!!! Click on the above picture for LARGER view!!! What is BiCast Leather?
Bycast (or bicast) is essentially a synthetic product. It consists of a thick polyurethane topcoat applied to a low-grade or reconstituted leather base. The thick, embossed polyurethane topcoat makes bycast leather stiff and gives it high gloss sheen. Bycast leathers are generally much less expensive then genuine leather products and not very durable. It is not usually possible to repair bycast.
With natural leather, the strength and durability comes from the top grain of the hide. Because bi-cast is a painted inner layer split, it does NOT have the strength or durability of natural leather.
The resulting product is a MUCH CHEAPER than top grain leather and has an artificially consistent texture that makes it looks like real natural leather. So it appears very attractive to the unsuspecting consumers. The use of the term "leather" in relation to this bicast treatment is considered a misrepresentation and therefore not permitted in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Furniture made with bicast exhibits none of the characteristics associated with genuine leather; it will NOT develop a patina or suppleness nor otherwise "improve with age". With constant use the polyurethane layer will crack and split free of its backing. Its life expectancy can be very short-lived.
Modern technology permits up to three or four horizontal layers being taken from the one hide. The leather used in the backing of bicast is a thin, otherwise worthless, layer remaining after better quality layers have been removed for traditional leather work and contributes nothing to the look and feel of the end product.* Click HERE to learn more about Analine, Pigmented, Nubuck Leather
* Click HERE to learn more about Bonded Leather.
* Click HERE to learn more about Bicast Leather.
Sources: cited from Institute of Leather Restoration & Training, Wikipedia, eHow.