Region: INTERNATIONAL

In Review: Spradling®’s Silvertex®

We recently had the opportunity to review an elegant yet robust fabric range at the newly refurbished and beautiful NGC Nafees showroom in Dubai. Along with Lara El Hani from Kristina Zanic Consultants and Tala Tadros from MMAC, we met with the Spradling® team to experience their most popular collection, Silvertex®.

Spradling® may be new to the UAE market, but as a company they are nearly 60 years old. The brand began operations in 1964 before moving to Europe several decades later in 1997. Today, Spradling® is an international company and the leading manufacturer of coated fabrics. Their innovation-oriented R&D teams are continuously seeking to bring to market performance-driven coated fabrics while also leading the industry with up-to-date colours and textures.

One of Spradling®’s key value propositions is their vertically integrated production with 5 coating lines and over 70 knitting machines in both plants (Colombia and Costa Rica). 

“We produce enough material in a year to surround the moon twice!” says Natalia Cortés, Marketing Manager, Spradling®. Which would equal approx. 35 million linear metres… wow! 

The Review Crew

From left to right: Tala Tadros, Interior Designer, MMAC; Lara El Hani, Design Director Interiors, Kristina Zanic Consultants; Alexander Paulsen, Head of Marine Sales EMEA at Spradling® Europe; Natalia Cortés, Marketing Manager, Spradling®

Attractive, Versatile, Durable

Silvertex® has been Spradling®’s most popular product line since its launch 17 years ago. The collection has been continuously evolving to keep up with the needs of the market. “It’s a simple, subtle, and beautiful product that performs exceptionally well in so many settings,” says Alexander Paulsen, Head of Marine Sales EMEA at Spradling® Europe. “That’s why we supply it to so many different industries across commercial, healthcare, hospitality, marine and even automotive.” Silvertex® has a kind of softness that really comes through on upholstery. The sheen of the product also offers a luxurious feel and depth.

The fabric gets this appearance and softness because of a unique production technique that results in a refined and dimensional appearance. The company employs this system to create a subtle texture that is indistinguishable from real fabric, and goes a step further to offer a level of quality and performance that is hard to find in regular fabrics. 

“For Spradling®, being at the forefront of a designers’ mind with Silvertex® has become a great responsibility. That is why being both on trend and up-to-the-minute is at the heart of the company’s philosophy, particularly regarding colour, design and performance.” explains Natalia.

Before getting into the more technical aspects of the product, one thing we have to mention is how easy it is to maintain. As demonstrated in the review by Alexander, the product is exceptionally easy to clean, which is why it is so highly sought after not only by hospitality clients. All you need for maintenance is some water and a neutral soap, and you can remove most stains right at the moment they occur, save for more stubborn ones, such as wine or coffee. What’s certainly useful is how Silvertex® specifications are tailored for every region. “No matter whether it’s Europe, North America, or somewhere in the South East of Asia, you can be assured that Spradling® has a presence there via our partners, and our most popular lines are well-stocked and available whenever you need. Our teams have done a great job of creating specifications that fit well for the conditions present in each region, leaving no gaps in the project.” 

Sustainably Created

“Our products are certainly environmentally friendly, and to an extent recyclable,” says Alexander. “But we want to be honest as a company and, hence, are careful about messaging to the consumer. There are very few products that are truly 100 percent recyclable. There are also huge monetary and energy costs that add to the process, which is something most manufacturers don’t tell you. What Spradling® definitely does not stand for is Greenwashing. We learned that our customers value longevity as much as environmental friendliness, and these two go hand in hand, so that’s something we focus on. We understand the investment our customers are making, and we don’t want our products deteriorating faster than expected. We do our best to provide quality coated fabrics where the beauty lasts for as long as possible.”

As a company, Spradling® is the first company in its field that has achieved carbon neutral certifications that contribute considerable points towards sustainability project certifications.

Lara: The colours were amazing. The diversity of the colours, the palette… it’s like being in a candy store. The availability of different types of textures and shades is truly incredible. At the same time, everything is so coherent and so well presented, making it easy for us to work within the range. Also, the material looks natural despite being a manufactured fabric. There’s an authenticity to it that you don’t get from many types of vinyl. It’s important to keep that sophisticated look without coming across as too opulent. It helps deliver the experience clients are looking for. It also helps that the applications for this are so wide. The fact that I can have a restaurant and pool bar area in the same finishes is amazing! We don’t get the opportunity to do that often. 

Tala: It’s difficult to find unique fabrics at times, so it’s great to see such variety, especially considering that Silvertex® can be used across different types of projects. The organisation and specifications of the range are great! It makes it so easy for us to specify these fabrics. They are also strong and have a good structure to them with a sophisticated look and feel. The finishes have a certain dimensionality that doesn’t allow them to come across as tacky or fake. I really think these would work well in most F&B spaces and high traffic areas. By matching indoor and outdoor fabrics, we can create a nice seamless flow that really delivers a great experience. 

Outstanding Performance

“This material was designed to be more than just a beautiful coated fabric,” says Alexander. “We developed it to be technically superior to the competition, and to really deliver value no matter what the conditions it is in.” True enough, Silvertex® possesses technical characteristics that fulfil the demands of the harshest of environments, even when exposed to sunlight or very low temperatures. Its high abrasion resistance (over 300.000 Martindale cycles) ensures that surfaces or furniture upholstered with Silvertex® remains like new over the years, even after intense daily use. Spradling® even accounts for cold crack, keeping in mind the conditions in colder regions of the world, like the Nordic countries or Canada. Of course, let’s not forget the UV resistance and flame retardancy formulations that also meet the requirements of the country where the furniture or the upholstered surface will be located. 

Beyond the standard specifications, Spradling® has developed its trademarked Permablok3®,which is a protective finish  engineered to create a tough, effective barrier against the three biggest problems encountered in healthcare and hospitality environments – germs, abrasions and stains. By ensuring water, strain and germ spread are kept to a minimum, it guards the surface against the growth of fungi, mould and mildew spores, which can cause unpleasant odours and allergic reactions. With its antifungal protection, Spradling®‘s coated fabrics are also resistant to gram-positive, gram-negative bacteria, filamentation and yeast. This is especially important given that we’re in a post-pandemic era where organisations are taking all possible steps to keep viruses from spreading. 

 

Final Thoughts

With Silvertex®, Spradling® is bound to make a big impression in the MENA market. With a wide range of specs, strong performance attributes, and plenty of stock to fulfil most orders, the brand is bound to see positive results and fast growth. Moreover, the Silvertex® product line can be used across a variety of settings, from healthcare to corporate, hospitality and outdoor/marine, making it an easy choice for designers and end users alike. 

Lara: I’m excited about using these in healthcare spaces, but I think they will work equally well in hospitality because hotels are raising their specifications as well. It’s so easy to maintain too, like in the case of the coffee stain, where the coffee was cleaned off and the colour remained intact. It’s got a 300k Martindale rating, which means it’s so tough that you can even use it as a luggage rack!

Tala: People are very cautious these days, and features like antimicrobial properties and easy maintenance will make it easier for clients to pick this range for their spaces. The sustainability aspect is great as well, and the fact that it’s carbon neutral certainly gives Silvertex® an edge over its competition!


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