Upholstery & surface design: The rise of vinyls

    Image of grey armchair
    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Upholstery & surface design: The rise of vinyls

    With surface design heavy on the agenda for the design community, Hotel Designs takes a look at SMD Textiles, a brand that offers no less than 165 vinyl upholstery fabrics…

    Image of grey armchair

    The 165 vinyl upholstery fabrics within the collections at SMD Textiles have been intelligently designed to cater to every aspect of the contract market from faux-leather to herringbone and animal skin hide-look finishes.

    Back in 2014, the brand introduced its first vinyl collection, Burghley, and it proved to be its most popular contract upholstery choice. Designed as a stylish faux leather upholstery, Burghley was aimed at catering to the healthcare and hospitality sector as a practical alternative to leather.

    Due to high demand, intense popularity and a shift in market needs,the brand saw the collection triple in size. The range now boasts 61 exciting colours, ranging from neutral tones through to the more luxurious metallics and bold brights, meaning there is now an even greater opportunity to select stylish co-ordinates ideal for every contract space.

    “We wanted to create something which was versatile that would not only cater to a wide audience but it would have enhanced durability and reliability suited for severe contract use,” the brand explained in a press statement. “All of our vinyl’s are REACH compliant and fire-retardant to crib-5 standards, alongside being waterproof and stain resistant. They also pass Martindale testing with at least 100,000 rubs with Burghley now surpassing 760,000 rubs, making it one of the most durable and robust vinyl’s on the market.”

    After the positive reception Burghley received, Saddle, Chroma and Opal were later introduced in 2017 to offer SMD Textiles’ customers a broader range of textures and colours.

    Side on image of the Lismore Olive collection

    Image credit: SMD Textiles

    “Chroma, Opal and Burghley metallics have added a contemporary twist to our range, allowing designers to create a wow factor in their briefs, whilst still adhering to the rigorous contract testing requirements,” SMD Textiles referenced in a press statement. “Across 11 stunning metallic colours, the embossed, chromatic vinyl’s were and still are intensely popular with our international customers.”

    Available in twenty-five colours and offering a classic antique leather look, Saddle was designed to mimic the feel of a traditional leather whilst offering added benefits such as their anti-microbial and waterproof qualities.

    “Saddle has been hugely popular for us in the hospitality sector, with many of our customers specifying it for hotel rooms and reception seating as it offers a more sophisticated look,” A spokesperson from the brand said. “And then after the success of Saddle, we were keen to introduce a sheen version to sit alongside it. We were receiving feedback from our customers that when they were selecting fabrics for certain settings, the glossier finish translated beautifully to a totally different audience. Ascot is able to bring a more relevant and funky look to a brief whilst Saddle is able to offer a more paired back, traditional look”.

    Over the past few months, we have worked to expand our contract vinyl portfolio with the Rio, Nevis and Lismore collections. Lismore is a two-tone faux leather with a pebble grain effect, which recreated the texture of a tipped leather. Nevis emulates an authentic, rustic herringbone weave running vertically through the design. The trend led colour palettes for Lismore and Nevis have been carefully selected to highlight the brand’s existing contract collections.

    “For us, we wanted to prove that there was and is way more to vinyl than its stereotypical care home stigma,” the statement added. “By bringing out all of these bold trend-led colours on interesting herringbone and tipped leather-look textures, we wanted to change perceptions.”

    Rio is described as the smoothest, cleanest and crispest vinyl in our range. Soft to the touch and punchy in colour, Rio is an exciting new vinyl perfect for bold interiors and bold briefs.

    “With the way the world is shifting at the minute, we’re proud to say that all our vinyl’s are suitable for outdoor seating areas, making them a great choice for beer gardens and outdoor communal areas,” added a spokesperson for the brand. “Our anti-microbial finish, Feelsafe was recently lab tested and is proven to inhibit the spread of the Covid-19 virus amongst other Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi. The lifespan of vinyl’s are just incomparable to other fabrics, the longevity of the makeup Is remarkable making it a really cost effective and sustainable choice for contract settings.”

    SMD Textiles is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

    Main image credit: SMD Textiles/RIO

    Hamish Kilburn / 03.03.2021


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