New from the Arc-Com Design Studio, the award-winning Foundation Collection featuring INCASE Crypton Technology is an example of the kinds of thoughtful, conceptual performance textiles we’re seeing for 2018. We’re calling the trend “full circle architecture,” where concepts from historical architecture are transformed into fabric that in turn get installed inside new architecture. Imaginative design minds take fascinating and timeless ideas from antiquity and re-scale, recolor, reconfigure and re-imagine them in new ways. These patterns draw from the tools, techniques, methodology and geometry that were used to craft and build Europe’s magnificent cathedrals. Beyond the forms, the new Arc-Com collection is also inspired by the human spirit that went into these structures. Amanda Eaton, VP of Design at Arc-Com, sat down with us to offer our readers the inside scoop on how the Arc-Com design team created this bold, textural new contract fabric option.

Certainly people were meant to be awed by these immense and elaborate structures. Upon entering into these vast spaces, one can’t help but wonder how on earth people were able to build these immense, towering structures when mechanization was so limited. Ms. Eaton, upon first seeing Notre Dame as a teenager, wondered, “How were they able to construct these incredible buildings at a time when there was no electricity or automated power source or even running water?” Her fascination with these inspiring structures stayed with her, and now she has deftly explored it with her team in a collection that delves into both process and craft. In researching the methods and techniques used, the Arc-Com design studio found these to be not only technically fascinating but also visually inspiring. The Foundation Collection is the beautifully edited, gracefully interpreted expression of their findings.

Windlass pattern
Windlass inspiration

A windlass was a cathedral builder’s tool that was used to lift heavy stones and building materials. It was powered by a worker positioned inside a giant wooden wheel. That person’s job was to tread the wheel around, so ropes that wound around the axle on one end and were attached to heavy items on the other moved the heavy things up to the desired position. Graphic and modern, the Windlass fabric pattern shows the parallel planking of the wheel punctuated with fine lines of light in various configurations.

Vault pattern
Vault inspiration

Who among us hasn’t stared up in wide-eyed wonder at the ancient vaulted ceiling of a great cathedral? How can it not inspire something? The Vault patterns sleek interpretation of the arched forms or rib-vaulting used in cathedral ceilings also has an intricate background pattern, which returns on its own as a direct coordinate in Oculus.

Oculus pattern
Oculus inspiration

Inspired by classical rose windows, Oculus is the direct coordinate fabric to the Vault pattern. Its lace-like framework is is a finely scaled repeat of rose window layouts. It gets its name from the oculus, or round opening, in a wall inside which the familiar rose fretwork is found.

Lunette pattern
Lunette inspiration

Lunette, from the French, meaning “little moon,” celebrates the many crescent-shaped spaces and forms found in cathedrals. The textile pattern exuberantly tosses these smiley crescents across a solid field in an all-over pattern with just enough randomness to move the eye, but configured so that each one touches the tip of a neighboring crescent at both ends. Nothing is left hanging in this charming, modern-feeling design.

Centring pattern
Centring inspiration

A centring was a wooden structure used in construction to hold an arch in place, supporting the stones as the build progressed. The fabric pattern Centring Stripe offers a truly unique stripe option for designers. Its strings of elongated diamond shapes re-tell the story of these humble wooden scaffolds, unsung heroes of architecture like the men who made them. They were split from virgin timber and painstakingly sawn into slender spans that were set at angles with hand-forged nails, only to be cast aside once a perfect stone arch was achieved.

Mason Stripe pattern
Mason Stripe inspiration

Mason Stripe is a versatile, small-scale stripe with a hand-drawn quality, thanks to its nod to the precise yet granular masonry of stone cathedrals. Along with Windlass and Lunette, Mason Stripe is woven in a beautiful, textural bouclé, so not only does the pattern offer a virtual texture, but also the fabric itself has a touchable, soft dimensionality that adds an inviting richness to the upholstery.

The Arc-Com Foundation Collection was recently honored with the prestigious the Best of the Year Award (BoY) from Interior Design Magazine. BoY is a global design award dedicated to the year’s best products and projects. Arc-Com’s Foundation Collection was recognized as the winner in the Healthcare Textile space for its design innovation and inspiration. The award was announced in December, 2017.

