What Is Rexine?
Rexine is fabric covered in paint, made in Hyde in Manchester, ironic it’s made in Hyde, when it isn’t a leather Hyde!!
It’s a cloth substrate and then coated with a mixture of items mainly cellulose nitrate which is a low explosive material used in firearms!! Yep your sitting on a time bomb. Also, used in the mixture was camphor oil, alcohol and pigments, this was embossed to give a leather grain.
The name Rexine was registered in the trademarks journal in 1915, so this is a very old original fake leather, fake leathers is not something new, they have been around for over 100 years now, this is just one of them another is Presstoff used in the war as leather was in short supply invented and used by the Germans for books, gun holders and so on.
It was widely used as book bindings and upholstery coverings but from the 1920’s it began to be used a great deal in the car industry as a cheaper alternative to leather, even in the 1920’s car manufacturers were trying to cut corners, increase profits and give a lower quality car to the public.
Rexine, once ignited, can rapidly spread and the fire can become extremely intense and unstoppable. Once the fire begins, the spread is very rapid, causing huge concerns for safety as happened with a train in 1951.
Take a look at this company who have been stocking leathercloth products since 1889 !! Yes, fake leather has been around some considerable time.
Doing repair work to Rexine is a delicate job, over prepping and the fabric is ruined beyond repair. It’s a delicate job to undertake, only lightly prep with a cloth and leather prep or alcohol cleaner is better, do not use a red scotch pad as you would do normally.
Cleaning and aftercare of Rexine is like a traditional leather, only difference is what you clean the Rexine with. Don’t use a scrubbing brush or a magic eraser, don’t use microfibre towels either, use a dedicated luxury leather cleaning brush to agitate the surface to clean and remove all dirt and grime, then proceed to apply protection cream as normal, the purpose of this, is to stop the painted surface from drying out and cracking.