Faux Leather Upholstery

Brown Faux Leather Upholstery Banquette
Brown Faux Leather Upholstery Banquette

Faux (or fake) Leather offers a great alterantive to leather. With Martindale rubs of over 100,000 this is a very safe choice for high use contract areas. It’s usually made of a pure cotton basecloth with a poly-cotton visible coating. There are many other animal skins that are mimiced in the same way and in many cases the finishes are convincing.

But why not just use leather?

Much leather production has now moved away from the West to areas with less stringent environmental laws and lower wage rates. This is where the problem lies.

Chromium based compounds are used in the tanning and curing process of real leather. They are thought to be carcinogenic as, in some European tanning factories, cancer rates were found to be up to 50% higher in workers than in the population as a whole. Furthermore there were higher incidences of Leukemia in children living in areas near the tanneries. Environmental problems are exacerbated by the siting of factories next to rivers; the significant amounts of discharge that are produced are fed into the water courses and then dispersed over wide areas. In more lowly regulated economies it is not unreasonable to believe that the situation is probably worse.

Moving towards a better leather requires that chromium use is stopped completely and that the water used in production is cleaned and re-used in the factory. Any tanins and dyes uses would preferably be plant based.

Food for thought: If you wear leather clothing on sweaty skin then chromium residues in the leather can rub off and enter the skin.

Faux Leather on doors and walls

Brown Faux Leather Upholstery Banquette
Brown Faux Leather Upholstery Banquette

KOTHEA had two recent projects where we had to adhere Faux Leather vertically. This poses a more serious challenge than paper-based wall coverings due to both the weight of the fabric (nearly 1kg per linear metre) and the wear and tear when adhered to a door. Both installations were more involved than domestic ones as we had to consider firstly the use on a yacht in a marine environment and secondly the high levels of usage of a hotel.

So the adhesive needs to be strong.

A further set of issues to overcome are related to how the fabric might react to any chemicals in the adhesive. In both instances our fabric had a 100% cotton back coat with a vinyl mix visible layer. Superfically a conclusion could be drawn that most adhesives would be OK with the surfaces they are fastening to in these instances ie a natural wooden door and inert stone wall combined with the natural cotton back cloth. However the adhesive will almost certainly penetrate the back cloth. Becuase of this the use of a solvent based adhesive, such as Asceton, is most definately not recommended.

So the adhesive needs to be strong and water based.

After performing suitability tests in these instances we chose to use Mapei’s Adheselix VS45 . VS45 is an acrylic adhesive in water dispersion and has been used extensively by Mapei’s customers for PVC/foam wallcoverings and rubber flooring. An alternative of Adesilex G19 was also suggested for areas with more moisture but that was not necessary in these cases.

Directory Listings Of Top Market Fabric Suppliers In The UK

555722790393613763_3d6571c7061dClick the fabric company name for their web site:

Abbot and Boyd 020 7351 9985
Altfield 020 7351 5893
Alton Brooke 020 7376 7008
Borderline 020 7823 3567
Brian Yates 01524 35035
Brunswig 020 7351 5797
Bruno Triplet 020 7823 9990
Chase Erwin 020 8875 7441
Colefax 020 7244 7427
Colony Fabrics 020 7351 3232
Donghia 020 7823 3456
Gainsborough Silk 01787 372081
Henry Bertrand 020 7349 1477
Jab 020 7349 9323
Jane Churchill 020 7244 7427
Jrobertscott 020 7376 4705
KOTHEA 020 8943 4904
Kravet 020 7795 0110
Lee Jofa 020 7823 3455
Lelievre 020 7352 4798
Manuel Canovas 020 8877 6400
Nobilis 020 7351 7878
Pierre Frey 0207 376 55 99
Robert Allen 01494 474741
Sacho Hesslein 020 7352 6168
Silk Gallery 020 7351 1790
Turnell and Gigon 020 7259 7280
Watts Westminster 020 7376 4486
Zimmer and Rhode 020 7351 7115
Zoffany 08708 300 350

Many of these fabric companies sell a wide range of products including: chenille, contract fabric, faux / fake leather, mohair velvet, linen velvet, cotton velvet, wool,  hand woven products, natural silk, cashmere and damask for upholstery, curtains and cushions.

Fabric Treatment Companies – FR Flameproofing

silk velvet upholstery fabric textile FR Martindale RubsWe are often asked to recommend farbic treatment companies for flame retarding in contract installations. Most treatment comapanies offer other services such as; back coating fabric for walls, and stain resistance/repellency. There are several such companies in the UK and at various times we have used all of the following:

Essex Flameproofing,

Textiles FR, and

TEK Treatments

Just click the company name to take you to their web site. Please feel free to add comments to this posting recommending any suppliers you have used but any negative comments about other companies are not permitted on this site. Thank you.

KOTHEA 2010 Fabric Collections

Finally! Our summer collections have been decided and we will begin to introduce the new designs and colourways throughout the remainder of this year. We have been inundated with new work in the first part of this year causing our blog posts to be curtailed and our ‘spring’ collection to nearly be an autumn/fall collection. Not that we really do seasonal collections in any case.

