How a sofa fabric is created

The process of creating a sofa fabric is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of our work. It involves the whole company and is a constant challenge to meet (and sometimes anticipate) our customers’ needs.

Let’s take a look together at the stages that transform an idea on the desk of the style office into an article available in the catalogues of retailers, in the showrooms of upholstery companies and in upholstery workshops.

Certainly the first suggestions come from the customers themselves. In a constant dialogue, our sales network listens, interprets and suggests what the market trends are and what new proposals need to be developed.

We listen to the market

Listening to the market is not only the first fundamental step, but it is a constant attention that accompanies all the phases of creation of the fabric; so that the creativity of the style office expresses itself at its best not only along paths of aesthetic and technical quality, but also on solid bases of commercial concreteness.

The first suggestions may come from the world of large-scale sofa production, from an Italian or foreign retailer, from a craftsman’s workshop, from an upholsterer: at this stage it is essential to listen.

Rocca di filato marrone
One of the many yarns available to the style office

Designing the fabric

Once the style office has identified the type of fabric that the market needs, the actual design phase begins: sometimes we start with articles already in the catalogue, for which a restyling is sufficient; sometimes we test new combinations of materials normally available in the warehouse; sometimes we experiment with new combinations of new yarns.

The most typical challenge is the creation of a completely new fabric, but made with yarns that are normally and historically part of our production.

Choosing the right yarns

Obviously, all stages in the creation of a fabric are important, but the yarn selection stage is perhaps the most delicate and complex. Choosing the right yarns means in fact satisfying at least three different needs:

  • aesthetic (we must obtain a fabric that is visually as we have designed it);
  • technical (during the production phase, first of the fabric and then of the sofa, we have to guarantee the workability and durability of the qualities);
  • commercial (we have to produce a fabric in line with the positioning of the market for which the fabric is intended)

To satisfy these three needs, there are many yarns available: cotton, linen, wool, viscose, polyester, acrylic and others.

We propose colour variants

Even the choice of the colour proposal is a phase in which it is evident how fundamental it is to reason by looking at the market to which one is addressing oneself. Like any other sector in the world of design, the furnishing fabrics sector is obviously characterised by fashion and seasonality.

The extra step we always strive to take, when proposing a colour range, is to pay attention first of all to the peculiarities of our customers, both in terms of territorial spread and style and market segment; and not only to the general trends of the sector.

Most articles have a wide range of colours, over twenty variants; and, where appropriate, characteristic and clearly recognisable textures or geometries.

Packaging samples

Once the design phase has been completed and the most suitable and effective colours have been chosen, the work moves on to production. The first prototypes of the new fabric are taken from the looms and it is checked that the fabric meets the quality standards both visually and to the touch.

Then it is the turn of the sample laboratory, which will give substance, with taste and precision, to the colour proposals; and will thus realise the colour ranges to be presented to customers – and which customers will present in turn.

Tessuti con colori neutri e fiore bianco
A detail of the newly created fabric

We listen to the market, again

We started by listening to our customers and their needs; the market focus has accompanied us through all stages of fabric creation; and of course the market will tell whether our fabric creation work has been done to perfection. Often a fabric is created and liked straight away; at other times there are small things to adjust – perhaps lighten it a little, or add an extra colour.

Our satisfaction is in seeing our customers satisfied, because we are convinced that the secret of the creation of a new fabric and its success lies in the collaboration between them and us.

Our style department is available for any clarification, support and product development for the projects you have in mind – or even to request a colour range of our latest fabrics – please contact us.

Lotus effect: nanotechnology for textiles

Nanotechnology is a high-tech process that makes it possible to apply naturally occurring qualities to materials. Thanks to this innovation we can obtain water-repellent fabrics.

It all began when the so-called lotus effect was discovered.

What is the lotus effect?

We have probably all seen the lotus flower at least in photographs: large petals, white to pink in colour, resting on large, flat, round green leaves; and on these leaves, large drops of water.

lotus flower
A lotus flower on the water of a pond

(Photo by Marina Logvin on Unsplash)

This flower grows in wet and muddy environments, real swamps, and you would expect to see leaves just as dirty and wet: however, the leaves of the lotus flower always remain dry and clean.

