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15/05/2019 – Smart Living — auf Deutsch lesen

Functional textiles improve well being

Besides creating a homely atmosphere, home textiles are increasingly fulfilling important functions in interior spaces.

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Stylised flowers in an all-over design from the “drapilux air” series. © drapilux

 
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The fabric has a minimalistic, modern design in large repeats and is equipped with the “drapilux air” function. © drapilux

 
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“Home textiles have a positive influence on acoustics, as they reduce impact noise and echo. This is done with particular effect when using specifically designed textile floor coverings and curtains. It’s already possible to fit net curtains with lighting to create variable and appealing lighting effects,” states Martin Auerbach, CEO of the German home textiles industry association Heimtex.

With carpets against noise

Toucan-T, a carpet manufacturer based in Krefeld, Germany, is embracing the topic of noise absorption, both in private settings and public buildings. “Modern office spaces are expected to enhance the work environment and create a positive ambiance for the staff working there,” the company states, adding, “noise and visual disturbances have a negative impact on concentration. Indeed, a study by the VDI pegs the drop in performance at 20 percent to 30 percent when workers are exposed to these factors.”

In contrast to the majority of other floor coverings, textile flooring is capable of achieving high degrees of noise absorption.

The energy generated by the human voice normally varies in the range from 100 to 1000 Hertz. Based on this fact, Toucan-T has developed the T-Sonic noise protection backing. This non-woven transforms carpets into sound absorbers that significantly reduce impact noise and echo.

Toucan-T explains: “Increasing demands on the flexible design of rooms and work spaces, greater dynamism in the workplace and the ever-changing parameters of work processes pose significant challenges for acoustic room design. Suitable room acoustics can, however, be achieved by taking a room-wide or global approach to sound absorption. In the majority of offices, the flooring constitutes the largest coherent area for acoustic measures.”

High tech at the window

Net curtains and decorative fabrics have plenty of potential not only when it comes to enhancing well-being. In fact, they can even save lives – for example, in conjunction with flame-retardant fabrics such as Trevira CS. Of course, curtains can also have less dramatic effects too, positively influencing areas such as acoustics.

“Our innovative textiles are endowed with extremely good acoustics values across all frequencies,” says Hubert Reinermann, Sales Manager Drapilux. The fabrics all undergo specific tests to ascertain their acoustic impact, the results of which are available to Drapilux customers.

The air quality inside a room is also key to achieving a pleasant atmosphere. Accordingly, Drapilux offers “drapilux air”, curtains designed with an air-purifying function. The effect is achieved with metal salts, which are worked into the textiles and break down odour molecules. During this process, the molecules are transformed into carbon dioxide and water, and the odour is permanently removed.

Drapilux also offers curtains with added value for the hygiene and healthcare sector. “drapilux bioaktiv” reduces germs and bacteria on the textile by more than 99 percent. The finish on the textile surface attacks the cells and kills the germs and bacteria. According to the company, its effectiveness has been scientifically proven, whilst the textile does not pose a health risk in contact with the skin.

“We’ve developed ‘drapilux all in one’ for extra comfort and hygiene,” states Reinermann. This function brings together the air-purifying effect of ‘drapilux air’ and the antibacterial functions of ‘drapilux bioaktiv’, specifically for the healthcare sector.”

A glimpse of the future

So, that is the status quo. Messe Frankfurt, however, is now poised to open a new chapter. “Urban Living – City of the Future” is the guiding theme for the twin fairs Techtextil/Texprocess, running in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 17 May 2019. According to the United Nations, almost 70 percent of people will be living in urban regions, metropolitan settings and mega cities by 2050. This places new demands on construction, transportation concepts, health facilities, functional clothing and, of course, home textiles. “By introducing this guiding theme, Techtextil and Texprocess are creating a common space for interaction, bringing closer together the application fields covered by Techtextil and Texprocess!” states Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles and Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt.