Category Close-Up - December 2013

Tech Solutions
By Wanda Jankowski

Invista Invista’s DACRON® Memorelle™ hypoallergenic fiberfill gives comforters the feel of luxury down while maintaining shape and softness after multiple washes.
Phifer SheerWeave Style 7500 is an economical option in pvc-free blackout fabrics. It is available in several widths and colors.
Hunter Douglas The Duette® with SkyLift™ shading system for skylight and large window applications is available with manual or PowerRise® operation.
Lenzing Lenzing has launched a marketing initiative called “Natural Connection” that promotes the benefits of TENCEL® and cotton blends.
Serta iComfort™basic bedding accessories including 100 percent Tencel sheets.
Serta iComfort™ basic bedding accessories include gel memory foam 2-in-1 Scrunch, Contour, FreeStyle™ Renewal Refined™ and Directions pillows as well as the reversible 2-in-1 Mattress Protector shown.
Somfy Systems The WireFree™ Solar Pack harnesses renewable solar energy to power WireFree™ motorized window coverings powered by Somfy.
Soft-Tex The Sensorpedic Memory Cloud Collection of pillows and mattress toppers incorporates a Dual Comfort technology that combines Soft-Tex’s specially formulated, pressure-relieving memory foam with soft, cloud-like polyester fiber for enhanced breathability.
AQ Textiles Guardian Bed Bug Protection is a patented bedbug repellant technology available in sheet sets, mattress protectors and pillow protectors that is drawn from the neem plant.

Fresh resources that wield the power of technology to offer superior performance and benefits

Technology today is being applied to home textile products in many ways to increase performance and other benefits, as evidenced by the sampling of new introductions and bestsellers showcased here.

Working With “Nature”

Several companies are using technologies to enhance and apply elements drawn from nature to products used everyday.

AQ Textiles has introduced Guardian Bed Bug Protection, a patented innovative bed bug repellant technology, which is available on sheet sets, mattress protectors and pillow protectors. The protection is a finish made with natural neem plant-based technology.

The neem plant is a fast-growing evergreen tree found commonly in tropical and subtropical climates and in countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Known as a medicinal plant, elements from it can be used to treat a variety of ailments. The tree has anti-fungal properties and neem oil can act as an astringent to boils, sores and scrapes, as it helps speed up the healing process. The neem plant also has micro-bacterial fighting agents that prevent tooth and gum disease.

The Guardian Bed Bug Protection finish technology has been laboratory tested and found to maintain its high effectiveness as a bed bug repellant even after 30 washes under the ISO 3998 test method.

The Guardian Bed Bug Protection, which is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, is the only 100 percent cotton bed bug repellant fabric in the market, according to AQ Textiles, offering sleep comfort with the appeal of a natural fiber.

This past Fall, Lenzing embarked on a new marketing initiative called “Natural Connection” that promotes the benefits of blending Lenzing’s TENCEL® with cotton. According to Lenzing, adding TENCEL to cotton enhances the fabric’s hand, moisture management and sheen. The blending ratio can be adjusted to suit a variety of product needs.

Lenzing is making available to manufacturers and retailers new marketing tools to promote the good qualities of TENCEL®/cotton blends. “Consumers are interested in natural and high-quality materials. This marketing push is aimed at getting these products the attention they deserve. With this initiative, we are presenting our customers with marketing tools ideally suited to promoting TENCEL®/cotton products at retail,” Andreas Dorner, Lenzing marketing manager, explains.

With a mixture of TENCEL®, the yarn values can be improved in strength and regularity, according to Lenzing. These positive effects can be transferred to the final product and lead to a more attractive fabric with better performance values.

Comfort Sleep Benefits

Advancements in technology have long been associated with the comfort sleep category. New for Soft-Tex is the Sensorpedic Memory Cloud Collection of pillows and mattress toppers. The products incorporate a Dual Comfort technology that combines Soft-Tex’s specially formulated memory foam with soft, cloud-like polyester fiber that surrounds the foam. Also, integrated into the therapeutic, pressure-relieving memory foam is the ICOOL™ technology system for enhanced breathability. The Sensorpedic Memory Cloud products include luxurious fabric covers with decorative trims and Comfortech cooling and stain-release technologies.

