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Rexine – Early Imitation Leather Substitute

Rexine Ltd of Hyde, near Manchester and 42 Newgate Street, London

An articial leather cloth made by British Leather Cloth Manufacturing Co

1915 The name was listed in the 1915 Trademarks Journal as belonging to the British Leather-cloth Manufacturing Co Ltd (later Rexine Ltd) of Hyde, near Manchester.

1922 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of "Rexine" Brand Leathercloth, the substitute for leather used in the manufacture of furniture, motor cars, bags and trunks, and for bookbinding, etc. (Stand No. J.66) [1]

1926 ICI extended its interests in the manufacture of artificial leather by acquiring a very substantial interest in the British Leather Cloth Manufacturing Co[2]

Rexine - fabric
A strong, coated cloth, usually in the form of an imitation leather, and used as a covering material for books, etc. The weave and composition of the base (gray) cloth depend on the grade of cloth being manufactured at the time, and may be cotton or a cotton and rayon mixture. The cellulose nitrate coating is colored by mixing powdered pigments with synthetic oils and is applied in several layers, each being dried before the next application. Polyvinyl chloride may also be used for the coating. Embossing is done with engraved steel rollers, usually to imitate the grain pattern of a leather, but sometimes with modern geometric designs. This type of cloth has been in use since the first decades of the 20th century.


  1. 1922 British Industries Fair Page 66
  2. The Times, Sep 18, 1926

[1]   Etherington and Roberts Dictionary

[2]  Kingsmere Crafts

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