How often do customers come to your auto upholstery shop asking for cloth seat covers because leather and vinyl ones get too hot under the summer sun? Well, that may soon be a thing of the past.
New Zealand tannery Tasman Tanning is investing millions of dollars to develop “cool hides” — genuine leather that doesn’t get hot. If successful, they say it could become an industry staple.
The New Zealand Herald writes:
Tasman has researched and developed dyes that could deflect UV rays on car upholstery by 14C. “All of this is with new technology from Europe.”
Over the past couple of years Tasman has developed the cool leathers for Range Rover and Audi. In May, eight people from Mercedes-Benz will visit Wanganui to evaluate cool leather samples. [more]
Few details are available, but it’s easy to see how luxury automakers would be interested. The new product would effectively make leather as comfortable as cloth and basically kill seat-cooler technology.
However, I’m curious to learn what effects – if any – cool hides will have on the lifespan of leather. After all, the sun’s heat is responsible for damaging more seat covers than cigarettes.