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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

"Pantasote" Imitation Leather: General Information

Procedure code:

0995001S

Source:

1906 Sweets Catalog

Division:

Finishes

Section:

Wall Coverings

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

"Pantasote" Imitation Leather: General Information



"PANTASOTE" IMITATION LEATHER:  GENERAL INFORMATION


PANTASOTE was an imitation leather product used to cover courtroom
fly doors in GSA Federal Buildings/Courthouses.  The following is
a modified entry from the 1906 Sweets Catalog describing the
material and its uses.

NOTE TO READERS:  THIS IS A HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION OF PANTASOTE
FROM 1906.  IT DOES NOT DESCRIBE A CONTEMPORARY PRODUCT.  THIS
STANDARD IS FOR BACKGROUND ON A MATERIAL WIDELY USED BY GSA.


THE PANTASOTE COMPANY

Address in 1906:                   Address Today:

11 Broadway                        Pantasote, Inc.
New York, NY                       Passaic, New Jersey
                                  201/777-8500

The original company dates back to the 1890's.  Pantasote, Inc. is
still in business in Passaic, New Jersey, however the company has
split apart and the wall covering division, among others, is no
longer affiliated with the original company.


HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION

Pantasote is a coined word from Greek derivation, meaning "to serve
all purposes".  Pantasote leather was originally manufactured for
upholstery purposes and was historically used for wall decoration,
shades and curtains.  Pantasote materials were placed on the market
in 1891 and could often be found in residences, hospitals, yachts,
railway cars, electric cars, and on automobile canopy tops, seat
upholstery and lap-robes.  Pantasote was also frequently
mackintoshed (waterproofed with a rubberized cotton coating) for
use in making tents, awnings and sporting/camping equipment.

Pantasote consisted of two fabrics united firmly together with an
intermediate coating of Pantasote gum.  The surface was then coated
with Pantasote and embossed, giving it a finish resembling hide
leather.  It was available in a variety of colors and finished with
either ordinary leather grains or a high relief embossing.

The composition of Pantasote rendered it insusceptible to any
climatic conditions.  Unlike genuine leather, pantasote did not
stretch, bag, dry up or oxidize.  It was water-proof, germ-proof,
non-flammable, and could be washed or cleaned at any time.  In
general, it tended to last longer than most hide leather and cost
about 1/3 as much.

As an upholstery for shades and curtains, it was the most durable
and inexpensive material in 1906.   Being opaque, the Pantasote
surface protected the decorated fabric on the inside of the shades
or curtains (sometimes made of very delicate and artistic silk)
from the effects of sun (rotting and fading) and rain.

                         END OF SECTION