Proven to be both stain-resistant and long-lasting, FibreGuard fabrics are engineered from the inside out for maximum performance. FibreGuard Pro Anti-Microbial protection is woven directly into the fabric providing 360-degree protection for the life of the furnishing. This soft-to-the-touch range has a uniquely breathable and flexible moisture barrier, making it ideal for demanding environments.
We spoke to Chrissy Dropich, NZ Sales Manager – Commercial Division at James Dunlop Textiles about the difference between FibreGuard and FibreGuard Pro and the benefits of using FibreGuard Pro in aged care and retirement settings.
“Both are fantastic high-performance stain resistant fabrics,” explained Dropich.
“For Aged Care and Retirement Villages, we would recommend FibreGuard Pro as being better suited due to its anti-microbial, moisture barrier, mildew and odour resistant properties.”
For example, it is suggested that for high care areas such as dementia wards that FibreGuard Pro be used for furnishings. FibreGuard Pros’ moisture barrier construction is designed for health care by way of reducing contamination caused by accidental spills and any organic matter migrating through the textiles’ surface into the foam on upholstered pieces.
The anti-microbial solution applied during the fabric production and finishing gives FibreGuard Pro extra security from mildew and bad odours caused by accidental spills. Liquids and bacteria are unable to attach themselves to the yarn or the upholstery foam, making FibreGuard Pro the perfect choice for environments such as hospitals, aged care facilities, hotels and restaurants.
Fashion and Function
Just because these fabrics are high performance, doesn’t mean they lack style or sophistication, the new era of aged care and retirement living calls for fashion as well as function.
“We are seeing Lifestyle Villages taking on high-end hotel aesthetics, bridging the gap between living at home versus moving into a village,” Dropich noted.
There are multiple resources used when forecasting design and colour trends. These include ArchiPro x Resene, Pantone Colour Institute, Dulux Colour, Benjamin Moore Paints, Sherwin Williams, and WGSN.
“Calling upon these sources, in conjunction with inspiration from travel, local art and architecture, market feedback and our shared experience, help inform, mould, and shape future developments.”
Dropich explained that as the world has found itself confined to and reliant upon home spaces, colour that promotes wellness, restoration, and positivity are pertinent.
Gentle pastels and soft pales can have a calming, balanced and comforting effect. These tones paired with white may help suggest cleanliness. Restorative colours might combine earthy neutrals and raw naturals. Green, particularly Jade, is associated with nourishment immunity and sustainability, and bringing colours from nature indoors fosters a grounding sense of wellbeing. Security and reassurance can be promoted through rich sophisticated colours like Dark Oak due to their association with antiques.
“We are seeing a move to more sophisticated schemes within Aged Care, with the desire to creating luxurious, very residential environments. It’s a shift we are thrilled to see as we strongly believe our beloved elderly deserve to be surrounded by beauty for this chapter of their lives.
“Elegant plain woven textures with a soft, comforting feel are utterly timeless, paired with high performance attributes and it’s the perfect solution. Our FibreGuard and FibreGuard Pro range, have seen an extraordinary uptake, vastly due to their high performance characteristics – they provide long lasting stain resistance, are easy clean, washable, water repellent, odour and mildew resistant, available in a wide range of trend driven constructions such as faux linens, velvets, chenille and boucle, along with their extensive colour palettes spanning across reassuring neutrals through to vibrant more decorative shades thus providing a solution for your desired aesthetic.”
Looking After FibreGuard Fabric
The frequency that upholstery and curtain fabrics should be cleaned varies, but Dropich advised that when a stain occurs or as soon as a stain is found, it should be taken care of immediately with water application and blotting with a clean cloth.
“In terms of regular cleaning of upholstery and curtains, we recommend that facility cleaning staff check all upholstery pieces as part of their regular cleaning regime, and spot clean where necessary.
“At least once a year is a good timescale for an overall curtain and upholstery deep clean. However, if it’s a high traffic area, you should think about having your upholstery cleaned three or four times a year.”
Unlike other easy-to-clean fabrics, the stain-resistant finish with FibreGuard performance fabrics is inherent in the fabric yarn, rendering it permanent for the life of the fabric. This means that the stain-free properties in FibreGuard fabrics will not deteriorate after washing or prolonged use.
FibreGuard Pro fabrics have an anti-moisture membrane that is flexible and breathable and creates hydrophobicity across the surface of the fabric. This forms a layer on the fabric surface that prevents liquid stains like blood, bodily fluids, coffee or wine from penetrating into the fabric. The yarns are coated with a solution that acts as a barrier against stains, preventing fabrics from retaining them. It also forms a layer on the fabric surface to help protect stains like pen, ketchup, or lipstick penetrating the surface of the fabrics. The stain therefore can be easily removed using water and soap.
FibreGuard is here to make life easier so there is no special training needed for staff to clean spills or stains off its fabrics. From ketchup and red wine to coffee and ink, FibreGuard fabrics are simple and easy to clean with water, soap and a clean microfibre cloth. If you do want more information, however, there’s a handy ‘How to Clean’ guide that can be found here. The company also offers onsite training to staff if required.
Sustainable and Soft
It is no longer enough to simply have a product that performs well, these days customers want safety and environmental care built into the brands they choose. All FibreGuard fabrics, including FibreGuard Pro fabrics, are manufactured and certified under the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, guaranteeing that they won’t release any harmful finishes or chemicals into the environment.
Patients with dementia or other sensory problems can often have issues around the feel of a fabric, and fabric that has been treated often comes out hard or rough, but this isn’t the case with FibreGuard or FibreGuard Pro.
“The R&D team behind FibreGuard and FibreGuard Pro work really hard to achieve the best results when it comes to the feel of their fabrics,” said Dropich.
“Comfortable Where it Counts is their motto and ensuring the comfort of patients is paramount in healthcare. FibreGuard fabrics are soft and inviting to the touch, but don’t let that fool you: they’re also tough and resilient. A match made in practicality.”
Dropich concluded that the future looks bright for aged care and lifestyle village living. Particularly now that operators are considering products that perform highly both in functionality and aesthetic.
“With great designers working on these projects, we now look forward to retiring!”