FAQs

ABOUT REACH?

I heard about REACH, what does it mean exactly?

REACH stands for the Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. The REACH Regulation (no. 1907/2006) entered into force on 1st June 2007 to streamline and improve the former legislative framework for chemicals of the European Union, to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to the health and the environment.

In case of one of our articles contains some substance on the Candidate List (that is being extended periodically by the Commission) in a concentration above 0,1% of its mass, it will be informed on the article’s label we provide with and expressly informed upon request to the professional or the consumer.

We need hardly point out that there are substances already prohibited for specific uses and that our materials already fulfil with the norms in force, including those prescribed by this regulation.

¿What does it mean that an article contains a very high concern substance according to REACH in a concentration above 0,1% weight/weight?

It means that the substance has to be informed, e.g. that it has to be reported in the supply chain according to what it is stated on the regulation. The fact that a substance is on the Candidate List or in the Annex XIV does not mean that it is prohibited for the use it is about but that it is under consideration by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) and that according to its inclusion state in the several annexes, its use and commercialization can be restricted in the terms that have been established and that, in any case, would not be from before 2015.

¿What is our involvement in this process?

With respect to our actions to the compliance of this regulation, may we confirm our policy to strictly observe it and work closely with our suppliers and clients, taking the necessary steps to ask for and transmit the information in the supply chain as for the substances included in our articles, updating that database accordingly.

That strict observance of the norm is accompanied with a professional commitment to a sustained and eco-sanitary production in order to remove those substances from our products in a next future, in case some of them would not have been replaced already, as it is the case of our new developments.

WHAT FLAME RETARDANT NORM SHALL AN UPHOLSTERY MATERIAL FULFILL IN SPAIN?

Is my synthetic material fire retardant? Which standard have to be met?

Fire retardant property is not visible at sight and it is not prescriptive to bring naked flames close to the material to see how quickly it ignites.

The norm that is currently in force in Spain is the CTE: Technical Building Code dated 2006 that specifies the minimum requirements to meet as for the reaction to fire, among others.

The upholstery of fixed seats that are part of the project in buildings and facilities of public use and attendance has to pass the test according to the norm UNE EN 1021: 1+ 2 = assessment of the inflammability of  the covered furniture with ignition sources 1: lighted cigarette and 2: flame equivalent to a match.

With respect to the wall and ceiling covering, material should be classified according to the norm UNE EN 13501-1:2002 and come up to several tests depending on the location of the element (occupied zones, corridors, etc.).

Classification according to M (M1, M2) is obsolete for upholstery since March 29th 2006 and for building that require new licence.

¿Which flame retardant norms are in force in Europe and in other countries?

Although in Europe there is meant to unify norms and the Spanish CTE responds to that intention stating the transposition of the Community norms (Directive 89/106/CEE), each country keeps its own regulations although most of them agree with the referred norms.

However, you may ask our technical staff, who will inform you about the norm that is currently in force in the country of question according to the available synoptic chart that has been issued for internal use in order to be able to give international advice to.

¿When does a flame retardant certificate expire?

Fire reaction certificates expire after 5 years according to CTE norm. Certification can be carried out by the production centre if it has homologated facilities for that effect, or by an external technical laboratory.

¿What makes the difference between a material that has a flame retardant finish (that protects against fire) or is flame retardant from production?

All our flame retardant materials and leather consider the corresponding treatment in the production of the article itself, so that it lasts in the time as a feature of it. That implies the renovation and regular control of the productions and their certification as flame retardant.

There are some companies that put flame retardant finishes on synthetic or leather that allow them to be classified according to the required parameters, although they are superficial finishes that usually last enough but limited time. Those treatments will be considered as additional finishes with an extra cost and minimum terms as for quantity and service. They will involve one certification only.

WHAT KIND OF GLUE CAN BE USED TO FIX A SYNTHETIC?

How can I glue a synthetic?

Any contact adhesive may be suitable, provided that it is not solvent-based since solvents could structurally affect the material.

There are also diffusion adhesives placed with heat press that mat be very suitable for extreme fixing, but it will rely on the available machinery.

We can advise you some specialised web sites, even some glue brands according to the requested use.

HOW SHOULD SYNTHETIC BE CLEANED?

How to correctly clean synthetic.

