Anti-microbial fabrics and vinyls
On June 23rd 2020, Boris Johnson relaxed social distancing guidelines for many industries including the hospitality and leisure sectors. It’s now time for eateries to focus on customer safety in order to reduce potential transmission of Covid-19 as they start to reopen.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants traditionally max packed floor space to gain the maximum amount of covers. Upholstered seating traditionally covered in fabrics, chosen for aesthetics, rather than practicality or safety. Now that we are facing “the new normal” things will need to change, including upholstery choices on single or shared seating areas.
Along with increased hygiene measures, antimicrobial fabrics should now be a main consideration for business owners to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Antimicrobial fabrics, unlike everyday vinyls or fabrics, have been treated to keep bacterial, fungi and viruses from growing and multiplying within the fibers. The hospitality industries are increasingly aware of the aesthetic and benificial properties these types of fabrics hold. Antimicrobial fabrics have evolved significantly, in recent years, and feature interesting patterns or weaves whilst preventing bacterial and fungal buildup.
We have listed below three of our favoured fabric suppliers and a selection of their antimicrobial fabrics:
The well known fabric supplier, Camira, recently, embraced the requirements and demands of the healthcare sector and created their own anti-microbial fabric collection. After a number of consultations with NHS cleaning staff, a high performance fabric range was created which are easy to scrub and treated with a permanent germ free solution – TriOnyx.
This collection includes The Halcyon Collection (Aspen, Blossom, Cedar), Intervene, Manila and Vita and are all anti-microbial, bleach cleanable, waterproof, and flame retardant to the higher level Crib 5.
Panaz is another firm favorite among us here at Café Reality. Their reach is global and they have been supplying decorative fabrics and wallcoverings for the Hospitality, Healthcare, Cruise and Corporate sectors for over 30 years.
Panaz work alongside internationally acclaimed Interior Designers, hospitality and healthcare professionals. Panaz have instinctively created their own division which specializes in antimicrobial fabrics.
In line with Camira’s TriOnyx solution Panaz have their own Sheildplus intelligent which is fast acting, effective and durable, whilst proven to be effective against a feline coronavirus strain. Here's a link to the official certifcate:
Shieldplus is antimicrobial protection coating that acts on the physical structure of the cell by piercing the cell wall of the membrane. This coating destroys bacteria on contact. It attracts pierces, deactivates and electrocutes the biochemicals within each microbe or virus.
We offer the option to upholster dining chairs, bar stools and general seating in Panaz Cadet, Venture and Trek Vinyl all with Shield Plus technology.
And finally, to Agua another well known upholstery provider. Agua are based in North London and have been supplying the contract furniture market for Over 80 years. They have had years of experience within the industry and understand the needs and requirements of performance fabrics in demanding environments.
We feature Agua’s Paintbox Antibacterial Vinyl on many of our seating products. Paintbox is a natural looking vinyl and is available in a choice of 27 modern colorways, making it a great choice for Canteens, Bars Hospitality and leisure venues.
A number of our suppliers and manufactures are now seeing a significant rise in upholstering restaurant seating in antimicrobial fabrics. Some suppliers have gone the extra mile and pre- made a number of tub chairs and sofas in easy to maintain faux leathers. The popular Tritium Tub chair and Tritium Sofa, for example, are held in stock and upholstered in colorful faux leathers with Crib 5 fire retardancy, suitable for use in public spaces.
In conclusion, there is only one thing that we can be sure of and that is we will have to adopt “the new normal” for a considerable amount of time. Landords, business owners and hospitality managers will be looking, to review and adapt their furniture solutions, making sure that 'the new normal' meets their customers health and wellbeing needs.
We must also mention that some fabric companies are claiming that their producst prevent the spread of Coronavirus. These claims could be misleading as some tests are based on a feline Coronavirus strain, which is not the same as the human strain which causes Covid-19. Contact times must also be taken in to account as some fabric tests are up to an hour, while in reality it could be much longer.
However we can completely say with confidence that anti-microbial and bleach cleanable materials do reduce the risk of transmission and most of our upholstered café seating and soft seating can be supplied in these high performance fabrics. We believe these new antimicrobial fabrics will be the silent workhorses of our new reconfigured social establishments, delivering patterns, textures and fresh colours whilst keeping us safe from harm.