Category Archives

    Colour

  • All
  • Product information: Chieftain MultiStretch

    Performance fabric – Chieftain MultiStretch Rosemary

     

    At Chieftain our passion is producing the best vinyl fabrics possible. As part of this process we work closely with specifiers, designers and members of the upholstery community. This group helped us at every step in the development of MultiStretch, an eight way stretch fabric ideally suited for seating where comfort is paramount.

    Technology fabric
    All of the Chieftain MultiStretch range consists of a backing cloth which is 92% cotton and 8% Lycra.
    Lycra (also known as Spandex or elastane) is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than natural rubber and is a polyester-polyurethane copolymer that was invented in 1958.
    With this mixture, we have virtually eliminated directionality, making the fabric easy to use and superb in upholstery.

    Performance fabric
    In situations where comfort needs to be at a maximum, the fabric must also remain practical for both the patient to use and staff to clean and maintain. We add silver zeolite based Ciba IRGAGUARD B5000 which inhibits the growth of bacteria, mould and yeast. Furthermore, these protective ingredients have allowed MultiStretch to counteract C.difficile, E.coli as well as MRSA and the vast majority of bacteria

    Colour palette
    MultiStretch consists of nine colours ranging from lighter to darker shades which provides beautiful tonal balance within the range while providing uncompromised durability. Although a limited spectrum, we have carefully focused the range to ensure it works where required.

    Conscious Design
    MultiStretch is REACH compliant, according to the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.


    References
    Wikipedia, (2015). Spandex. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex [Accessed 26 May 2015].

    Echa.europa.eu, (2015). REACH – ECHA. [online] Available at: http://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach [Accessed 27 May 2015].

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

  • Chieftain Vinyl Colour Ideas

    A question we often get asked at Chieftain Fabrics is what colour do we recommend to match to a particular vinyl? The simple answer is, it all depends.

    Certain colours work well together, yet contrasting colours can be used to give effect.

    Complementary Colours Schemes
    According to ‘On The Theory of Light and Colours’, complementary colours are pairs of colours which, when combined, cancel each other out. This means that when combined, they produce a grey scale colour like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those particular two colours.

    Some complementary colours in our Just Colour range include:

    Analogous Colour Schemes
    Tigercolor.com highlights that analogous colour schemes use colours that are next to each other. They usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs. Analogous colour schemes are often found in nature, are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

    Some analogous colours in our Just Colour range include:

    Triad
    Again, Tigercolor.com, indicates that a triadic colour scheme uses colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. Triadic colour harmonies tend to be quite vibrant, even if you use pale or unsaturated versions of your hues. To use a triadic harmony successfully, the colors should be carefully balanced – where one colour is used to dominate and the two others for accent.

    Some triad colours in our Just Colour range include: 

    We also asked our inhouse design team to pick some suggestions from our ranges and suggest colours that work well together, some Chieftain Vinyl Colour ideas include:

    Colours vary from screen to screen as no two viewing configurations are the same. To learn more about this phenomena we suggest reading this short article ‘Is Your Computer Colour Blind?’.

    Finally, Wikipedia notes that a person’s perception of colour is a subjective process whereby the brain responds to the stimuli that are produced when incoming light reacts with the several types of cone cells in the eye. In essence, different people see the same illuminated object or light source in different ways.

    Edit: 19 June 2015
    Also worth reading in relation to colour: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121843/philosophy-color-perception


    References

    Young, T. (1802). The Bakerian Lecture: On the Theory of Light and Colours. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 92(0), pp.12-48.

    Tigercolor.com, (2015). Color Harmonies: complementary, analogous, triadic color schemes. [online] Available at: http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-harmonies.htm [Accessed 21 May 2015].

    Wikipedia, (2015). Color vision. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_vision [Accessed 22 May 2015].

  • The Good and the Bad Vinyl Fabrics

    Side by side comparison, a poorly produced vinyl fabric will ‘look’ the same as a highly engineered version.

