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Goodbye FineWoven: Apple ditching its eco-friendly leather replacement?

2024 April 22
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Apple may have done away with its FineWoven-branded iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands as its leather alternative material proved a letdown.

iPhone 15 Pro Max in FineWoven case showing lost of scratch marks

The leaker who goes by the handle “Kosutami” wrote on X that the iPhone maker had already ceased production of FineWoven accessories over durability problems.

The same account reported that Apple would adopt woven fabric material for accessories before Apple made the announcement. If this is true, Apple should offer a FineWoven alternative instead of bringing back the leather.

Apple said to shut down FineWoven production

FineWoven is a renewable material with a lower carbon footprint than leather, which makes the material much better for the planet.

That being said, however, users have come to expect a certain level of quality from Apple’s overpriced cases. FineWoven just doesn’t deliver in that regard.

A short history of FineWoven

Apple says it’s dedicated to leaving the world better than we found it. The introduction of FineWoven-branded iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands in 2023 was supposed to mark the end of the road for its leather accessories.

FineWoven is Apple’s marketing name for twill made from 68 percent post-consumer recycled content. Apple’s press release promised “a subtle luster and a soft, suedelike feel.” At first, customers praised the new material.

It soon became apparent that FineWoven doesn’t hold up well. After a few weeks, disgruntled users took to social media to complain about very visible dings and deep scratch marks, saying their case looked like it would fall apart any second.

Apple even told store employees how to handle FineWoven complaints. “You may get questions from customers about the appearance of the new FineWoven material, how it wears over time, and how to care for it,” reads the memo via 9to5Mac.
“You can let customers know the FineWoven material is made from a luxurious microtwill, with a soft yet durable suede-like texture”

Perhaps the most damning report came from the Wall Street Journal columnist Joanna Stern who wrote in her newsletter that the not-so-FineWoven fabric “is scratched up like an old CD and it’s browning like a rotten banana.”

How to clean FineWoven cases

Apple’s support document explains how to clean FineWoven cases: Dip a lint-free cloth into clean water and wring it out until only slightly damp, then rub the cloth on the case surface gently for 1 minute. Good thing I stayed away from FineWoven.

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