleaner. 

500 ml PURATEX® Strong Protector
39,40 €
incl. VAT, plus shipping
Accessory Set I
Ideal for upholstery cleaning

Practical accessory set - ideal for thorough cleaning and care of upholstered furniture.

  • Suitable for upholstered furniture covers made of leather, fabric or imitation leather
  • High-quality and washable cleaning sponge that transforms liquid cleaners into a soft and wash-active foam
  • Soft care cloth, lint-free and washable
  • Gentle cleaning brush. Indispensable for thorough cleaning and stain removal on upholstery covers
1 cleaning sponge, 1 cloth, 1 soft brush
3,80 €
incl. VAT, plus shipping
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