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Can you recommend a substrate that resembles the look and feel of distressed leather?

Answered by Sabine Lenz, founder,

I am producing a brochure that needs to have the appearance of a leather-bound textbook and am searching for a substrate that resembles the look and feel of well-worn or distressed leather (it cannot be plastic-looking). To complicate things, I need to be able to print, emboss or foil stamp on the material. I know there must be some synthetic papers (or other substrates) available but my search keeps yielding plastic-looking materials. Can you help?


For a great leather look and feel, try Alezan Wild from Gmund Paper. It’s a brand new sheet that actually feels like genuine leather. This sensation is achieved with a special surface that is created using an original leather embossing technique as used in the leather industry. Developing this completely new technique in paper-making, Gmund has created "wild" with a genuine leather feel. Also available from Gmund is "cult" which is the identical paper but with a smoother, more cultivated surface. Alezan stocks are not yet widely available in the U.S., so place your order early.

Another alternative is SuedeTex from FiberMark which imitates the look and feel of suede. Its latex content gives SuedeTex the luxuriance of leather with the adaptability of paper. It provides a supple feel and gives SuedeTex the strength and durability to resist moisture and tearing. SuedeTex is widely available in the US.

With regard to printing techniques, both papers are great for embossing, foil stamping and other printing processes.

For more information about Gmund Paper, send an email to or for more information about FiberMark, send an email to

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