This is due to the special structure of the leaf surface. This is due to the special structure of the leaf surface. Apparently smooth, this surface actually has microscopic ripples that are invisible to the naked eye.

On surfaces with a normal structure, the water droplets adhere and then slide, allowing dirt to penetrate; on these tiny ripples, the water droplets do not slide, but roll, taking the dirt particles with them.

Nanotechnology fabrics: innovation and practicality

Once this extraordinary natural property has been discovered, nanotechnology enters the field. It allows this lotus effect to be imitated, resulting in water- and stain-repellent fabrics.

leaves with drops of water
The drops of water on the leaves of the lotus flower

(Photo by Julia Schwab on Pixabay)

Nanotechnology is not a superficial coating, but acts deep down at the molecular level, so the fabric retains all its natural characteristics: it is non-toxic, breathable, antistatic, resistant to both wet and dry cleaning, allows faster drying and is easy to clean with neutral products, thus avoiding the use of toxic and polluting chemical solvents.

The treatment is also permanent and maintains the quality of the colours and fabrics over time.

How to remove stains from a nanotechnology fabric

This technological innovation reveals itself in all its practicality when a liquid is spilled on a fabric.

Depending on the situation, it will be necessary to act in two ways:

  • If the liquid has remained on the surface: to remove the stains, dab lightly with a dry cloth or kitchen paper.
  • If dirt has penetrated due to strong pressure: lightly rub the stained area with a damp, non-abrasive sponge and rinse with a clean sponge.

For washing, use a small amount of neutral detergent and rinse thoroughly. When completely dry, iron at a medium temperature. In any case, just follow the instructions on the fabric label carefully.

Nanotechnology fabrics for sofas and armchairs

Sofas, armchairs and all upholstered furniture are obviously “natural targets” for staining liquids: wine, coffee, soft drinks, to name but a few. And so upholstery fabrics are the natural field of application for nanotechnologies that exploit the natural properties of the lotus effect.

bicchiere di vino rosso rovesciato
Red wine stains are very annoying

(Photo by Security on Pixabay)

The nanotechnological stain-resistant finish can be applied to any fabric, which will retain its natural characteristics and at the same time acquire water-repellent properties.

To find out more and learn more about all the properties of stain-resistant fabrics, please contact us.

Fabric colorfastness: quality that lasts

The dyeing process of our items ensures a perfect fabric colorfastness. For quality products that meet the needs of you and your customers.

The comfort of a removable cover

Those who buy a removable sofa certainly do so for the convenience of being able to put the cover in the washing machine. And machine washing is done not only to remove particular stains from time to time, but also to periodically refresh the covers and seat or back cushions, for example. So it’s critical to ensure the fabric colorfastness over time for that upholstery.

rotoli tessuto righe bianche e blu
Art. Fiesta e Trieste

The dyeing process

Sofas, armchairs and other upholstered furniture made from fabrics that have not been dyed properly can lead to unpleasant surprises: when the upholstery is put into the washing machine, it is faded, the color has lost its brilliance and uniformity – sometimes even after just one wash. In order to ensure that the fabric’s color holds up perfectly, every step of the dyeing process is important, so that the color penetrates deeply into the fibers and is firmly fixed.

dettaglio tessuto giallo
Art. Kinder

The characteristics of a good fabric

Fullness, uniformity, brightness, durability: these are the essential characteristics of the color, and that a good fabric must have and must maintain over time to be used in the production of sofas, armchairs and upholstered furniture quality. In order to obtain these characteristics, the dyeing process of Cartex Italia’s fabrics, in yarn or in piece, is entrusted to partners who have shown professionalism, reliability and timeliness over the years.

dettaglio tessuto damascato rosso
Art. Imperial

Quality products for satisfied customers

It is because of their and our experience that we can be sure to provide you with beautiful, solidly colored fabrics; and guarantee that they will remain so over time. So that you, in turn, can produce quality products to the complete satisfaction of your customers.

For more information, feel free to contact us – it will be a pleasure to speak with you.