Socio-economic developments and improved living standards have resulted in an increase in the demand for equal levels of comfort across the social spectrum. Home and office furniture have been adapted to fit modern life’s new requirements. Over the years, thanks to the emergence of new materials, it has become lighter, more ergonomic, practical and affordable for all. Until the 1940s, textiles were made from natural fibres, such as cotton, wool and silk.
However, not only were these materials costly, but their supply was not sufficient to respond to rising new demand. When nylon emerged, followed by polyester in the 50s and polypropylene in the 60s, it represented a revolution in the textile world. These new fibres offered enormous advantages over natural fibres, including increased durability, improved hygiene, greater versatility – all in addition to lower production costs. The introduction of these new materials has helped to ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy similar levels of comfort at an affordable price.
The fire risks involved in upholstered furniture is generally recognised and understood. Indeed, many EU countries have now put strict standards in place that ensure the fire safety of furniture and fittings in public places such as theatres, museums and hospitals. The application of flame retardants in different natural and synthetic filling materials and textile fibres plays a key role in ensuring that these fire safety standards are met.