     

    A known idiom reminds us not to be ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ and in almost any purchase or specification decision we can easily get seduced by a lower price and not fully realise the actual cost. We have all experienced this in one form or another, but is this apparent in a fabric specification decision? Surely fabric is fabric?

    Unfortunately, not all fabrics are created equally and vinyl fabric is no exception. As vinyl is a synthetic material, it can be manufactured in many ways. The marketplace has both ‘The Good and the Bad Vinyl Fabrics’. Matkovic ́ et al highlights some of the factors that contribute to good quality vinyl production which include;

    • using good quality raw materials,
    • ensuring precise control of how PU paste with the paper passes through the dryer at the correct speed of 10 mm/min,
    • how the temperature needs to be adjusted to 80℃ to allow drying of various solvents which need to evaporate.

    Not correctly managing any of these steps can have dramatic effects on the end product. Unfortunately, to look at the product, even in a side by side comparison, a poorly produced vinyl fabric will ‘look’ the same as a highly engineered version. The difference only becomes apparent after some use.
    In ‘Coated Textiles: Principles and Applications’ Sen points out that upholstery fabric is made up of layers fixed to a cotton base fabric;

    These fabrics contain a knitted base fabric, a polyurethane foam middle layer and a wear-resistant top coat…The composite is then foamed, cross-linked, and laminated to a textile base…An important requirement of the upholstery fabric is that it should have proper flame-retardant additive to reduce the ignitability of the products.

    Additional ingredients can also be added to improve the fabrics performance. For instance UV (ultraviolet) stabilisers can also be added to protect the fabric in direct sunlight. Again, from looking at a highly engineered fabric, compared to a poor grade one, there is no way of knowing if the product has UV stabilisers included and again this will not be known until the fabric starts to fade or flake after exposure to sunlight.
    Even the quantity used in each layer has a massive impact on the vinyl and the cost associated with producing it. Coated Textiles: Principles and Applications points out that;

    Upholstery-grade cloth has a thick foam layer ranging from 360 to 480 grams per meter squared, a top layer of 180 to 360 grams per meter squared.

    Producing vinyl fabric below these tolerances, which is common practice in cheaper grade vinyls, will naturally result in an inferior product, yet may remain unknown to the buyer. Typically, cheaper vinyl manufacturers use less expensive ‘fillers’ and as Sen further points out, ‘the primary role of a filler in PVC is reduction in cost’. Extensive use of filler in the production of a fabric will again have no initial visual indication.
    Again, performance would only become apparent when in situ.
    One major furniture store in the UK, DFS, came under heavy criticism for supplying poor quality furniture recently. The knock on effect was damage to the DFS brand and an investigation by BBC TV who pointed out that due to the poor quality fabric being used in their leather and faux leather sofas, they failed the necessary standards for UK fire safety regulations and were therefore shown as illegal for sale in the UK. Secondary costs such as the re-upholstery and transport are never factored in along with the damage caused to the brand and negative publicity generated. As a specifier, supplier or manufacturer of furniture, is it worth the risk? If you visit a restaurant, store or office and notice poor quality upholstered furniture where the colour is fading, rubbing off or the material is flaking, what impression does this create? What does this communicate about the organisation or brand?

    As highlighted in Mix Magazine March 2015 edition, as dealerships evolve and respond to a marketplace that views furniture as part of brand identity, contract furniture companies, are under constant pressures to deliver quality products with the correct margins. They can easily be seduced by a lower fabric price. However, for their customers, they are the centre of knowledge and excellence and must examine their client’s needs objectively and supply a coherent solution. Thinking ‘fabric is fabric’ can easily lead to poor quality selection with the end result being threefold:
    damaging the relationship with the client,
    weakening the ‘consultant’ position,
    having to absorb the additional cost of having to collect, transport, re-upholstery and re-deliver.

    • damaging the relationship with the client,
    • weakening the ‘consultant’ position,
    • having to absorb the additional cost of having to collect, transport, re-upholstery and re-deliver.

    All of which epitomises ‘penny wise, pound foolish’.


