22 March 2023
Future trends: synthetic leather and AIRO®24
Future trends have a clear roadmap following an itinerary to sustainability, i.e. low environmental impact. Synthetic leather is definitely located on the route, with its a thousand possible uses, from (technical) apparel and furniture to automotive and avionics. But the imperative common denominator shall be innovation.
Synthetic leather – some people call it fake leather, which seems quite a reductive term –looks like real leather, but has no animal origin. Once a plastic film has been spread on a cotton or synthetic fabric, the last looks and feels smooth and flat. That is the moment when a typical leather-like design – the so-called leather wrinkles or embossing – is impressed on the surface. Then, depending on the finishing process, the synthetic leather may gain special characteristics, such as better elasticity or a more realistic aesthetics. Actually, synthetic leather is experiencing a huge surge in demand as it is easier to care, water, light and heat-resistant and also price-competitive as per the most common applications.
It is exactly during the finishing phase that AIRO®24 by Biancalani Textile Machinery makes the difference thanks to the open-width and continuous process that enhances the leather-like look and softness – enhancing the embossing effect – just like a 3D effect. Biancalani is not new to the process, as the so-called AIRO HAND® is one of the company’s highlights, but AIRO®24 high technology makes it all more efficient and obviously energy-saving. And last but not least, being AIRO®24 an innovative tumbler, it can help reaching both sophisticated effects such as worn leather – in this case, the fabric must be specifically treated before the finishing process – and greater elastic properties.
Nowadays, synthetic leather is far from being considered (only) a cheap solution, as it was in the past. Actually, it is a high-tech product with so many properties such as high resistance, but everyday less product weight, which is what industries such as avionics, sportswear and technical apparel crave for – and we are talking about big, super well-known brands. Thus, about excellent performance.
Ever since, Biancalani is following and supporting the trend of sustainability, quality and the key turning to high technology. Let’s focus, for example, on energy saving. If we compare an average tumbler, where we can process a small quantity of fabric using rather much energy, to an open-width, continuous finishing machinery such as the recently green-labeled AIRO®24, it is striking how the last can process meters and meters of fabric with huge energy savings, i.e. immediate benefit. Furthermore, the above-mentioned possible sophisticated results are simply countless.