Discovery Collection Inspiration

30.01.2014 § Leave a comment

Hill and Dale pillows

I keep a loose diary on where I go and what I see, but the things that impress me the most usually become burned in my mind. Those are the ones that spark design ideas and eventually become patterns for Brentano products. « Read the rest of this entry »

Sustainability Consciousness

18.10.2013 § Leave a comment

Sustainability awareness has prevailed for the last decade. Although actual results are hard to see and many people are still indifferent to the movement, people in general are behaving more carefully and improvements are being made. Agriculture’s IPM systems are one example of the shift.

In our textile industry’s new eco standard, the Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric (NSF/ANSI 336), natural fibers grown using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems can earn extra points. « Read the rest of this entry »

Maple Key Design

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.

Maple Keys on Tree Stumps « Read the rest of this entry »

Bathtubs and Robes

12.07.2012 § Leave a comment

A Cultural Difference

I got into the habit of taking hot baths after experiencing the hot spring bath culture in Japan, and I started to notice the difference between the hotels in Japan and the US. First, the bathtubs in Japan are shorter but deeper so the water covers a person up to her neck. By contrast, the hotel tubs in the US are longer but shallower. If a person wants to warm up her knees and shoulders at the same time it is a bit hard. One has to sit up straight to soak her knees or lie down completely and bend her knees to soak her shoulders in hot water. Atami Hot Springs

Atami Hot Springs

Atami Hot Springs

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 »

All-Purpose Cleaners for Our PU

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 »

NFPA 701: How to Read the Test Results

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 »

NFPA 701: Description of Test Methods

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 »

NFPA 701: What is the Small Scale Test?

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 »

Back to Basics Inspirations

03.02.2012 § 1 Comment

Spring 2012 Back to Basics: Zinnia & Plein AirThe 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.

Healthcare Fabrics and Finishes ~ 2

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 »

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