    References

    Matkovic, V, Cubric, I, and Skenderi, Z. (2014) ‘Thermal resistance of polyurethane-coated knitted fabrics before and after weathering’, Textile Research Journal, November 2014 vol. 84 no. 19. pp. 2015-2025.

    Sen, A. K (2007) Coated Textiles: Principles and Applications, Second Edition, Florida, USA:CRC Press, pp.148

    BBC, (2015). Your Money Their Tricks – DFS sales tactics – BBC One. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/r5pvRcspQH8jjJ5JJpNkvq/dfs-sales-tactics [Accessed 16 Apr. 2015].

    Furniturenews.net, (2015). Furniture retailers implicated in BBC’s fire regulation investigation. [online] Available at: http://www.furniturenews.net/news/articles/2014/01/1675215348-furniture-retailers-implicated-bbcs-fire-regulation-investigation [Accessed 16 Apr. 2015].

    Mixinteriors.com, (2015). Spotlight: The Dealer Market | March 2015. [online] Available at: http://www.mixinteriors.com/march-x2015/i/630/desc/spotlight-the-dealer-market/ [Accessed 17 Apr. 2015].

    Save

    Save

    Save

  • OVS Via Dante – experiential retail store for the 21st century customer

    A recent study of the European e-commerce industry conducted by RetailMeNot and the Centre for Retail Research, suggests that e-commerce sales will increase by 18.4% in 2015, while offline retail sales will decrease by 1.4%. With e-commerce chewing into brick and mortar sales year on year, PwC reports that “most traditional retailers are facing the biggest challenge in their histories: How do they meet consumers’ expectations of a seamless shopping experience?”

    The answer lies in cross-channel integration. VP of Marketing & Business Development at Shipwire, Nate Gilmore says “retailers with a tightly integrated online and offline experience are winning by perfecting the buyer experience on the buyer’s terms.” Some of the examples include

    1. ‘Health kiosks’ within Lloyds Pharmacy stores. The kiosks are “interactive touchscreens and printers that allow customers to browse its entire product line, place orders and pay for goods via credit card”, says Christopher Ratcliff, Deputy Editor at Econsultancy.
    2. Macy’s iOS app Shopkick that alerts the customers who enter the store about deals and items they may be interested in.
    3. The OVS Digital Experience corner within the OVS flagship store in Via Dante. It gives customers an omni-channel experience that includes “a new virtual changing room, sales assistants supporting clients with iPads, multi-media totems and click-and-collect services” says Maria Cristina Pavarini, Senior Features Editor at Sportswear International.

    We have looked at how the OVS Via Dante store serves as an example of how e-commerce, digital marketing and retail can be successfully merged to deliver a unique customer experience.

    March 2015 issue of Design: Retail Magazine featured the store as one of 10 retailers worldwide “who are challenging the paradigm with thoughtful, inspiring and new ideas.” The three-storey boutique spreads over 900 square metres with a large wall mirror with light cuts connecting the floors. The new architectural design by Vincenzo De Cotiis Architects brings together new expressive codes such as the small, free‐standing furnishing units, and pre‐existing features on the first floor that have been taken back to their original colours.

    Source: milandesignagenda.com

    The OVS Digital Experience corner is situated on the first floor. It was designed by agencies NARAI and Nuvò. The interactive Kiosk enables customers to read the bar code of an item of interest and immediately verify its availability, along with sizes and colours. Additionally, they can purchase and pay by credit card, and ship the product home or pick it up at the check outs, says Monica Gagliardi,e-commerce and CRM Manager of the Gruppo Coin. OVS partnered up with Google Enterprise to make this a reality.

    Source: behance.net

    Totem concept render. Source: behance.net

    OVS Via Dante store provides an experience that cannot be delivered by e-commerce. Its success confirms the opinion of Neil Masterton, design director of ARM Architecture who believes “retail isn’t exactly about functionalism, it isn’t specifically about ease and isn’t specifically about straightforwardness… what people want in retail is actually a set of different kinds of urban experiences.”

    This article is based on the official information surrounding the OVS Via Dante store.

