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Extraordinary Materials

Craftsmanship is a vital part of the Bentley DNA. But before our craftspeople can begin their work, there is a vital first step that makes a Bentley unlike any other luxury car: the sourcing and selection of the materials. From beautiful wood and leather to luxurious new materials, we combine quality with sustainability. 

 

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THE FINEST WOOD

The wide range of Bentley veneers is made possible by our wood experts, who go to great lengths to find tree varieties around the world with unique colours and patterns. From the elegant straight grain of Koa to the light colour and delicate markings of Tamo Ash, every piece of wood we use is ethically sourced and stringently tested to ensure it meets Bentley’s quality and sustainability standards.

To create our rich red-brown Liquid Amber veneer, an exhaustive two-year search led the team to the Mississippi wetlands, where the American red gum tree grows. We only use one of these trees if it falls naturally, and a new one is always planted in its place.

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METAL AND STONE

Wood isn’t the only material that can be used on the fascia of a Bentley. Carbon fibre adds a contemporary, sporting feel, and this can also be interwoven with polished metals such as copper and titanium, for an eye-catching technical look.

To celebrate Bentley’s Centenary, our personal commissioning division Mulliner created three Limited Editions inspired by some of the most legendary Bentley cars from Bentley’s early years. Their centre consoles were given an Engine Spin finish popular in the 1920s and 30s, made from an exquisite ‘turned aluminium’.

For a truly individual cabin, you can even commission stone veneers. These employ precision technology to create layers of slate or quartzite stone just 0.1 mm thick, for a stunning, natural finish.

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OAK MEETS COPPER

The Bentley EXP 100 GT is a concept car that was created to explore every aspect of the future of grand touring – including the use of wood. Taking our sustainable sourcing to a new level, we worked with Bog Oak specialists Adamson and Low in Kent to reclaim fossilised oak that had been lying in peat bogs for centuries.

To enhance its natural beauty, we filled the open grain, knots and cracks of the wood with recycled copper, in a process inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi. The resulting Copper Infused Riverwood adds to the inspiring tranquillity of the cabin.
 

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THE RETURN OF CLOTH

In the 1920s and 30s, it was not uncommon to use cloth instead of leather for the interior of your Bentley. Since then, it has only been used on bespoke commissions by Mulliner, and on cars built for the British Royal Family – until the creation of the EXP 100 GT.

For the door panels of this concept car, Gainsborough Mill, British fabric weavers for over a century, created a beautiful Cotton Damask. They used cotton dyes to create a sophisticated ombré colour gradation which makes it look as if the textile flowsed seamlessly into the adjoining veneer, adding to the cabin’s harmonious feel.

We also worked with Hand and Lock, who have been producing handmade embroideries in London for over 250 years. They used the Trapunto method, dating back to the 14th century, to create a contemporary raised quilting that adds comfort and depth to the interior.
 

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SUPPLE HIDES

The refined comfort of a Bentley is due in no small part to the high quality of the leather used throughout the cabin. This is thanks to a process that begins long before the hides reach the factory in Crewe. It starts with cattle that graze at high altitudes in Northern Europe, where insect bites that cause blemishes are less likely to occur.

A special tanning process follows, allowing the hides to retain their natural leather aroma, reminiscent of classic Bentley interiors. Sections of the hide with high natural elasticity are reserved for curved areas such as the seats, ensuring the ideal finish in every part of the cabin.

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BEAUTIFULLY SOFT

The EXP 100 GT explores how leather might be used to enhance the grand tourers of the future – by continuing our use of high-quality hides and adding innovative new finishes. For the seats, we worked with the Scottish Leather Group to create soft and tactile aniline hides. Soluble dyes add colour without producing a uniform surface, allowing the natural imperfections of the leather to add an extra layer of texture.

For the doors, we collaborated with another Scottish leather maker, Bridge of Weir, to create an ultra-soft nubuck leather with a metallic finish. An innovative hand-spray process allows the copper-coloured surface to blend seamlessly into the curving metal around it, while hand-buffing reveals the beauty of the leather underneath.
 

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THE FUTURE OF MATERIALS

As Bentley moves into its second century, our commitment to sourcing high-quality, sustainable materials is as strong as ever. We will continue to combine the fine leather, wood and metal for which Bentley is renowned with innovative new materials and finishes, to create cars that provide refined comfort in a tranquil space.

To discover more about how our craftspeople make the most of these extraordinary materials, visit our Craftsmanship page.

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