Whats the difference between leatherette and leather ? - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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United-Kingdom Whats the difference between leatherette and leather ?

I have read a few threads which talk about leatherette and I'm not to sure what this is. I'm looking at getting Full Beige Leather when I order my MINI but what does leatherette mean ? Is it different of just another word with the same meaning ?

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 06:53 PM
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Isn't leatherette an option on the US market?

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 07:06 PM
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Leatherette is not made from cows, unlike leather.

It's a synthetic material, albeit a really good grippy one. The leatherette used by MINI is superior in feel and grip to many of the bargain leathers I've seen in cars.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 07:08 PM
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Leatherette is a vinyl material that looks and feels very much like leather. It has 360 microscopic holes per inch (or something like that) making it very soft and supple.

I had my doubts, but once I saw it and sat in it, spending the extra money on leather seemed unnecessary.

Nothing against leather if you want the real thing though.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Is Leatherette available in the UK in the colour of Beige ? Is it alot cheaper than leather ?
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 07:36 PM
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Nope, you just just jet leather or cloth options in Europe. I don't think the US gets the ˝ leather option that the Europeans get.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2003, 11:23 PM
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US can't get half leather. US specs are leatherette is standard, you can get full cloth as a no cost option, or full leather as a $1250 option. That's it in the seat coating dept.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by badboyzbadboyz
Is Leatherette available in the UK in the colour of Beige ? Is it alot cheaper than leather ?
For beige, you have to get leather. I wanted green, so I had to get leather for that option, too.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 02:42 AM
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In the US if you want Cordoba (beige) leather or Emerald (Green) leather you can only get these in the regular Cooper and you can not get the Sport Seats, you are stuck with the standard seats.

Beige or green leather is not available in the MCS.

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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 07:54 AM
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Is the leather on the newer cars still baggy? IIRC, after a few months use, the leather would look "loose", whereas the leatherette still looked tight on the seat cushions.

That, plus the money ($1250) convinced me to go with the leatherette, and I'm glad I did - it's very grippy (actually tends to pull the back of my shirt out when I sit in the car) and holds you in place in the turns. It looks good, too. I've had to correct people who said: "Oh, you got the leather!" when they saw it.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 08:16 AM
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Chip, my green leather is not baggy, and I have one of the older cars.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 08:21 AM
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OK. Just to make sure, I'll let everyone know that:

April doesn't have baggy seats

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chiph
OK. Just to make sure, I'll let everyone know that:

April doesn't have baggy seats

Chip H.
(You walked right into that one!)
Thank you Chip! May I quote you in other threads too?
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chiph
Is the leather on the newer cars still baggy? IIRC, after a few months use, the leather would look "loose", whereas the leatherette still looked tight on the seat cushions....
I think the leather problem is on some cars, but certainly not all of them. I have the lapis blue leather seats in my Cooper S. With one year of use and 13,000 miles, both the driver's seat and the passenger seat still look new. They are identical - no wrinkles or sagging. And the passenger's seat only gets used perhaps 15% of the time vs. constant use of the driver's seat.

Now here's the wierd part. A month ago I saw a brand new Cooper S with lapis blue leather seats at my local the dealership. On a brand new car, both the driver and passenger seat bottoms looked terrible. The leather was indeed baggy and looked like it had been badly stretched. Was there a bad day a the seat factory? Did someone leave the windows down and the seats got drenched during a rain storm? Who knows?

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2003, 05:21 PM
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I think the quality of the leather being used at time of manufacture tends to vary, it shouldn't, but it seems to be the case.

I personally have a very bad concept of MINI's real cowhide upholstery options. Everytime I look inside a used MINI with leather seats these tend to look horrible, whereas, the cars with the Leatherette still look factory fresh.

Even new MINIs in the showroom, probably ex-demos, already show big signs of leather seating wear...yuck!

IMHO, don't waste the money in leather ($1,250) and get the standard no cost and fantastic Leatherette material...has the look and feel of leather without the hefty costs (The MINI leather is overpriced, period)of real cowhide and all the durability and maintenance issues.

Our leatherette seats still look showroom new after 10 months of use. When people come to "motor" with us, they think we have leather seats and their jaws drop when we tell them that the seats are "plastic" or vinyl!!!! Platic has come a long way baby!!

The Leatherette seating material used in the MINI is the same exact high quality BMW Leatherette material found in the current BMW 3 series. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the MINI's real leather vs the Leather quality used in BMW products.

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