Robert Walton, Managing Director of The Lindhurst Group, explains a break through technology in faux leather. Sileather is a sustainable, durable solution in the post-pandemic hospitality arena…
The Lindhurst Group has more than 50 years’ experience in identifying and finding solutions for issues experienced by operators in the hospitality sector with furniture and soft furnishings.
This has led to the discovery of break-through technology in faux leather. Whilst total lockdown due to Covid–19 put a halt to real life presentations, designers, specifiers and operators who have been working from home have taken the time to look at, and understand, these new technologies. Cue the discovery of Sileather.
“Sileather breaks all the conventions in that it is constructed of 100 per cent Silicone carried on recycled polyester backing without the use of any added chemicals.”
The challenges being presented by global warming have brought about the necessity for all businesses to review their activities and consider products being used within their supply chain. When it comes to the credentials for faux leather, Sileather breaks all the conventions in that it is constructed of 100 per cent Silicone carried on recycled polyester backing without the use of any added chemicals. Silicone is a recyclable product, and even the backing cloths are made of recyclable materials.
The process for recycling silicone fabrics can be attained by separating the silicone from the cloth and recycling the two parts individually – silicone can even be reused in electronics!
Silicone is a unique material because of its sustainable qualities – it is one of the most common elements found in nature. Not only is the material less intrusive on the environment, but the production of the silicone is less taxing on natural resources. It takes less water, raw material, and electricity to produce compared to PU and PVC.
Sileather has been developed to create a fabric that is not only beautiful, stylish and with high performance but is also sustainable and eco-friendly. The innovative and cutting-edge techniques for designing the silicone leather fabrics to perform to high standards has allowed the use of environmentally friendly methods.
From its beginning as simple quartz sand that is found everywhere in the world, silicone is a product that has its origins from nature itself. Once it is processed, it becomes a more familiar material that is seen everywhere: baking mats, oven gloves, baby bottle nipples, and now, silicone leather. Silicone products save nine times the quantity of greenhouse gases used in production and disposal by enabling energy saving technologies and a more efficient use of energy and materials
Whilst ticking all the boxes environmentally it is important that the material works from a practical viewpoint when presented through the supply chain to include interior designers, specifiers, furniture manufacturers, operators and , importantly, the final user. The key performance characteristics listed below serve to underline the benefits of this material across the chain:
- inherently fire retardant to Crib 5 and IMO part 8 – no additional treatments required
- naturally stain resistant to biro, denim bleed, coffee, red wine, ketchup, suntan lotion, mascara etc. wtc
- weather resistant – remaining cool in the sun but able to withstand temperatures down as low as -40°C without losing felxibility
- salt water resistant – for use on Cruise Ships and by the sea
- chlorine resistant – for use around swimming pools
- alcohol resistant
- non toxic – safe to use on children’s furniture
- highly durable – resistant to scuffing from buckles and belts
- easy clean – biro can be wiped off with just a damp cloth
Pre-coronovirus these attributes had obvious advantages for all areas of the market but now the parameters are being challenged further to ensure that premises are doing all they can to regain the confidence of the customer by practicing strict cleaning regimes using strong disinfectants that will kill the virus.
In addition to these disinfectants, which can include concentrations of ethanol up to 95 per cent and bleach solutions using up to 10,000ppm of available chlorine, there will be copious hand sanitising stations using alcohol gels. Consideration needs be given to the durability of the fabrics selected and their ability to withstand such stringent regimes. Being constructed of a very stable material, Sileather is designed to withstand these regimes and maintain it’s appearance and structure for a long time.
Prior to Coronovirus, Sileather was gaining a reputation as the “magic” material to withstand staining from biro and denim bleed whilst also being sustainable and eco-fiendly. In a Coronavirus world Sileather retains these benefits buts adds it’s durability to withstand extreme cleaning practices.
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Main image credit: The Lindhurst Group