  • Extended Lionella Range

    Lionella ‘Airforce Blue’ faux leather fabric launched in March 2015

    Chieftain Fabrics has been a market leader since incorporating in 1954. Chieftain has achieved many ‘firsts’ in the industry such as computer aided colour matching and developing one of the first antimicrobial vinyl fabrics.

    In May 2015 Chieftain will add twenty colours to the existing Lionella range, making Chieftain’s portfolio one of the largest on the market. The extended Lionella range is the closest alternative to natural hide available and is now offered in forty colours from ‘Airforce Blue’ to ‘Hulk Green’ and all shades in between.

    Managing Director of Chieftain Fabrics, John Kinsella;

    For quite some time the marketplace has valued Lionella although we have received feedback from users regarding the colour choice. We listened to our customers, involved them in the development process and launched the newly expanded range.

    Feedback to date has been tremendous. The expanded range now offers architects, designers and consultants further flexibility in relation to interior schemes and arrangements. For whatever brief, Lionella is beautifully executed in projects and add the luxurious touch with minimal impact to the environment during and after it’s production. John further explains

    As we move to producing more sustainable products, we are delighted to be able to make Lionella ‘Phthalate Free’ and REACH compliant without losing any of the performance characteristics that are required by our customer base

    Currently phthalates are used in a wide variety of products from building materials, personal-care products, medical devices and textiles. Phthalates can be released because they are not chemically bound to the plastics and this may lead to human exposure. Certain phthalates have been restricted recently in the EU and as a safeguard, Chieftain have began removing them totally from products.

    The new range available is phthalate free and sample cards can be ordered directly from Chieftain.

    To view the newly extended range of Lionella, visit the recently updated website at chieftainfabrics.com.

    Save

    Save

    Save

  • The history of vinyl fabric

    Accounts of plastic and rubber stretch back to discoveries by Columbus in 1492. According to John Martin’s book, The Romance of Rubber, Columbus noted ‘a simple game which he saw being played with a ball that bounced’. Martin also explains that

    In 1731…La Condamine, wrote of a tree called “Hevea”.
    “There flows from this tree a liquor which hardens gradually and blackens in the air”.
    He found the people of Quito (Ecuador, South America) waterproofing cloth with it, and the Amazon Indians were making boots which, when blackened in smoke, looked like leather.

    Wikipedia notes that German professor, F. J. Otto had produced guncotton in 1846 and was the first to publish the process. According to Fungs’ book, Coated and Laminated Textiles,

    nitro-cellulose was discovered and developed as a fabric coating material for cotton. The material became known as ‘gun cotton’, ‘pyroxylin’ and ‘collodion’, and was used in many applications (Fung, 2000).

    Technology in Society wrote about how polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was discovered,

    In 1860, Hofmann observed that vinyl-bromide, a colorless liquid, changed into a white porcelain-like mass. This process was a mystery to him, and he referred to it as a ‘metamorphosis’. In 1872, Baumann, elaborating on these results, became the first to make polyvinyl chloride, a white milky precipitate made by putting tubes filled with vinyl chloride in direct sunlight. Like other chemists of the time, Baumann showed no interest in applying the new material.

    ‘The newer plastics appearing…marked a fundamental shift in the way new materials came into existence’, is highlighted in the book ‘American Plastic: A Cultural History’. Meikle points out how previously, items were made from natural materials such as wood, ivory, tortoiseshell, agate and coral. Americans refused to buy household or personal products made from an earlier synthetic resin called Celluloid, invented in 1869, unless it resembled ‘natural’ materials.

    Fabrikoid, which became a Du Pont product, was initially marketed as one of the first faux leathers which had widespread success. According to the Du Pont website;

    Produced by coating fabric with nitrocellulose and marketed as artificial leather, Fabrikoid was widely used in upholstery, luggage and book bindings during the early 20th century. In the 1920s, Fabrikoid became the preferred material for automobile convertible tops and seat covers…but by the 1940s new, more durable vinyl-coated fabrics overtook the market.

