I met last week with our Stinson rep to catch up on new products and patterns.  No one knows quality performance fabrics, vinyls, non-PVCs, and now silicone options more than Clayton.  As always, it was educational.  I’ve met with Clayton and other fabric reps enough to know how quality is measured on these fabrics, in double rubs with a stiff bristled brush.  Industry standard stands up to 30,000 double rubs, yet most of the vinyls, non-PVCs (polyurethanes), and silicone options that Stinson supplies exceed 100,000 double rubs.  Stinson’s two new silicone options are rated at exceeding 200,000 double rubs and exceeding 665,000 double rubs!

We’ve all sat in a cracked vinyl booth before.  It feels yucky.  Chances are likely that those booths have been cleaned with something containing alcohol.  Over time alcohol changes the chemical composition of the vinyl.  It will become hard and shiny, and will then crack under pressure.  The double rubs won’t matter in that case, it’s a lesson to every restaurant management, stay away from alcohol based cleaners!

Another measure of quality for vinyl, non-PVCs and silicones is how colorfast they are in sunlight, measured in hours.  Many non-marine grade vinyls measure to be colorfast to about 600 hours.  The new silicone options are colorfast to 1500 hours and are rated for indoor/outdoor use.  They are also more resistant to stains and inks than their vinyl and non-PVC counterparts.

Silicone is taking the industry, proving to be a great option with a nice hand, it uses a thin background because it’s a thick layer of silicone and will upholster well.  Our upholstery department has favorites- fabrics that are good to work with and fabrics that are a pain- difficult to manipulate and such.  This is a new favorite!

Another area that Stinson excels is with their designMix technology.  This database of all of their fabrics catalogs all coordinates and makes it easy to visualize different fabrics used in different applications and their coordinates.  It’s a designers best friend for furniture and accessories.  Stinson is very good at cataloging all the specifications and cleaning information for each fabric and make it easy for us (the manufacturer) to provide our customers with care instructions for their new products.

A note for restaurants and other purchasers of vinyl (and non-PVC and silicone) seating- if you are not provided with this information by your manufacturer, ask for it!