Apple announced at their Wanderlust conference that they were ditching leather accessories due to the environmental impact of the materials at the scales the must produce them. Instead, the official premium cases will be made from a material they refer to as “Finewoven”. Mine arrived the other day, so lets take a look.

The pamphlet that comes with the case refers to this as

“A luxurious microtwill with a soft yet durable suede like texture to protect your iPhone”

Yeh… I don’t know what a “microtwill1” is either, but lets take a look 🤣

I got the Finewoven Pacific Blue case to go with the Titanium Blue phone I’ve ordered. I put the case order in separately precisely so I could ensure I got it early to take a sneak peek at the new material.

From the inside of the case you wouldn’t see much of a difference from the old leather/silicone cases. The soft interior is exactly like any historic apple case.

The sides feel slightly thinner than the leather/silicone materials on the sides, at at first glance they feel like uncovered thin plastic.

A macro shot shows the material in more detail. Finewoven indeed. You can barely discern a pattern on the case from a distance. The best way to describe it is as per the marketing, a suede like texture.

A Macro on the sides shows that it isn’t actually plastic as per first glance, but just a different application of the woven material.

It feels like this has a more resistant coating over the top and is hard pressed or glued to the case. I honestly thought it was a thin plastic like the 3rd party “ultra thin” iPhone cases are made of, so this came as a surprise. The buttons as per the leather/silicone cases are still made of metal.

Since iPhones got their square designs the quality of the leather means they don’t patina 2 in a rich way, and instead just wear on the edges and look frankly a mess, so for this, and the fact the case isn’t using animal products, I’m not disappointed with a move away from Leather.

Plus I’m really interested to see how this new material holds up over time, especially with the more sticky 3 elements a case can be exposed to. I can already see specs of dust clinging to the case even after just casually holding it for a while without even having the phone yet, but I’m keeping optimistic for now.

I think these cases are more important than they seem at first glance, as I can see Apple start to go down the Microsoft Surface keyboard route with them putting this material on at least the insides of the redesigned Apple Magic Keyboard cases. I absolutely think that this material would be an improvement to the prone to peeing, fingerprint grease magnet that is the material used on those accessories. I do wonder if we’ll see it show up more as product revisions come out.

When I have my phone in hand and use this as my daily driver, We’ll quite literally see what the future holds…

  1. According to DIY Printing Shop “Micro Twill is a type of fabric with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs. It is one of three fundamental types of textile weaves along with plain weave and satin. It is made by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a “step,” or offset, between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern.” ↩︎

  2. A soft sheen that develops through use and exposure on the surface of the material which provides a character, a personality, to the product ↩︎

  3. 🍻🥤🍰 ↩︎