    Following this, Du Pont launched a new product which was initially called Corfam which was supposed to replace leather as explained by Kanigel. His book further outlines

    Corfam was no tacky low-life vinyl. It was protected by a slew of patents covering every stage of its manufacture…It was leather-like. It was synthetic leather. Artificial leather. Imitation leather. Fake leather. Or, to use the French word that slyly slips around the stigma of fake, faux leather.

    However, some years later, Du Pont made the decision to ‘terminate the production of Corfam, which had failed despite heavy investment in technology and consumer research’ (Du Pont, 2014).

    Mulder and Knot outline how PVC’s relative non-flammability, durability, insulation properties, and resistance to humidity and various chemicals were practical reasons for its broad incursion into the consumer market.

    Kanigel highlights that it was Naugahyde faux leather that became the emblem of the 1950s. Naugahyde was adopted by the D.I.Y. craze of the era. Top end designers used it, ‘even chairs in the United Nations building in New York, it was everywhere’.

    By the mid 1960s Uniroyal, the manufactures of Naugahyde, had numerous look alike competitors; the world’s premier maker of imitation leather was itself being challenged by imitators’.

    Today, much attention is now shifting to the recyclability of vinyl fabric and PVC.

    As ‘vinyl’, is a thermoplastic material made of 57% chlorine (derived from industrial grade salt) and 43% carbon (derived predominantly from oil / gas via ethylene), PVC is extremely durable (it is commonly used to make long-lasting products, often with a life-expectancy exceeding 60 years). Thanks to its unique polymer structure, PVC products are well suited for recycling when they come to the end of their life (recovinyl.com, 2015).

    Fung highlights that Du Pont are still at the forefront of vinyl fabric research and are currently examining how to manufacture biodegradable polymers by using plants as the starting material. The end result may eventually see significantly less non-renewable oil being made into textiles.


    References:

    Martin, J. (2007) The Romance of Rubber. Available at: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4759/4759-h/4759-h.htm [Accessed 31 March 2015]

    Nitrocellulose (2015). Guncotton. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrocellulose [Accessed 9 April 2015].

    Fung, W. (2000) Coated and Laminated Textiles. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Ltd.

    Du Pont (2014) 1910 Artificial Leather. Available at: http://www2.dupont.com/Phoenix_Heritage/en_US/1910_detail.html [Accessed 31 March 2015].

    Meikle, J.L. (1995) American Plastic: A Cultural History. New Jersey, USA, Rutgers University Press, p.p. 82

    Mulder, K. and Knot, M. (2001) ‘PVC plastic: a history of systems development and entrenchment’ Technology in Society. Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2001, Pages 265–286

    http://www.sciencedirect.com.ucd.idm.oclc.org/science/article/pii/S0160791X01000136

    Semon, W.L. and Stahl G.H. (1982) History of vinyl chloride polymers. New York: Marcel Dekker, pages 199–214

    Kanigel, R. (2007) Faux Real: Genuine Leather and 200 Years of Inspired Fakes. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

    Du Pont (2014) 1986 Richard E. Heckert. Available at: http://www2.dupont.com/Phoenix_Heritage/en_US/1986_b_detail.html [Accessed 31 March 2015]

    Naugahyde (2015) INNOVATION THAT MATTERS. Available at: https://www.naugahyde.com [Accessed 31 March 2015]

    Martin, J. (2007) The Romance of Rubber. Available at: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4759/4759-h/4759-h.htm [Accessed 31 March 2015]

    Recovinyl (2015) PVC, a Recyclable Material – Ideal for Reprocessing. Available at: http://www.recovinyl.com/pvc-recyclable-material-ideal-reprocessing [Accessed 2 April 2015].

  • ‘The School on the Terraces’ sets an example for how the school of the future should look

    2016 will see the completion of a new primary school in the heart of Denmark’s city of Aarhus that will replace the existing school N.J. Fjordsgades Skole. The city of Aarhus commissioned an expert team including contractor Hoffmann, Henning Larsen Architects, GPP Architects, landscape architects Møller & Grønborg and consulting engineer NIRAS to build a “healthy, inspiring learning and teaching environment centred on the pupils, staff and guests – and where efficiency, comfort and responsibility are key elements.”

