Cat Proof Velvet

Q. We were recently asked if there was a cat proof or ‘claw resistant’ velvet fabric for upholstery.

A. Some velvets are extremely hard wearing. However cats claws can act like knives and few, if any, fabrics are knife proof. So unfortunately no we do not sell cat proof velvets.

However the hardest finish would be one that is least affected by a claw. So at one end of the scale you might have a fine silk, easily torn, and at the other end of the scale a vinyl based finish would be quite durable.

So a cat proof sofa would probably be covered in a vinyl floor tile like material. It would be ‘cat proof’ but awful to sit on! So I would go with a compromise like a faux leather or keep my cat’s claws well clipped or create some alternate environment for the cat to exhibit its natural claw sharpening tendencies elsewhere. Good luck.

The UK’s Top-Market Fabric Suppliers To Interior Designers

Click 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 0870 285 4768
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.

KOTWIG – New Farbic From KOTHEA

KOTHEA Release New Fabric For Interiors

LONDON, England. 04-MAY-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its product range by the addition of KOTWIG. KOTWIG has an off-the-wall textured design. It has a high Martindale score which is unusually achieved without incorporating polyester. It is highly suitable for a wide range of uses including heavy upholstery and wall treatments in either domestic or contract installations.

Flickr Image Of KOTWIG
Flickr Image Of KOTWIG

Full information can be found <here>.

KOTWIG

Reference: 14-002-436

Colour Shown: Brown – Light Brown

Other colourways: 20

Width: 145cm

Repeat: None

Composition: 43% Linen, 36% Viscose, 21% Cotton.

Martindale: 40,000 ‘rubs’

Primary Usage: General upholstery or wall treatments, contract & domestic.

Type of fabric: Textured Weave

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.”

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.”

# # #

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.

 

March 2009 :: KOTHEA Release New Interior Fabric

KOTHEA Release New Fabric For Interiors

LONDON, England. 02-MAR-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its product range by the addition of KODEKOBA, a fabric suitable for domestic upholstery. KODEKOBA has an unusual weave and texture. The striking weave makes the fabric highly suited for high visibility areas.

KODEKOBA

Reference: 02-001-386
Colour Shown: Light Brown
Other colourways: 3
Width: 140cm
Repeat: None
Composition: 55% Cotton, 26% Viscose, 9% Polyester.
Martindale: 18,000 ‘rubs’
Primary Usage: Residential upholstery & Cushions.
Type of fabric: Textured Weave

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.”

# # #

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.

Share & Enjoy

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Dyes and Pigments in Fabric

A Brief History of Natural Dyes (Mordants)

A dye is a substance that gives colour to fabric. Usually in a way such that washing, heating or lighting does not change the colour greatly.

Dyes tend to be carbon based (ie organic in a chemical sense) whereas pigments are very fine powders ‘disolved’ in a liquid. Pigments generally give brighter colours and are man-made.

Dyes have existed for at least 4000 years and, before 1850, were almost entirely from natural sources such as plants, trees and lichens but also sometimes from insects. Here are some natural dyes, rarely used today, and their sources:

1. Yellow
Seeds, stems and leaves of the weld plant
The inner bark of the North American oak ‘quercetin’
Dried petals of false saffron (safflower)

2. Red
Crushed insect bodies from Coccus (cochineal) or it’s distant relation Kermes.

3. Blue
From indigo or woad

4. Purple
From the medium sized predatory sea snail ‘commonly’ known as Murex.

5. Black
From the middle wood of the Logwood tree. This is still used today to dye silk and leather and is combined with Chromium. I have written other articles about how this ‘natural’ dye is one of the most damaging to the environment because of the use of chromium.

The art of the dye was historically a closely guarded secret with practitioners having their formulae to produce the colours and to retain them by the addition of various metal salts.

Cotton could not be directly dyed whereas wool and silk could. To add a dye to cotton the cotton had to be first treated with salts made from aluminium (red), magnesium (violet), tin, calcium (purple-red), copper, barium (blue) and iron (black-violet) and then dyed. These salts are called mordants.

The Start Of Synthetic Dyes

In the 1850s Chromium was found to give superior dye retention and so started the decline of the natural dye. Chromium mordants are still widely used for wool and less so for silk and nylon.

More precisely, the first commercially successful dye was ‘mauve’ discovered in England in 1856 and taken to market the following year. It was only sold for about 7 years but that was sufficient to start the dramatic decline of natural dyes and the investment in the science for newer and better dyes.

The Chromium discovery meshed well with the Industrial Revolution. The massively growing textile industry in Europe required a cheap and predictable manufacturing process. Natural dyes and mordants could require up to 20 steps in production, the colour could be variable and the dyes had to be transported unreliably from around the world. Because of these factors and the development of chemical science it is easy to see how by-products of coal tar extraction & coke production, abundant in Europe, became the foundation of the modern dye industry.

By 1900 nearly 90 percent of industrial dyes were synthetic.

Pre-war (WWI) Germany dominated the commercial dye market accounting for 90% of all output. Many German scientists worked with distilled cemicals from coal tar, an abundant by-product of the industrial revolution at the time. The German succes was probably due to their investment in the scientific method and in training scientists themselves. Some further ‘by-products’ of the research include aspirin and saccharin.

After WWI the industry gravitated to Britain (ICI), the USA and Switzerland, also moving away from coal tar to petroleum based research.

Perhaps only now with the ‘green’ movement are we seeing a resurgence of interest in natural dyes. KOTHEA cautions the environmentally conscious reader to look carefully at claims of dyes to be natural. Whilst they may well be made from natural materials the processes used along the way can be VERY damaging to the environment.

Share & Enjoy

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Interior Design Directories

The myriad of design sites on the internet make it difficult for trade professionals to find the most suitable products for their projects.

The most well known and used site is The House Directory. Whilst accessible to everyone, this site remains an invaluable resource for all interior design professionals. The site was improved further with a full re-design in 2008 and subsequently re-launched. The site comprises a large database of over 3,000 companies covering all aspects of interior and garden design and decoration with a beautifully presented interface to the web. Cheryl and Nicolette at The House Directory are rightfully proud of their creation and boast the highest ranked site for interior decoration directories in the world (Source: Google). The House Directory was formerly House & Garden Addresses.

Home & Gardening Magazine also have a creditable online directory.

Yet another promising new directory is the Technical Library Services showcase Savoir Faire. This is well designed and looks promising for the future.

For a wider range of architectural products, the RIBA Product Selector would be the place to go.

For those designers specifically interested in top market fabrics including silks, linens, mohair velvets, faux leathers and the like then we would definately recommend The House Directory or contact the companies directly.