Synthetic leather is getting one Peoria company big attention from the fashion industry.
Natural Fiber Welding started developing “Mirum” about a year ago with biodegradable products like hemp as a substitute for plastic-based faux-leather materials used mainly in clothing and fashion accessories.
Natural Fiber Welding Chief Technology Officer Aaron Amstutz said the product could eventually have uses far beyond clothing, however.
“It’s possible that it could be in many, many other applications that other plastics serve today. Wall coverings to floorings to all sorts of things," said Amstutz.
Automobiles could also eventually use Mirum. CEO Luke Haverhals said he hopes to eventually scale up to mass production of Mirum.
“There’s millions and millions and maybe billions of dollars worth of Mirum, just Mirum, there in the world, doing what today is done by petroleum-based materials, but instead will be nature-based materials," he said when asked by a reporter where he hopes to see Natural Fiber Welding five years down the road.
Natural Fiber Welding currently employs 27 full-time staffers at their facility on Galena Road. The company uses a unique chemical process devised by Haverhals during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy to bind natural fibers together.