Merging six decades of passion and experience with proprietary technology and an artisan process from Japan, Ultrafabrics creates enhanced polyurethane synthetic leather fabrics 'intelligently crafted for a global tomorrow'. Managing director, Jonathan Hinton, gives his insight into the company and its place in the hospitality interior market.
How is Ultrafabrics set-up to cater for and work with clients in the UK, and how and where can designers access the company's products?
Ultrafabrics has a distribution centre in Leicester providing next day delivery on 75% of all product ranges. We also have 5 sales people who work with designers, manufacturers and clients from all across the UK on a daily basis.
We are seeing increased interest from across all sectors of the design industry as people are beginning to recognise that the Ultrafabrics range is a whole new fabric category, pioneering the revolution of polyurethane technology and producing a truly luxurious fabric with many advantages for the hospitality industry over leather.
From a design perspective, how does the family of Ultrafabrics products fit with the modern hospitality market?
The innovative approach to polyurethane solutions allows for infinite customisable options- from colour to texture to technically enhanced qualities. Our current inventory includes an extensive range of fabrics, carefully developed to anticipate the demands of current trends, seasons, and markets while being immediately available to meet the needs of any project.
Ultrafabrics products are performance driven, offering the widest range of colours and grain types of any Polyurethane manufacturer. The products exceed market standard rub testing criteria, are cleanable with all standard cleaning fluids including bleach and offer a longevity that other fabrics cannot compare to.
Talk us through the performance characteristics of the most appropriate Ultrafabrics products for the UK hospitality market:
Since 1966, Ultrafabrics have been produced using only custom engineered, premium grade polycarbonate resins utilising our proprietary Takumi technology, decades of passion, creativity and skill have ultimately created the most enhanced fabrics on the market. The many advantages to these fabrics available to the hospitality market include High Martindale rub test count 120-200,000 rubs, easily cleanable, breathable fabrics, climate controlled, does not harbour stain or odour, easy to upholster and additionally some fabrics incorporate anti-microbial and ink resistant technology.
What notable hospitality projects has Ultrafabrics been involved with recently?
An unrivalled spectrum of colours and finishes means that Ultrafabrics suit a variety of projects whatever the design criteria. Each collection has its own characteristics including Brisa, Eco Tech, Fusion, Linen, Pony, Promessa and Viva. Notable completed projects in the UK include:
-Pullman Hotel Kings Cross, London – The desired look of leather is often not practical in high-traffic commercial environments, Eco Tech, a textured design from Ultrafabrics has been used as seat coverings in the bar and restaurant areas providing a practical, stunning and luxe solution, along with inclusion on all of the headboards in every bedroom
-Morrisons Cafes, various locations UK – Ultraleather from Ultrafabrics has been used as seat coverings throughout the café areas. The ink and stain resistant properties and wide colour palette made Ultraleather the obvious choice.
-Starbucks, various locations UK - Again Ultrafabrics was the obvious choice for the upholstery, Promessa was specified as not only is it a striking texture but is designed to resist stains such as those produced by coffee, red wine and even mustard.
With a global footprint spanning across all industries, Ultrafabrics boasts a large variety of top-tier partnerships. The same passion poured into our products is exerted directly into our customer service, working closely with clients to exceed their expectations. As a result, a loyal following of clients work with Ultrafabrics season after season for all project needs.
How do you feel about the argument that man-made PU products such as Ultrafabrics cannot claim any environmental positives?
At Ultrafabrics, we offer environmentally conscious, PVC-free products mindful of the long-term impact on our present and future lifestyles. The minimal VOC performance attributes of our products ensures a sustainable presence within your inner and outer environment.
Ultrafabrics utilises efficient manufacturing procedures that are based on conservation of raw materials, toxic-free solutions and minimal dependency on natural resources. However, longevity has to be the main positive environmental benefit, why replace it when it looks as good as new?
The original publication of this piece by Gemma Ralph can be found on the Hospitality Interiors website.