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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > What is leatherette?



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      01-06-2006, 03:32 PM   #23
underDAWG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonelburke
Or tiny leather.
Damn, this is good one.
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      01-06-2006, 03:47 PM   #24
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Leatherette is more durable in my opinion. I had an E46 with leather and after my 3 year lease was up, there were many scratches on the leather. Especially one really large one on the backseat. But I'm also an architect/contractor and sometimes have to take my car to the construction sites and drive other people and construction workers sometimes. One day, one of the guys had a tool belt on and, what I'm assuming was a screwdriver of the hammers claw, scratched the leather when he got in or out of the car. So I guess it depends on your use of the car.

With the leatherette in my E90, I don't have to worry about it. In fact, the other day my girlfriend left a bottle of laundry detergent laying down on my back seat and it spilled out making a puddle overnight. When I noticed it in the morning, I just soaked it up with a paper towel and wiped it with a wet rag and it didn't even leave a mark. I'm sure if that was leather, it would have swelled because it's porous and who knows how it would look.
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      01-06-2006, 05:59 PM   #25
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I too wish we had cloth seats as an option in NA. I've never had leather or fake leather before in my cars so I don't feel like I'd be missing it if i was able to have cloth seat. For me whether it be leather or fake leather I'm worried about it being either hot to the touch and just don't like sticking to my seats during the summer months. As a result of my only 2 options I ordered my E90 with leatherette. Yes, some people can't tell its not real leather and some just don't care, plus it would be easier to clean/maintain, won't crack or show wear, and it doesn't cost extra (I'd rather spend my money elsewhere).
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      01-06-2006, 06:01 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DILLIGAF
I too wish we had cloth seats as an option in NA. I've never had leather or fake leather before in my cars so I don't feel like I'd be missing it if i was able to have cloth seat. For me whether it be leather or fake leather I'm worried about it being either hot to the touch and just don't like sticking to my seats during the summer months. As a result of my only 2 options I ordered my E90 with leatherette. Yes, some people can't tell its not real leather and some just don't care, plus it would be easier to clean/maintain, won't crack or show wear, and it doesn't cost extra (I'd rather spend my money elsewhere).
I agree, leather gets friggin hot in the summer, and frigid cold in the winter, but it's pretty good in repelling stains
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      01-06-2006, 06:53 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklion
I agree, leather gets friggin hot in the summer, and frigid cold in the winter, but it's pretty good in repelling stains
2 X here. I take cloth seats anytime.
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      01-06-2006, 07:23 PM   #28
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Quote:
I too wish we had cloth seats as an option in NA.
This was an option on the E36 M3 when it was brought over to the US. Do you know how many people ordered it in '95 (the option was dropped in '96)?

4

Now, there is an exception for the M3 Lightweight of which there were 80 and they all came with cloth, but still... only 4 civilians ordered their M3s with cloth. Hence, it will never be available in the US again.
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      01-06-2006, 07:35 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dude007
When I went to the BMW dealership they showed me BMW with leather seats and told me that sides of the seats are leatherette. Not sure who is right
When you get leather, you get leather. There is no 'ette in the car. The entire seat is leather, as are the door panels and armrests. The leather is much better quality than most others I'm used to. Your salesman doesn't know much about his product.


To answer the original question, leatherette is obtained from the small animal cowette. The poor tiny bovines are slaughtered and their little leatherette skins are removed. Years ago, they used to use naugahide as a substitute for genuine leather. It wasn't until the poor little nauga was on the brink of extinction that they stopped using them. Perhaps a similar fate awaits the cowette.
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      01-06-2006, 07:47 PM   #30
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Doesn't veal come from the cowette? I hope they do not become extinct as they serve the world in so many ways. Gotta go, time for dinner.
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      01-07-2006, 11:56 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP
To answer the original question, leatherette is obtained from the small animal cowette. The poor tiny bovines are slaughtered and their little leatherette skins are removed. Years ago, they used to use naugahide as a substitute for genuine leather. It wasn't until the poor little nauga was on the brink of extinction that they stopped using them. Perhaps a similar fate awaits the cowette.
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      01-07-2006, 09:21 PM   #32
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leatherette feels like leather, looks like leather, only difference is it doesnt wear and get used out like real leather does.

Non bmw owners would never notice the difference between a leatherette interior and real leather interior. However if you have seen both and sat in both, there is a slight difference.

