By Carmen Klanberck
It is important that the right fabric is used in particular healthcare spaces due to infection control, the need to be easily cleaned and aesthetics.
Whether in a hospital ward, wait-room area or aged care, a fabric can make all the difference to functionality of the furniture and ambiance of the room.
Fabrics are graded depending on many factors including the materials used, the processes involved in making the fabric and any treatments used to protect it. There are multiple grades of each fabric type and each grade has a different price point.
Below is a quick guide to help you choose the correct fabric for your healthcare area.
These are vinyls, polyurethanes, or silicone for high-use in patient rooms, treatment areas, or seats and headrests.
Examples of non-woven fabrics:
Impermeable Woven Fabrics – commonly known as ‘Crypton’
These are a woven or printed fabric top layer with a ‘Crypton’ impermeable base cloth. These fabrics are treated with Anti-Microbial & Anti-Bacterial agents. Like a vinyl, these fabrics will prevent fluids from getting into the foam and seat structure however the top surface is usually more comfortable and aesthetically appealing than a vinyl.
Examples of impermeable woven fabrics:
Woven fabrics used in healthcare are typically solution-dyed nylons with colors and patterns that resist discoloration and fading while creating a strong visual impact. Woven fabrics are used in areas where there is low risk of spills, fluids and staining such as the outside panels of lounge chairs, throw cushions, admin seating, foyer seating. They are also popular in areas where the more soft, luxurious comfort of a woven fabric is a higher priority than the water proof nature of a vinyl or crypton.
Examples of woven fabrics: