19.10.2012 § Leave a Comment
I designed a maple key pattern about ten years ago, but it was not successful as a fabric and I never introduced it. I am making the attempt again and making some studies. Maybe it will become a Brentano fabric design one day.
12.07.2012 § Leave a Comment
A Cultural Difference
I also noticed that the hotels in Japan always prepare you with a toothbrush and toothpaste and a pair of disposable slippers. None of these could be found at the Minneapolis Hilton I checked into when I visited our representative in Minnesota. « Read the rest of this entry »
14.06.2012 § 1 Comment
Would you dry clean your sofa?
For our polyurethane product, we typically recommend that clients clean it with soap and water. In a tough stain situation, the “solvent resistant finish” on our polyurethane means that rubbing alcohol or a solution of 1:5 diluted household bleach to water is also safe to use. All of these cleaning agents have been tested at Brentano and in our mill’s lab along with Windex, Murphy’s oil soap, and Formula 409.
That’s not an exhaustive list because clients often have specific cleaners they want to use. Recently I was asked about using dry cleaning chemicals, namely Perc and hydrocarbon solvents. According to our mill, there are many kinds of hydrocarbon solvent products. The exact chemical formulas are usually trade secrets, so it is difficult to find out exactly what is in a particular solvent, and the only way to find out what kind of effect it will have is to test it. « Read the rest of this entry »
26.03.2012 § Leave a Comment
(No. 3 of 3) It is very common for people to request copies of our test results, especially fire test results, for their records. I imagine they are usually just looking for the note at the bottom that says that the fabric “complies” or “meets the requirements.” When a fabric doesn’t pass the test, that’s when we start looking at the other numbers. So what do all of those numbers mean, anyway? « Read the rest of this entry »
20.03.2012 § Leave a Comment
(No. 2 of 3) The flammability test we use for all of our drapery fabrics is the ACT performance guideline: NFPA 701. The standard actually includes two tests, one for draperies that weigh less than 21 oz./sq. yd (Test Method #1, the replacement for the original small scale test) and a second for draperies that weigh more than 21 oz./sq. yd or have some kind of backing (Test Method #2, the replacement for the original large scale test). « Read the rest of this entry »
13.03.2012 § Leave a Comment
(No. 1 of 3) When referring to drapery fire tests, we often hear people talk about the “vertical fire test” or “small scale.” The actual test code is NFPA 701. (NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Agency.) Since the test is done vertically, compared with, say, ASTM E-84 which is done with the fabric lying horizontally, NFPA 701 is nicknamed the vertical test.
The latest NFPA 701 version was updated in 2010, although its two test methods have hardly changed since 1996. We use NFPA 701 Test Method #1 for lightweight, single layer draperies. In this test, a hanging fabric is exposed to a 4” flame for 45 seconds; whether it passes depend on how much weight the fabric loses when it burns and whether any pieces that break off continue to burn. This second criterion is sometimes called drip burn. « Read the rest of this entry »
03.02.2012 § 1 Comment
The spring 2012 collection developed around a desire to create things that possess a tranquil quality. We are introducing soft textures and subtle patterns, many within our Brentano Green line. There are high performing patterns too like Plein Air and Zinnia (above), but in my mind, the idea of tranquility connects most closely with green mindfulness.
28.12.2011 § Leave a Comment
Are stain resistant finishes waterproof? Are they bleachable?
Because all stain resistant finishes are breathable, any liquid will go through the fabric eventually. It may bead up on the surface at first, but the finish will not make the fabric waterproof.
Similarly, one should not assume that a fabric is chlorine resistant because it has a stain resistant finish. Both GreenShield and Nano-Tex are chlorine resistant, but they will not make a fabric chlorine resistant. The fiber needs to be a chlorine resistant fiber, the way the fiber is dyed needs to be chlorine resistant, and the finish needs to be chlorine resistant. All three – fiber, dye, and finish – have to qualify in order for the fabric to be chlorine resistant. « Read the rest of this entry »
03.08.2011 § Leave a Comment
Back in 2010, I had forecast marine as one of the up-and-coming colors for this year, so I reintroduced navy in this fall’s collection. One of our reps had been screaming for jewel tones, so I tried. I still have not had any luck making any new greens, but I will continue to try. « Read the rest of this entry »
01.07.2011 § 1 Comment
When to use antimicrobial finishes
I’m drawn to performance fabrics because they solve problems for customers. In hot and humid places, mold and mildew can be a real headache indoors, let alone for outdoor use. For the interior fabric industry, many fabrics are labeled as “mildew resistant.” This might not mean that the fabric has been treated with any chemicals, simply that the fiber itself is inherently bacteria-resistant. « Read the rest of this entry »