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: 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 »

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 »

Healthcare Fabrics and Finishes ~ 1

27.12.2011 § Leave a comment

Do I need an antibacterial finish? Which brand should I pick?

Each of the different healthcare finish brands is slightly different, but for the most part they are very similar. It is like selecting between different brands of cleaning solutions; they each have slightly different ingredients, but all three use fluorocarbons, which is the main component for their stain resistance. To my understanding, the percentages of fluorocarbon content from most to least are Crypton, Nano-Tex, then GreenShield. « Read the rest of this entry »

Mold, Mildew, and Bacteria

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 »

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