for the Senses
How the next generation of materials for retail and commercial environments
connects with touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste By Ana Linares
1 | TOUCH
New surface technologies create
a wide variety of materials that
mimic nature. Examples include:
• A hard-surface laminate fabricated with
fabric on the top and bottom surfaces. The
laminate is scratch-resistant but can be made
to match any upholstery used in a space.
• A high-quality urethane material embossed
with pony hair to resemble the look and feel
• 3D materials designed to look natural,
but made using new processes.
Laminated surface panels that incorporate textiles
and threads without the use of a protective top
surface melamine film are produced by pressing
with phenolic, kraft papers with the textile on both
sides of the panel.
A luxury leather alternative fabric that has a distinct
grain that echoes the fine hair on the coat of a pony
is composed of a polyurethane surface with polyester and rayon backing and simulates the look and
feel of real leather.
Custom designed woven metal textiles for applications such as wall panels, interior drapery, and other hanging pieces incorporates thin wire from metals such as stainless steel, copper, enameled copper, brass, silver, and bronze. This textile can also be laminated to glass for tabletop applications or space dividers.
Hand-crafted textiles made from peacock feathers,
rayon, and silk, create a velvet-like material with a surface pile of peacock feathers. The quills are gathered
as cast offs from free-range wild peacocks; the quill
side-feathers are hand-plucked, assorted, twisted,
and knotted to form a continuous thread that makes
up the surface pile of the fabric. The fabric is handwoven on a non-electric jacquard loom in rural India.
2 | SIGHT
The emphasis is on high-definition surfaces, attention to detail,
and the contrast bet ween computer-controlled
mechanization versus handmade materials.
• Lush, exotic peacock feather fabric, handwoven in Thailand from wild-harvested peacock feathers.
• Sheer shimmering fabric woven from metal
filaments, with acoustical properties.
• A stainless steel surface material with
decorative electronic etching that creates a
holographic image effect.