What Is Presstoff?
Roll of material
Presstoff is a fake material made from compressed paper / cardboard, a paper pulp was used for this, so it was limited as to what it could be used for. Shoes were pointless as it was soon discovered that when they got wet or from sweat, they broke down rather quickly.
Presstoff was first invented in the 19th century 1st January 1801 to 21st December 1900, this was invented in Germany as were a great deal of methods for the genuine leather industry. But Presstoff was different it began to become widely used as an alternative to genuine leather in ww2. During ww2, leather was strictly rationed and alternatives had to be found, Presstoff was used, but it never took off.
The main issues with Presstoff was its production paper pulp and special reins, but the major drawback to Presstoff was when it became wet it broke down.
Presstoff was used widely in small production items, like gun cases, belts, wallets, gabs, binoculars, bayonet cases, horse tack, and caps. Presstoff was used in place of leather due to its restriction in ww2, but never became popular with the consumer due to it breaking down quickly when it became wet. Its characteristics were stunning, it looked and felt just like genuine leather, but the main telling point with this as with all fake leathers it felt cold to the touch, leather naturally attracts warmth and retains heart hence why it was used by cavemen as coats and clothing.
Belt Made from this material
So, as you can imagine, cleaning Presstoff is almost impossible as once it gets wet it blows up a bit like MDF does today once it gets wet, this was in its day the MDF of the leather world.
German Tool Box Made During ww2
This is just a fake leather, trying to make use of a material during tough times and leather being in short supply, but this faux leather was not great and it never took off as the people of Germany wanted quality and something that lasted.