    Source: www.archiscene.net

    Source: www.henninglarsen.com

    To create such space, the project team took an integrated energy design approach and combined it with state-of-the-art principles for learning and play. Signe Kongebro, Erik Hansson and Martha Lewis worked on the strategy for sustainability that will meet the energy requirements of the 2020 Danish building code.

    Henning Larsen Architects detail the key elements of the sustainability strategy. These are energy, indoor climate and materials. When combined together they create a healthy, efficient, and comfortable environment for all stakeholders. The project’s sponsors feel that “the new building sends a clear signal of Aarhus City’s emphasis on sustainability and energy consumption and demonstrates a school that actively contributes to future-proofing the society which the pupils will form part of in the future.”

    To build a healthy school, architects say “a variety of measures have been incorporated, including a well-insulated building envelope with a heat loss factor that exceeds the 2020 energy code requirements by 50 percent… All materials are selected on the basis of life span, quality, operation and maintenance.” Furthermore, they say that design for the new school is based on “the growing body of research showing that children learn more in a good indoor climate.” Such conditions were achieved by taking into account the environmental and health-related impact of materials, as well building design, orientation and positioning of windows.

    The new school is organised as a four leaf clover with the four clusters interconnected via three atria. The new structure is a result of putting “daylight, human scale and dynamic spaces as an integral part of the new building. Each cluster features a small common square with niches, reading hammocks, mobile workshops and multi-purpose furniture.” They function as a standalone unit with own unique identity, thus dividing the school into smaller units. Each unit incorporates the outside terraces as open workshops hence enabling both indoor and outdoor active learning.

    Source: www.archiscene.net

    Source: www.archiscene.net

    The new building will spread across 15,000-square-metres, and will offer afterschool programmes as well as day care. Henning Larsen Architects believe its two faces – the urban look and the green landscape for activity, make it a unique environment for all stakeholders. Kristian Würtz, Alderman in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in Aarhus believes “it is an excellent proposal for how the school of the future should look.”

    This article is based on the official information surrounding the construction of ‘The School on the Terraces.’

  • Will Leather ever go out of Fashion?

    Concept faux leather garment by Eleanor Paulin, Edinburgh College of Art.

    Concept faux leather garment by Eleanor Paulin, Edinburgh College of Art.

    In a recent interview, Stella McCartney was asked why she did not use leather, to which she replied:

    Many people claim that leather is okay to use because it is a by-product of the meat industry, however, livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Tanneries are listed as top polluters on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Superfund” list, a list that identifies the most critical industrial sites in need of environmental cleanup (McCartney, 2014).

    But if leather is so harsh to the environment, why is it everywhere, from shoes, belts and purses to furniture and car interiors?

    According to Jacobs (2014), processing leather requires copious amounts of energy and a toxic stew of chemicals including formaldehyde, coal tar, and some cyanide containing finishes. Jacobs further explains that most of our leather is sourced from overseas, from countries like China and India.

    PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) published an article titled “The Leather Industry’ (2014) and explain that ‘more than 1 billion animals are killed worldwide for the leather trade every single year’. In a similar article titled ‘The Global Leather Trade’ published by PETA (2014), they also claim:

    Most of the leather in the U.S. and Europe comes from India, China, and other countries that either have no animal welfare laws or have laws that go largely or completely unenforced (PETA 2014).

     

    Will the Fashion Industry ever move away from Leather?
    Pioneering sustainable and cruelty free fashion is Stella McCartney. The Guardian reported from Paris Fashion week 2015 how she unveiled a new range using Fur Free Fur and used vinyl in accessories.

    However, the media is usually quick to point out the faults with synthetic materials, for example, The Wall Street Journal reported from Paris fashion week 2015 that “the trouble with faux leather, is that it can’t easily be buffed back to perfection when it’s been scratched”.

