BOH caught up with Annie Moir, the design director of Auckland, New Zealand–based James Dunlop Textiles to discuss the brand’s new FibreGuard collection.
What’s the inspiration behind the FibreGuard range?
Our new FibreGuard range is inspired by life. More so than ever, we are living an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Our homes have become multipurpose over the past two years: Our living rooms have doubled as the dining table, home office, kids’ playroom, cocktail bar, and dance floor, and we have extended our living areas outdoors to create more usable living spaces. Products that are safe, long-lasting and durable are top priorities for homeowners.
As a company, our vision was to bring to the market environmentally-friendly textile solutions that can be used across all sections of the industry, including residential, hospitality and healthcare. FibreGuard allows us to live confidently on our furniture inside and out, knowing the fabric will withstand whatever life throws at us. And because FibreGuard fabrics are all OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, they’re safe as well, guaranteeing that the materials will not release any harmful finishes or chemicals into the environment.
What was the starting point for this new range?
FibreGuard fabrics start with functionality. They are engineered from the inside out. FibreGuard results from years of research and testing by interior designers and textile engineers who sought a range of fabrics capable of withstanding the rigors of everyday life. FibreGuard’s stain-free properties are inherent in the fabric and won’t diminish after washing or prolonged use. Once we are confident the fabric is fit for purpose, we focus on curating the color line to ensure we are delivering a palette that feels both timely and timeless, spanning comprehensive neutrals to vibrant, decorative shades.
What most excites you within the new FibreGuard range?
As a textile designer, I am most excited by the advancements in construction and yarn types that can now be engineered with FibreGuard. Thanks to the nature of FibreGuard, we aren’t limited by the historical weave constraints that accompany topical surface treatments. Gone are the days where stain-resistant fabrics feel like flat canvas. Within our FibreGuard range you’ll find dimensional boucle (Staunch, Fete), tactile chenille (Poker, Trezor), organic weaves (Keystone, Omni), plush velvet (Determination, Vela), faux wool (Braveheart), and geometric patterns (Trailblazer, Gala, Celeb, Feast).
Overall, we love that FibreGuard instills confidence in specifying the crisp white sofa you’ve been dreaming of. Light neutrals and soft nuance shades create a calming, balanced environment. They no longer need to be banished due to fear of maintenance. With FibreGuard you can relax knowing the easy-clean nature of the fabric means you can easily protect against all common household stains—even red wine on white chenille!
How do you feel the FibreGuard range pushes the brand forward?
James Dunlop was primarily a residential brand, but now our FibreGuard range builds on our upholstery offering to transition between residential and commercial specifications. Given the inherent characteristics of FibreGuard, the textiles are now suitable for contract projects. Over the last decade, we have seen a move to more residential schemes within commercial spaces, with the desire to create luxurious and comforting environments that feel familiar as people seek a home away from home while at the office or away on business or vacation. As such, elegant plain woven textures with a soft, comforting feel are timeless, and, when paired with high-performance attributes, offer the perfect solution.
Our FibreGuard upholsteries have seen an extraordinary uptake because they provide permanent stain resistance, are washable and easy to clean, and are available in a wide range of trend-driven constructions and colors. These characteristics make them the perfect solution for high-traffic areas that don't compromise on beauty. Additionally, our FibreGuardPro range adds antimicrobial, anti-moisture, mildew and odor-resistant benefits, making this collection an ideal textile solution for healthcare facilities.
What about the recent release feels fresh and exciting?
James Dunlop’s latest FibreGuard upholsteries, Vela and Poker, feel particularly sophisticated. Vela is a dry velvet with a soft handle and matte finish, which is reminiscent of a perennial cotton velvet, but woven in 100 percent polyester. Poker is a plush chenille upholstery woven with a dry slub yarn to create its organic texture. Both have an incredibly soft handle and are available in an extensive palette of timeless neutrals and rich decorative shades, adding a touch of opulence to the growing collection of James Dunlop FibreGuard upholsteries. I’m particularly excited for the rich color palette of these two upholsteries as we see people confidently embracing optimistic color schemes to promote wellness, restoration and positivity within their interiors.
Tell us about the materials in this collection. Are there certain materials or finishes that you feel should be highlighted?
Our FibreGuard upholsteries reflect the beauty and texture of natural fibers, but are predominantly woven in synthetic or blended compositions to enhance the durability of the FibreGuard technology and deliver products that are both pretty and highly practical. Vela has the added benefit of being water-repellent; FibreGuard repels liquid, with spills beading on the surface until they are blotted with a paper towel. Poker is anti-microbial and odor-resistant, providing extra security against germs by reducing the spread of bacteria on the fabric’s surface by up to 90 percent. You can expect to see this antimicrobial feature in all new FibreGuard designs moving forward.
How do you envision designers using the FibreGuard collection?
With complete confidence! James Dunlop’s FibreGuard upholsteries lay a foundation from which to create timeless interior design solutions. We see these designs being used as the final element to pull a scheme together or as a starting point from which to layer patterns on top.