Bicast leather (also spelled as bi-cast leather or bycast leather) is a material made with a split leather backing covered with an embossed layer of polyurethane or vinyl. Bicast leather was originally made for the apparel industry for glossy shoes, and was later adopted by the furniture industry.[1]

Production and features

The hide material used in the making of bicast is usually a portion of the fibrous, lower grade of leather that remains when the higher-grade grain layer is split off. [1]

Bicast leather is produced by building up a layer of plastic (typically polyurethane) on top of an embossed release paper known as casting paper.[2] Split leather is then pressed into the plastic. After the resultant bicast leather has cured, the casting paper is removed,[3] and optionally re-used.[4] The embossing usually gives the appearance of top grain leather, although it may be smooth depending on the desired finish.

New bicast leather can have a chemical odor, but this typically dissipates about a week after the piece is exposed to air.[5]

The use of terms like "genuine leather" or "100% leather" in relation to bicast treatment is considered a misrepresentation and therefore not permitted in some countries, including the UK,[6] Denmark, and New Zealand.[7]

Furniture manufacturers say that the main benefit of bicast leather is its surface appearance at a low price.[5] With constant use, however, the polyurethane layer may crack and split free of its backing, and abrasion may cause large unsightly marks.[6][8]

See also


  1. ^ a b "What Is Bicast Leather?".
  2. ^ "Release papers and films | Product | Lintec Corporation". Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Bicast: what is it and how does it perform? - Leather International".
  4. ^ "About Castingpapers | CASTING PAPERS R-series". Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b Gunin, Joan (1 April 2003). "Bycast: Leather's latest price-cutting move". Furniture Today. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  6. ^ a b Gillan, Kevin (17 February 2010). "Bicast leather". Advanced Leather Solutions. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  7. ^ "Commission reminds traders: Claims of 100% leave no room for ambiguity". 18 April 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  8. ^ Stevens, Richard (February 2006). "THE LEATHER CONTROVERSY". Mainly Chairs. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010.