With lukewarm water and damp cloth. Proceed next to its drying. Meticulous and regular care may extend the life of a synthetic, besides the fact that it is a long-lasting material itself. Shall we suggest you to revise the clean and care recommendation record that you will find on our website.

Anyway, it is essential to avoid applying aerosol or other cleaning agents whose chemical components may alter intrinsic qualities of the material or its finish and start a degenerative process.

We recommend you the use of our CLEANING SETS that have been specifically developed for each kind of upholstery: Leather, Synthetic or Textile.

IS THERE ANY MATERIAL THAT IS REALLY STAIN-RESISTANT?

¿Is there any stain-resistant material?

Synthetic stands out for being easy to clean and care.
There are some treatments like that we call CleanActive that may be applied in production on our materials to make them more stain-resistant. Also our NEPTUN range offers higher resistance, since nano-technology is based on the structural synthesis of the particles and the Nano-ProTec finish manages to optimize the resistance properties of the material like that of repelling dirt.

Anyway, there are difficult stains like that of ballpoint pen or some dyestuff (jeans) for which there is only one material that we can actually consider stain-resistant. It is our SNIPER. Just draw on the material with a pen and you can wipe it clean just using a paper towel or the palm and the mark gets off immediately. Ink stains or indelible pen marks can be directly removed with sanitary alcohol and damp cloth.

Actually because of this temporary protection, we are including in our Cleaning sets some anti-ink compounds that we have specifically developed to treat separately: stains provoked by ink (ballpoint pen) and pen, since their pigmentations are different, and by being organic substances we have achieved some success by not letting them affect the texture neither damage the structure of the material itself, so that they can be used daily on synthetics, fabrics or treated leather.

WHAT MATERIAL IS THE MOST SUITABLE FOR COVERING GARDEN FURNITURE?

¿What is the right material for outdoor use?

Generally, PVC is the most resistant material, therefore, also for outdoor use, but it has to provide for some properties like a high light fastness (between 7 and 8 that is the top grade). For outdoor or boats, we recommend our NEPTUN collection since its development by nano-technology make its strength values become extremely high. Within this collection, we are contributing with VENEZIA as our latest development and a step forward since it incorporates the innovative cool-colours technology and substantially reduces heat build-up on material’s surface by stopping the infrared light heating effects.

WHAT IS THE STRONGEST QUALITY?

¿What material is the most resistant to wearing?

Generally, PVC is stronger than PU, since it allows greater variety of side and sewing-at-edge finishes. However, there is PU of new generation that features a very high resistance.

There are also new production technologies or even new materials with which to obtain much extremer performances and resistances. We are referring to our NEPTUN and VENEZIA collection that has been developed by nano-technology and that is available in different grains and colours. Both articles are suitable for outdoor and boats upholstery.

¿What quality is the more resistant to rubbing abrasion?

A PU material can stand more rubs than a PVC material, so that its finish can be stronger to rubbing but less resistant to tearing or to other strength parameters like hydrolysis (= rapid ageing of the material by humidity) so that it is necessary not to mix up the terms and use according to the composition depending on the application use.

Please do not hesitate to ask for a piece of advice to our technical staff.

¿What is the guarantee for a synthetic?

According to law, there is a guarantee to be respected of 2 years. For our materials we use to confirm a guarantee time of 3 to 5 years depending on the article and considering that chosen quality for its design is the proper one for its purpose and that it has been used, maintained and cleaned correctly. You can check our Cleaning and Maintenance Manuals that we are submitting for the different structures in our offer: Leather, Synthetics (simile-leather) and Fabrics.

The life of the upholstery can be exponentially longer if it is used and maintained in the proper way.

¿What information appears on the technical sheet of the material?

Our qualities are being tested in the production centres and in by ENAC accredited external laboratories according to the testing regulations currently in force.

Besides of stating the characteristics of the article like composition, width, length of the roll, there are other technical values itemized like tear or breaking strength, abrasion, colour and light fastness. These are usual control quality parameters that may be elaborated on according to the product to other specific testing areas.