I will return later in another post to KOTHEA’s quite remarkable sales figures for the financial year just finished. Most surprising, especially considering we are in the midst of a recession. We had our best ever year and by quite a large margin.

We expect some coverage of the new collections in World of Interiors and Elle decoration but, again, more on that at another time.

Where can you see our collections? Well, we are as elusive as ever but we are starting to digitize some images to our flickr feed (click the images on the right or here). The flickr update is ongoing, there is information on flickr now but some of the images are not final and some images do not have full associated descriptions / product details but we are woking on that this week. Our usual clients will receive the new collections in due course starting in late summer; if you need them more urgently for pressing projects of course we will be happy to oblige. Please get in contact in the usual way.

Not all are in production yet but most sampling is available now.

As a very broad summary we have:

1. New colours of several existing ranges including faux leather;

2. More velvets including patterned and crush;

3. Striped, double width linens;

4. Upholstery weight linen; and

5. A few more interesting one-off designs in limited colourways like the one heading up this blog post.

Share, Accredit & Enjoy!

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Faux Leather Skin – Heavy Contract Upholstery Walling

LONDON, England. 07-DECEMBER-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its extensive contract faux skin collections by the addition of KOFAUXLEATHER. KOFAUXLEATHER is a high durability, faux leather: a superb contract fabric with a very high Martindale result. It simply and effortlessly delivers longstanding elegance in all the right bars, hotels and marine environments both as upholstery and as a wall or door covering. It looks great.

KOFAUXLEATHER

Reference: 04-003-378

Colour Shown: Marle

Other colourways: 18

Width: 140cm

Repeat: none

Composition: 100% Cotton basecloth, 94% vinyl 6% polyester coat.

Martindale: 100,000++

Primary Usage: Heavy contract upholstery and walling.

Type of fabric: Faux Leather / Faux Skin

About KOTHEA.

KOTHEA are a Continue reading “Faux Leather Skin – Heavy Contract Upholstery Walling”

Martindale Rub For Faux Leather

We were recently asked for the Martindale Rub For Faux Leather. Our particular Faux Leather (from our wider collectetion of faux furs) has a rub test result of over 100,000 making it suitable for heavy contract and domestic usage.

Lighten Faux Fur With Hydrogen Peroxide

We were asked: “Can you lighten a faux fur with hydrogen peroxide”.

You can guess the answer: try it out on a sample first or on  piece you won’t see. However to be honest I don’t think it would work on most faux furs.

Hydrogen peroxide is a relatively weak bleach. Typically it is used on natural materials like human hair or linen. Faux furs or fake furs are normally synthetic.

It depends on what exactly the faux fur is made out of, this could be a variety of compounds. It might work on one or two compunds but I doubt it will have much of an effect on most.

PR April 2009

KOTHEA Release New Fabric For Interiors

LONDON, England. 06-APR-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its product range by the addition of KOCOSMIC. KOCOSMIC is a little bit quirky; like a faux skin without trying too hard to mimic nature. It has high rubs and is suitable for a wide range of uses including heavy upholstery and wall treatments in either domestic or contract installations.

KOCOSMIC

Reference: 03-004-378
Colour Shown: 3 Silver
Other Colourways: 19
Width: 140cm
Repeat: None
Composition: 100% Cotton base cloth, 95% Vinyl 5%, Polyurethane outer.
Martindale: BS5690 100,000
Primary Usage: Heavy upholstery, wall treatments, contract & domestic.
Type of fabric: Vinyl
Other: Passes BS5852 Schedule 4 Part 1 Cigarette Test, Schedule 5 Part 1 Match Test and Crib 5.

About KOTHEA.

KOTHEA are a top-market fabric house based in London serving customers throughout all of Europe and The Middle East. Founded in 1999 they have since continued to develop and sell an extensive range of timeless fabrics to the top architects, interior- and yacht-designers for projects ranging from mega-yachts to boutique hotels and from luxury spas to penthouses.

KOTHEA operate on a trade-only basis and their fabrics are available to the public through interior designers and specialist interior design shops such as Gotham, Interiors Bis and Fiona Campbell. KOTHEA also supply beautiful hand-woven linen fabrics and finished goods – throws and table linen.

KOTHEA’s trade customers would perceive their signature fabrics to include several ranges of velvet including the exclusive ‘cashmere silk velvet’, silks, linens, double-width sheers, faux leather and interesting weaves for upholstery often with high Martindale ‘rub tests’ making them highly suited to both contract and residential projects.

Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Parsons started KOTHEA more than 10 years ago after 11 highly successful years with Nobilis Fontan in Chelsea and Donghia in Chelsea Harbour. She says, “At KOTHEA we like to think we bring something a little different to the market. Our difference will be reflected in our customers’ eyes by unusual fabrics that complement our core fabric ranges; all augmented by our excellent levels of customers service, market knowledge and attention to detail.”

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For Further Information
Please visit the company web site at http://www.kothea.com

Trademarks
KOTHEA is a registered trade mark of KOTHEA Limited. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.