Natural Chamois Leather vs Synthetic Chamois
So a Supplier sends me this natural Chamois Leather from UK to be reviewed and since I’ve been using a synthetic chamois all my life , thought I’d pit it up against its new natural rival. For those who do not know , the Chamois is mainly used for drying your car after giving it a good shampoo wash. The reason we use this is to avoid marring your paint with swirls due to small dust particles still left behind after the wash.
The one I use currently is ABRO’s synthetic chamois bought from ACE Hardware (for 1.4 K.D few years back). I use it strictly just to bloat dry , meaning I don’t drag it along the paint body as you would do with a Microfiber towel (which by the way is not the right way to dry). I would just press it against the paint gently to soak up water, this way I prevent risking my paint from getting fine scratch’s. Another reason why I use it to bloat dry my car is because of the synthetic Chamois’s apparent shortcoming , it does not have any pores or fibers to trap any sort of dust. You can see from the picture below.
It does however absorb a reasonable amount of water while blotting the car dry and you might just need to wriggle out water once or twice to get it back to a semi dry state during the entire drying process. The best part about the synthetic Chamois is that once you finish drying you can wriggle out excess water and store it back in the plastic container semi wet till you use it the next time. You must not let it dry outside though as this would make it hard.
1) Easy storage.
2) Good Absorbent, blot dries.
3) Good life.
4) Smooth finish to paint.
1) Needs few extra pass’s.
2) Only Blot dry possible.
Natural Chamois Leather:
Coming to the contender. The natural Chamois I got was from a brand called Veltex. As soon as I opened the packaging there was a deep pungent leather smell. Pretty impressive , since it really smelt like genuine leather. Natural Chamois leather is actually flesh split of lambskin with tanned fish oils. Performance wise, it has been very impressive and for a lot of reasons at that. Firstly I didn’t have to wriggle out water even once since it just kept absorbing water from my car. Secondly , with this you could actually wipe your car dry since it has fibers and fish oils to trap dirt and move it away from your paint thereby not harming it.
Also if maintained well , the natural Chamois can last really long too, so that’s great value for money. There are 2 grades in this Chamois , one is the GB and another GBA grade. Essentially one is for heavy duty use and is of a higher quality ( GBA ) and the other one ( GB ) is a grade lower. Honestly I would prefer grade GBA due to our harsh dusty climate in Kuwait.
There was one problem though, the paint was not smooth as usual after drying. This I think was because of the initial use, as the natural chamois has a break in period before it works at its optimum level. The tanned oils gets excreted while drying initially. Nothing is visible though , but if you run your hands across your paint , you can feel it.
1) Highly Absorbent, holds large amount of water (10 times its weight).
2) Can wipe/blot dry.
3) It’s natural , hence much longer life.
1) Storage problem. No container ,Will dry hard and need to re-wet it to become soft again.
2) Break in period, where tanned oils get excreted initially. So paint will get some deposits initially.
3) Not everyone will like the strong pungent smell.
The latest drying materials that are most commonly used by most people are synthetic chamois because of their price and ready availability. But when it comes to best performance with respect to water absorption , softness , ease of use (wipe dry) and paint safety there is nothing that can come close to good old natural chamois Leather’s.