BioThane® has rightfully earned a commendable reputation for its low-maintenance and easy-to-care-for qualities. While we celebrate its benefits, it is equally important to be aware of its limitations, as no product is without its constraints. As an experienced shop that is committed to supporting our customers and delivering accurate and transparent information, here's an overview of the pros and cons we've encountered with BioThane:
• Waterproof -- Yes, BioThane® is indeed waterproof thanks to its PVC coating and high quality polyester core. Renowned for its exceptional strength, UV-stability, and non-stretch properties, BioThane outperforms imitation "waterproof webbing" products made with nylon webbing. Due to its polyester core, BioThane products do not require specialized finishes for end sealing to protect the product or increase its longevity.
• Smell and Stain-Resistant -- BioThane is impressively odor-resistant and easy to clean with soap and water in most cases. However, it is not entirely 'stink or stain-proof.' Certain permeative substances, such as skunk spray, may leave a lingering odor that regular cleaning might not entirely eliminate. Refer to our Care Section above for more information and tips on how to clean and maintain your gear if usual maintenance does not do the trick.
• Resistant to Abrasion, Mold and Mildew -- BioThane demonstrates exceptional strength and abrasion resistance but is vulnerable to sharp objects, including teeth. Avoid allowing pets to bite or chew on BioThane, as it can be marred or punctured. The outer PVC coating, if compromised, does not affect the strength unless the inner polyester webbing is damaged.
The material's composition, including its waterproof properties, makes it less susceptible to the growth of mold and mildew compared to natural materials like leather. Regular cleaning and proper storage can further enhance BioThane's resistance to organic materials.
• Fade Resistant -- BioThane resists fading unless left outside for extended periods. While most items retain their original color for the lifetime of the product, neon colors (such as the Fluoro Pink and Blaze Orange) may experience faster fading, and color transfer can occur. Storing such colors separately is recommended to prevent direct contact and potential color transfer.
• Leather-Like Appearance, Softness and Flexibility -- Unlike leather, BioThane does not require conditioning or oils and will likely require little in the way of cleaning and maintenance. BioThane will not stretch over time. BioThane also does well in lower temps, retaining its flexibility and brittleness not becoming an issue until temps of -49°C | -56°F are reached.
• Pliability Over Time -- One of the least discussed traits we have encountered with BioThane is that unlike leather, which gets softer with use, BioThane's pliability decreases over time. While these changes usually take years to occur and are considered a normal aging process of the material, the exact lifespan will vary based on environmental exposures and each animal's unique body chemistry. Per BioThane directly,
"Biothane is a man-made PVC product and as such, additives are included in the manufacturing process which make the material soft and flexible. A combination of abrasion, sunlight, heat, cold, oils from the dog, water, time, and other such various environmental exposures, will eventually work out these additives, decreasing the flexibility of the material over time and perhaps even lead to cracking. "
BioThane Corp. is working on identifying more exact causes that exacerbate a decrease in pliability or cracking of the material. If you have ever experienced a decrease in pliability or cracking of Beta BioThane® (whether it was purchased from SCCo. or another shop), we invite you to fill out this survey -- results of which are shared directly with BioThane to aid them in their efforts.
• Vegan Certification -- Although BioThane is crafted without any animal products, it does not hold vegan certification. The manufacturing process involves the use of dyes and lubrication which may include animal byproducts.
Overall, BioThane stands out as an excellent product, demanding very little in the way of maintenance compared to alternative options. Nevertheless, it's important to acknowledge that, like any product, it has its limitations. Our primary objective is to empower and educate our clients, enabling them to make informed decisions aligning with their preferences and their pet's lifestyle. If any questions arise or if further assistance is needed, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are always here and eager to assist you.