    According to a UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) report titled ‘Future Trends in the World Leather and Leather Products Industry and Trade’ published in 2010, the estimated global trade value of Leather is approximately US$100 billion per year. The report also highlights:

    There are now no sectors in which leather cannot be replaced by other materials, and the industry has to protect the image of leather products as synonymous with quality – both aesthetic and functional. As technical textiles develop further and “synthetic leathers” improve, the challenges to leather will become more menacing (UNIDO 2010).

    In short, both leather and fashion support each other. The fashion industry will not move away from leather until consumers demand this.

    Who will drive the change?

    The UNIDO report (2010) outlines that consumers and users should get more education, so that no one will consciously buy an item of bad quality. “Consuming should become an intelligent and responsible act”.

    Kotler & Pfoertsch (2006) believe “the main idea is to create consumer demand for the ingredient at the retail level, so that they pull the product through the distribution channel, forcing middle stages to use this ingredient.”

    But it’s not just consumers who can make a major impact. Newell’s article ‘Conscious Design Can Drive Systemic Change in the Fashion Industry‘ (2015) notes that even when students love design, surprisingly they often don’t know about all the design choices they can make at the beginning of the process to improve the product and improve the industry;

    when they work for a big brand, often designers only see part of the production process, and because the fashion supply chain is so complex, they are making design decisions based on limited understanding (Newell, 2015).

    Newell concludes her article with:

    If new generations of designers bring conscious and ethical thought to the design phase of the process, progress may begin to permeate the fabric of the industry from the ground up…designers will be able to see the big picture and learn the right questions to ask in order to make sustainability start at the beginning (Newell, 2015).

    Leather appears to remain popular for the foreseeable future – as long as consumers demand it. However, change in the industry will be required. Consumers have to take responsibility and ensure they purchase ethically produced products.

    Mainstream design brands will also need to embrace technical textiles further and designers need to show how synthetic leather can be used to improve products and the industry. Once synthetic leathers poses a challenge to leather, real reform will begin.


     

    References:
    McCartney, S. (2014) Q&A WITH STELLA. Available at: http://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/en/stellas-world/sustainability/stella-interview/ [Accessed 16 March 2015].

    Jacobs, B. (2014) How Bad is Leather and What Are the Alternatives?. Available at: http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-bad-leather-and-what-are-alternatives [Accessed 16 March 2015].

    The Leather Industry (2014). Available at: http://www.peta.org.uk/issues/animals-not-wear/leather/ [Accessed 20 March 2015].

    The Global Leather Trade (2015). Available at: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/leather-industry/global-leather-trade/ [Accessed 16 March 2015].

    Cartner-Morley, J. (2015) Paris fashion week: Stella McCartney unveils ‘fur-free fur’. Available at:http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/mar/09/paris-fashion-week-stella-mccartney-unveils-fur-free-fur [Accessed 20 March 2015].

    Paris Fashion Week Highlights: Saint Laurent, Leonard, Hermès and Sonia Rykiel (2015). Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/paris-fashion-week-highlights-saint-laurent-leonard-hermes-and-sonia-rykiel-1425992779 [Accessed 18 March 2015].

    United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (2010). Future Trends in the World Leather and Leather Products Industry and Trade . Available at: http://leatherpanel.org/sites/default/files/publications-attachments/future_trends_in_the_world_leather_and_leather_products_industry_and_trade.pdf [Accessed 16 March 2015].

    Kotler, P. and Pfoertsch, W. (2006) B2B Brand Management. New York: Springer, pp 131.

    Newell, A. (2015) Conscious Design Can Drive Systemic Change in the Fashion Industry. Available at: http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/02/conscious-design-can-drive-systemic-change-in-the-fashion-industry/ [Accessed 18 March 2015].