Mattress-maker Serta expands its brand reach into the comfort sleep category with a collection of iComfort™ basic bedding accessories that complements its iComfort gel memory foam mattresses. The new accessories offer retailers the opportunity to increase sales with an established brand name that inspires consumer trust. The iComfort premium accessory grouping includes:

  • The 2-in-1 Scrunch Pillow for back, side and stomach sleepers that includes Cool Action™ Gel Memory Foam, which cushions while holding its shape, alleviating pressure points, and reducing tossing and turning.
  • The Contour Pillow for back and side sleepers that is ergonomically designed to support and cradle the head and neck, and helps improve circulation and airflow.
  • The FreeStyle™ Pillow that offers comfort and support no matter how one sleeps. Its arched cutout helps support the shoulders of side sleepers and neck of back sleepers, and its low-profile design furnishes comfort for stomach sleepers.
  • The Renewal Refined™ Pillow for back and side sleepers offers the responsive comfort of Talalay latex infused with the support and cooling touch of Serta’s MicroSupport® gel.
  • The Directions™ Pillow that accommodates back, side and stomach sleepers, and features Cool Action™ Dual Effects™ gel memory foam in a design that provides cooling comfort at the surface and cushioning support from the core.
  • The reversible 2-in-1 Mattress Protector with a breathable waterproof barrier, stretchable fabric to maintain mattress comfort, Tencel® fibers to enhance moisture wicking and an alternate cotton side for winter warmth.
  • The iComfort Sheet Set, made with 100 percent Tencel® fabric that enhances moisture wicking and resists odor and bacteria growth, and dust mites. An innovative strap design securely fits mattresses up to 16 inches thick.

Invista’s invention, DACRON® Memorelle™, is a fiberfill that gives comforters the feel of luxury down. The light, hypoallergenic fiber won’t bunch or slide. Even after multiple washes, comforters with Memorelle fiber hold their shape longer than down and down-alternative products. DACRON Memorelle’s interwoven fiber construction also reduces cold spots.

Environmental Control

Technology has been used for years in the window treatment sector to create options that help control the amounts of daylight and heat entering the home.

Phifer Incorporated will unveil several products in Las Vegas, NV, at VISION ’14: International Window Coverings Expo, Feb. 4 to 6, 2014. Among them is the reintroduction of SheerWeave Style 7500 as an economical option in pvc-free blackout fabrics. Available in 78-inch, 98-inch and 118-inch widths and in a variety of colors, Style 7500 can complement current window treatments or be employed as a single shade.

Somfy’s WireFree™ Solar Pack harnesses renewable solar energy to power WireFree™ motorized window coverings powered by Somfy. It offers a “green” alternative to power WireFree™ motorized window coverings by eliminating the need to replace and dispose of batteries. Maintenance-free, it can be used in a variety of window types facing north, south, east or west in high sun or limited sun areas. It features a low-profile solar panel that is easy to conceal.

The Duette® with SkyLift™ shading system from Hunter Douglas has been created for skylight applications and can cover large windows up to 80 square feet. The shades are available with manual or PowerRise® operation. The Duette SkyLift with manual operation offers a hand crank or telescoping pole. The Duette SkyLift shades that feature PowerRise® with Platinum™ technology are compatible with Platinum App and Platinum accessories.

Shade styles available include 3/8-inch semi-opaque and all 3/4-inch Duette fabrics, including Architella® for increased energy efficiency. Hardware for the shades is offered in aspen white, gardenia white and bronze.
Lutron Electronics has created a mobile iPad® application called The Lutron Fabric Collections App that allows users to browse more than 1,500 fabric options for Lutron motorized shades. Through the app, a consumer can view fabrics within a collection or by shade type, order fabric samples, e-mail or post fabric selections, review high-performance fabric specifications, draw inspiration from lifestyle imagery, experience how selected fabrics would affect a space, learn more about motorized shading and access videos and brochures. The app is available free of charge on Apple iTunes®.

Lutron has also expanded it range of automated window treatments to include both Sivoia QS Triathlon and Serena battery-powered roller shades. Those additions provide homeowners with more styles and pricing options in the battery-powered shade family.

The Sivoia QS’ Triathlon drive technology includes simple power options using battery or 12-volt wired power, instant digital response that doesn’t drain batteries and a hybrid drive that uses stored energy in addition to power to move the shade while maintaining alignment and performance. The shading system also integrates with Lutron lighting controls.

Lutron’s Serena battery-powered shading system offers all the benefits of Sivoia QS Triathlon, but acts as a standalone solution that does not integrate into control systems. Both systems have a three-to-five year battery life.

Resources

  • AQ Textiles, 212-564-1597
  • Hunter Douglas, 800-436-7366, hunterdouglas.com
  • Invista, 877-446-8478, invista.com
  • Lenzing Inc., 212-944-7898, lenzing.com
  • Lutron, 800-446-1503, lutron.com
  • Phifer Incorporated, 800-221-5497, phifer.com
  • Serta, 888-557-3782, serta.com
  • Somfy Systems, Inc., 877-43SOMFY, somfypro.com
  • Soft-Tex Manufacturing Co., 800-366-2324, soft-tex.com

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