Most say however, that the cheaper leatherette is preferable to real leather as the only maintenence it requires is a whipe every now and then from a wet rag.
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      01-07-2006, 09:31 PM   #33
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I prefer real leather and I can easily tell the difference.
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      01-08-2006, 01:34 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP
I prefer real leather and I can easily tell the difference.
Is the 'vinyl' they use similar to what used to be standard on European cars or have they improved it since then? If it's the vinyl/leatherette that I remember then there's no way you could confuse the two.
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      01-08-2006, 01:49 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP
I prefer real leather and I can easily tell the difference.
I agree.

But, in BMW's defence, the leatherette in my cousin's e46 is pretty convincing. If you didn't own an e90 with real leather; it'd be hard to tell the difference.
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      01-08-2006, 01:53 AM   #36
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Leatherette from my car.
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      01-08-2006, 05:57 AM   #37
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I also have leatherette in my E90 and on the day I went to pick up the car from the dealer my salesperson was going over the car with me and said "leather interior"... where upon I said, "uhhh, you mean Sensatec!" (that's the BMW product term used here at least in Spain for leatherette), he was touching it, examining it, smelling it, ran back to his office to check the factory order and came back saying, "you're right, it's Sensatec, wow, I really thought it was leather, I couldn't tell the difference!"

Funny coming from the BMW salesguy - anyways, I have a coworker who has the same car but with leather and you notice it has more wrinkles/folds. I am very happy with my leatherette/Sensatec.
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      01-08-2006, 10:39 AM   #38
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I have leatherette in my old 325xi. People really couldn't tell the difference and after 3 years it looked as good as the day I bought it (with no more mainantance that a wipe down with a damp rag every once in a while). It really is a good product. The problem is it only comes in black or beige. If you want any of the other colors (grey, or brown) you need to go with leather.

As for the cloth seats, the biggest problem I had with them in my previous car before these 2 BMW as getting a static shock in the winter getting out of the car (cold dry air around here and sliding across fabric causes a good shock when you touch any gounded part of the car).

I got black leather in my new E90 since I wanted the rest of the premium pack features and then I had to get the leather.. If I could I would have gotten all of the PP features with leatherette instead.
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      01-08-2006, 10:56 AM   #39
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I have leatherette in my car. The difference I noticed was that the leather is softer to the touch and smells better. My prevoius car had leather...Honestly I think BMW did a pretty good job in making the leatherette look real, but it does not feel real. In Canada if you want leather you have to pay an extra $2500, which I dont think is worth it. With leather the stiching is nicer especially on the doors (there is stiching in the middle of the doors and in the middle of the center armrest)...Most people who come into my car think I have Leather.
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      01-08-2006, 11:11 AM   #40
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Leather vs. leatherette is a personal choice. Either is a good choice. If you are on the fence, I suggest getting the leather as its a pain to switch out later on if you change your mind. For me, power seats are more important than leather, especially if you carry passengers in the rear seats. $1,000 for power seats is a huge rip off.
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      01-08-2006, 11:11 AM   #41
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I want the M-sport alcantara/shadow blue cloth interior -- I'll wait for ledzep to identify what species that comes from...
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      01-08-2006, 12:12 PM   #42
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You can tell the difference easily in the two. Its a tradeoff. You can go with leatherette because its cheaper and easier to maintain, but then again, it doesnt have the feel or comfort of the leather.

Personally, it wasnt even a choice for me. Leather it was. For what I paid for my car (and even the most stripped out 325i is not a cheap car in my mind), I wanted to get leather. I know its just me, but I dont understand those that get leatherette. Its a flippin BMW. not an 80's retro car
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      01-14-2006, 04:37 PM   #43
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blue jeans and leatherette

Has anyone that has the beige leatherette had problems with stains from their jeans.
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      01-14-2006, 09:32 PM   #44
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There are some important differences between the two in terms of look and feel. When you slide into the seat with leatherette, it has a rubber-like grip... the leather is softer and you can slide on it a little easier. Also, there is a HUGE difference on the door panels. The Leatherette material on the door arm-rest is a hard rubber feel.. the leather is stitched and very soft and padded. Also on the door, there is a stitching/pleat that runs horizontally on the panel and again, it's padded and very soft. Both materials are very nice though and the leatherette definately has a damn realistic grain and is also stitched. It shouldn't be confused with K-Car vinyl.
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