    Save

  • Using colour in design to assist the healing process

    A growing trend in hospital design is the creation of a stimulating, stress free space for users. The application of colour in healthcare design and its connection to mood and health has been a much discussed topic. In her 2010 article “Healing Hues: Using Color to Improve Health” Angela Wright details how “colour affects us physiologically as well as emotionally.” By stimulating the nervous system, colours can influence mood and provoke reactions, hence their use “can make environments more peaceful and less anxiety provoking. This translates into a positive mood, which encourages the healing process.” Wright is not alone in her deductions. Faber Birren’s research for his book “Light, Color, and Environment” backs them up by further elaborating that “bright and vivid colours could arouse and increase autonomic functions, blood pressure, heart and respiration rate”, whereas “softer colours create an inward response – one of calm and repose.”

    Hospitals are building on these insights by commissioning acknowledged artists specialising in colour early in the design process. One such example is the Van Swieten building within Martini Hospital in Groningen that saw the famous Dutch colour artist Peter Struycken joining forces with architect Arnold Burger and interior designer Bart Vos. By making colour an integral part of both the architectural design and structural concept, the three delivered against the brief that was to build a healing, non-clinical environment with the ability to change in time. Other guiding principles for the architecture of the hospital included access to daylight, views, and orientation.

    To create a flexible building with fewer fixed functions and a lot of access to daylight, Burger and Vos designed a modular-system called “Industrial, Flexible, and Demountable” – IFD with demountable modular walls and furniture. Struycken then composed a 47-colour palette from which Burger and Vos selected 19 including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple.

    Peter Struycken’s colour palette used by Vos and Burger. Source: Hospital Build & Infrastructure Magazine, Issue 1, 2013

    In her 2013 interview with The Hospital Build & Infrastructure Magazine, Corinne Molenaar from Vos Interior details the strategy behind colour application. “For the actual application of colours in the new building, Burger and Vos selected 19 colours from the palette of 47, five of which were relatively neutral colours for the walls and floors. So there are plenty of colours left for future use. For the application of colours, a matrix was developed. This is a set of rules by which colours are distributed in the available space… By not thinking in terms of colour-groups, nor in terms of specific wards, but rather in terms of the hospital as a whole, each ward was now treated the same, and discussions about colour were avoided. The hospital floors were coloured wing by wing, rather than on a room by room basis. Within one room, a specific colour-field on a wall or floor could therefore unexpectedly change into a different colour. This way, it was possible to create varied rooms, whereby no two rooms in the building were the same… Based on the matrix, the colours have been rolled out through the entire building and have been translated onto the exterior as well.”

    Source: Hospital Build & Infrastructure Magazine, Issue 1, 2013

    Molenaar further reports that “research has shown that patients and staff react positively to colour, and that they are less likely to feel like they are in a hospital.” Based on both official statements related to the project, and generally the research available on the subject, we can safely conclude that using colour in healthcare design elevates the spirit of all stakeholders.

    This article is grounded on the existing literature surrounding trends in healthcare architecture and design.

  • Concept Furniture International

    Concept Furniture international supply hire furniture to the events and exhibition industry globally. It’s a fast paced, image conscious industry demanding high quality products and exceptional service. According to Iain Love, Sales Director at Concept Furniture;
    “The demands from our contract manufacturing division sees us working with suppliers who can meet our specific needs, delivering quality products and services – Chieftain Fabrics are definitely one such supplier”.

    As Aviation Week’s show MRO moves around the globe, Concept Furniture International moves with it – this year the prestigious event was held in the Spanish capital Madrid and was a huge success, the perfect mix of fantastic exhibitors, weather & location made it an event to remember. Concept Furniture International are the official furniture supplier to MRO supplying both space only and shell scheme areas with original designs and a wide range of soft furnishings that are upholstered using Chieftain fabrics leatherette vinyl.

     

    Milanos DT20 seating at The MRO Europe Exhibition, Madrid, Spain.

    Jojo and Bow seating at The MRO Europe Exhibition, Madrid, Spain.

    Oakley black seating at The MRO Europe Exhibition, Madrid, Spain.

    With the bespoke and rental segments of the business growing rapidly we have been able to work with high-end clients and showcase our work on many platforms. The diverse textures and colours Chieftain offer help us add value to our proposition and exceed customer needs.

    For more information see conceptfurniture.co.uk