From a glance, silicone leather is no different from genuine leather. The grain can be embossed to a degree that it looks exactly like the grain of genuine leather. Thus, the only way to tell the differences is to touch, smell, and cut open the silicone pieces.
Sweat-proof and odor-free
Silicone leather is water-proof and prevents the development of bacteria that causes odor
By definition, silicone is a polymer made up of siloxane (a compound of Si-O-Si linkages) and is used widely as sealant, cooking utensil, and much more. Some of silicone’s benefits include water-proof, temperature resistance, low toxicity, and not supporting microbiological growth (bacteria and fungi developments).
Consequently, sweat will not be able to penetrate the silicone. Bacteria cannot develop on silicone. There will be no chance for the odor to develop and stay.
Safe for Skin
As “granted”, the chemical components of silicone leather pose no harm to the human body. That is why the material is widely used in the medical industry as well as in making goods for babies.
The top-quality silicone leather should meet all the safety certifications by the US and EU. Below are a few of them.
Medical-grade silicone leather meets all safety requirements by the US and EU
Silicone leather is soft and provides a subtle feeling on the touch
Though you will need to wear or use the product to judge, there are a few factors that can contribute to the overall comfort, including:
- Softness: Silicone is highly flexible by itself. Therefore, the surface of silicone leather will also have a high level of resilience, which is very similar to real leather.
- Feeling on the touch: There are many types of finishing that can affect the touch and feel of the leather.
Since the watch straps will stay in contact with human skin for a long period, it is highly recommended to use the one providing the closest feeling to real leather. It should feel smooth, soft, and not plastic-like.
Easy to clean
One of the properties of silicone leather is to prevent stains from sticking on the surface permanently. You can apply any popular detergents on it, including soap and diluted alcohol.
Long-lasting & Anti-wrinkle
Silicone leather is expected to last at least 5 years
For a long time, synthetic leather has been believed to have very low quality. It could be broken within 6 – 12 months of extensive usage. However, it is no longer true today.
Among many types of synthetic leather, silicone leather has the highest durability. The good ones can last at least 5 years without any discoloration or tearing.
Also, since it has high resilience, silicone leather is not subject to deformation or wrinkles that much. You will barely see any wrinkles after 1 year of daily usage.
Non-porous: Less breathable?
Sweat will stay on your skin
This is probably the most concerning issue when it comes to choosing any synthetic leather as the lining for watch straps.
Indeed, there’s no pore on the surface. As a result, liquid (sweat) and dirt will stay on your skin and, potentially, make your skin wet.
However, we have tested the straps with actual people and the worst thing that they experienced was some wet areas around the wrist. No irritation or discomfort during usage was recorded.
The reasons are quite straightforward:
- Sweat is your body’s natural liquid, combined with salt and fat (~1%). Therefore, it contains no harmful agents that can negatively affect your skin.
- In most cases, you wouldn’t wear your straps in a super tight mode. Rather, there should be spaces here and there between your straps and skin. Therefore, the air can still get in and dry out parts of the sweat in between.
- After a long day, all the sweat and dirt can be washed off easily.
Many people are using rubber or pure silicone straps every day and they barely have any issues.
Lack of feeling like real leather
The feeling when touching depends on how the manufacturer has treated the surface. In general, the primary reason why synthetic leather does not feel like real leather is because of the plastic layer at the very top of the surface. The manufacturer has to use more plastic most likely because the base layer (between the back side and the plastic) is weak. In this case, the plastic layer acts as a protective layer for the material.
For silicone leather, there is barely any to none plastic on the surface. Silicone’s bonding is strong by itself already. High-quality silicone leather can be customized to have the exact feeling that real leather has, which is a bit smooth and a little rough.
Symptom of peeling
Low-quality synthetic leather is subject to peeling symptoms
Low-quality synthetic leather will eventually experience the top layer’s peeling issue, exposing the material’s backside. This is due to a process called hydrolysis.
Hydrolysis is understood as the breaking down of a component upon reacting with water, vapor, or humidity. With normal usage, the leather will be exposed to moisture, water, and temperature changes. High temperatures will dry out the surface and then water particles will start to penetrate and dissolve the surface.
Silicone leather was invented to overcome this challenge. It is anti-hydrolysis, which means that it can be exposed to water or sweat for a long period without any damage. Hence, silicone leather is not subject to peeling within the warranty period by the manufacturer.
The last downside of silicone leather is the price. Among different types of synthetic leather, silicone leather is probably the most expensive one. The high-quality one can cost as much as real leather.
Also, the process of making watch straps with silicone leather is more complicated than with real leather. The silicone leather is not adhesive and it is challenging to get the best aesthetic looks similar to real leather.
Heritela is among the first ones to successfully make leather watch straps using silicone leather. We are also able to preserve the aesthetic looks of the straps, compared to straps using real leather as lining. At a glance, you won’t be able to tell the differences, perhaps.
Should you opt for watch straps using silicone leather as lining?
Silicone lining is durable, easy to maintain, and highly resistant to sweat
The short answer is yes. We highly recommend you use silicone leather as the lining due to the convenience and benefits that it provides.
We have run a thorough test market process to make sure there are no significant drawbacks when using silicone leather. The results were positive and now we are happy to offer them to you officially.
Visit our collection of leather watch straps with silicone lining and get your new leather watch straps!
Store location: Hanoi, Vietnam.
WhatsApp: +84 98 666 7056
Facebook: Heritela Official