According to the current Spanish and European norm (UNE EN 15618), synthetic has to be tested according to specific tests for its use in upholstery as we are indicating and up dating on our technical sheets. Please find below the measuring system for a correct understanding of the result as for the obtained value and so of the behaviour of the material with respect to the referred property: 

Property Behaviour level
A B C D E
Tensile strength

warp

weft

>= 580 N

>= 580 N

>= 450 N

>= 450 N

>= 250 N

>= 150 N

   
Tear resistance

warp

weft

>= 50 N

>= 50 N

>= 44 N

>= 44 N

>= 31 N

>= 31 N

   

Abrasion resistance

(abrader fabric P180)

  >= 700 cycles >= 500 cycles >= 300 cycles    
Abrasion resistance of the finish   at 102.400 cycles at 51.200 cycles  at 38.400 cycles    

Resistance to combined sher

flexing and rubbing

  >= 50.000 cycles        
Coating adhesion

warp

weft

>= 35 N

>= 35 N

>= 30 N

>= 30 N

>= 25 N

>= 25 N

>= 20 N

>= 20 N

>= 15 N

>= 15 N

Colour fastness to light

(grade from 1 to 8)

  >= 6 >= 5      

Colour fastness to rubbing

(from grade 1 to 5)

dry >= 4-5 >= 4      

Colour fastness to rubbing

(from grade 1 to 5)

wet >= 4        

The referred norm is applied for upholstery materials with a covering on the using surface, for the domestic and public use (exceptions to be considered: road or railway vehicles, boats or airplanes that respond to specific norms per sector).

According to the current Spanish and European norm (UNE EN 14465), fabric has to be tested according to specific tests for its use in upholstery as we are indicating and up dating on our technical sheets. Please find below the measuring system for a correct understanding of the result as for the obtained value and so of the behaviour of the material with respect to the referred property:

Property Beaviour level
A B C D E
Tensile strength *   > 600 >= 400 >= 350 >= 250  
Tear strength *   >= 40 >= 30 >= 25 >= 20 >= 15
Seam slippage *   <= 4 <= 6 <= 8    
Bursting strength   > 600 >= 400 >= 200
Abrasion resistance fabric woven >= 35.000

12.000

30.000

4.000

10.000

   
chenille >= 35.000

12.000

30.000

4.000

10.000

knitted fabric >= 35.000

12.000

30.000

4.000

10.000

cut pile >= 45.000

25.000

40.000

10.000

20.000

uncut pile >= 45.000

25.000

40.000

10.000

20.000

flock >= 45.000

25.000

40.000

10.000

20.000

nonwovens >= 45.000

25.000

40.000

10.000

20.000

raised fabric >= 35.000

12.000

30.000

4.000

10.000

Pilling resistance   >= 4-5 4 3-4 3  

Colour fastness to light

(grade from 1 to 8)

  >= 4-5 4 3-4    

Colour fastness to rubbing

(grade from 1 to 5)

dry >= 4-5 4 3-4    

Colour fastness to rubbing

(grade from 1 to 5)

wet >= 3-4 3 2-3    

 

* The type of fabric will determine the most suitable test for checking its mechanical strength.

Submitted tables introduce some category system based on that norm, but they do not actually establish behaviour categories due the great variety of conditions of use and sort of upholsteries.
Categories for each property should allow choosing and combining different categories for each parameter in order to properly define a product profile adapted to specific uses. In any case, none of our materials shows values below the halfway rate set as “C” (highest quality as “A” and lowest as “E”).

IS SYNTHETIC AN ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY PRODUCT?

¿What synthetic is the most environment-friendly? 

There is still the same controversy between PVC and PU.

PVC of last generation, besides of not containing any banned or allegedly harmful substance (like phthalates that have been managed to be replaced by other plasticizers in order to effectively respond to the concerns expressed by the REACH norm) may combine the use of renewable raw material to introduce an environment-friendly balanced product, considering PVC’s main burden of not being bio-degradable and, therefore, of its perennial exposure as waste product.
In this framework, we are introducing an innovative concept in which over 80% of the components used in article consist of natural and renewable raw materials. We are talking about our NATURE CONCEPT collection and our bio-synthetics.

PU is biodegradable and therefore, it has been historically considered closer to ecological sensitivity.

In any case, these concepts are over, since it is the productive process and its respectful integration into the environment what determines if a product can be considered to be of sustained production.

In fact and in this idea we include the silicon as innovative material that has grown apart from traditional production processes with PVC or PU and that definitively responds to a sustained and environment-friendly production process and gets a recyclable, biodegradable and non bio-accumulate product. We are talking of our material SNIPER.