| 9:20 AM EST

Leather vs. Virus: Italian Tanner Creates New Material Treatment

Italian tanning company develops antiviral treatment for leather


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Gruppo Mastrotto, a large supplier of cowhide products for a variety of industries including automotive, has announced the development of a propriety technology that it said eliminates 99.9% of the viruses and bacteria that might be found on leather.

(Large? More than 2,400 employees; 18 factories; >435 million € turnover.)

Gruppo Mastrotto leather

Gruppo Mastrotto said it has developed a treatment for leather that provides antibacterial and antiviral properties. (Image: Gruppo Mastrotto)

In addition to which, it acts as a surface barrier that “prevents the replication of pathogens that may come into contact with the leather.”

Meaning that it maintains its capability after several uses, though the company didn’t say how long the surface barrier lasts.

Chiara Mastrotto, president of Gruppo Mastrotto, said, “This fundamental innovation, designed and developed entirely within the company, represents for us the culmination of significant efforts and investments made in the Research and Development field.”

Presumably the people who work in the company’s labs have been previously been working on colors and surface treatments more than on health-related concerns.


Although antiviral leather has an immediate application due to COVID-19, it is worth noting that one of the considerations that interior designers have had over the past few years is designing interiors for shared vehicles that are not only easy to clean of dirt and debris, but that would have the antiviral and antibacterial properties that Gruppo Mastrotto said it has developed to treat leather.

This treatment will undoubtedly have applicability from this point going forward for both shared vehicles as well as those individually owned.


  • Injection molding for interiors—including fabrics

    Plenty of interior components are injection molded. But some companies—such as VW—are using a process for trim pieces that both mold a component and cover it in fabric in a single molding process. And it is coming to the U.S. in the not-too-distant future.

  • Designing the 2019 Ram 1500

    Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”  

  • On the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

    The fourth-generation of this compact crossover is improved, enhanced and optimized inside and out.