With Foundation, Ms. Eaton and her team at the Arc-Com design studio have delivered a collection firmly rooted in architectural and human history. It speaks to the enduring nature of design and the triumph of the human spirit. Simultaneously it delivers a universal design message with a modern appeal that will surely be at home inside the great buildings of tomorrow. Plus, thanks to its INCASE Crypton Technology, it will last long into that future and help keep the furniture it adorns in good shape, too. How will you use it? Please let us know. We’d love to feature your installations in this space.


One of the most exciting trends in contract fabric is a move toward intense, distinctive colors and exciting patterns. This new trend breaks through all of the myths about design limitations with contract performance fabrics. These looks could fall into the realm of any luxury interior textile, yet they offer the extraordinary performance required for more demanding spaces.

Brentano’s Cityscape Collection is one example of this design revolution. It captures the urban landscape in textile form. Design Director, Iris Wang, and the Brentano design studio were inspired by all senses stimulated within the metropolitan environment. They cite among their references towering skyscrapers, perpetual movement and the energetic sounds that pulse through any city.

The new collection includes vivid colors and graphic, large-scale patterns such as Boulevard. This bold stripe is an interpretation of the grandest type of urban street. It celebrates a tradition of generously scaled avenues, the type that have become destinations in and of themselves. The color and life of the Champs-Élysées, Park Avenue, Wilshire Boulevard and so many more are set down with style on a focal-point-ready textile.

Boulevard pattern from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano

Boulevard pattern from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano

INCASE Crypton Technology protects seven of the collection’s patterns and is suitable for hospitality, retail, office, education, healthcare and residential interiors. It works for all applications where performance is a must but a moisture barrier is not required.

If The New Yorker was a contract fabric, it would be Cityscape (see featured image at top of this post). The collection’s namesake pattern is a madcap mashup of hand-illustrated skyscrapers. Cityscape (somehow) creates the overall impression of a loose geometric crossed with an animal print. It offers the intellectual energy of the urban jungle juxtaposed with just enough whimsy.

Even the small-scale coordinates such as Metropolis and Boomtown and an uber-textural, micro-chevron pattern called Disco push the limits of expected design. Built for high-performance applications, all of the Cityscape patterns offer outstanding wearability, exceeding over 75,000 double rubs (Wyzenbeek).

Boomtown (left) and Metropolis (right) patterns from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano.

Boomtown (left) and Metropolis (right) patterns from the Cityscape Collection by Brentano.

Perhaps you’ve already specified some bold beauty from the Cityscape Collection and want to share it with us? Please do! You may see your work in an upcoming post in this space.


Architects and designers tell us that in their contract projects, one of the most frequent questions from the client side involves not aesthetics, not even facility planning or engineering, but rather maintenance schedules. Specifiers who want to generate repeat business make it their job to build in as many high-performing, low-maintenance design choices as possible. And from high-tech tile to washable paint and stain-resistant fabrics, they are getting better, more beautiful and even greener all the time.

Some people think that of all the finishes in a commercial project, fabrics are the most perishable. This is far from true. In fact, we’ve seen many cases where our fabric has outlasted the furniture itself. The first thing we recommend you tell your clients about Crypton for their peace of mind is to remember the performance attributes of Crypton stay in place for the life of the fabric. They can’t wear off, wash off or rub off, so Crypton never stops performing.

Giving your clients the scoop on keeping their Crypton fabrics performing spotlessly is simple. Most liquids will simply roll off and can easily be blotted with a clean cloth. For spots and stains that linger longer than a second or two, your clients just need to know the simple steps for spot cleaning.

SPOT CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS

The spot cleaning method of stain removal can be used for most light to medium stains:

  1. Before spot-cleaning, blot up liquids on the surface with a clean, soft towel and brush off any loose dirt.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution of 1/4 tsp mild enzyme detergent, such as Tide®, Woolite® or Dawn® dishwashing liquid, per 1 cup of lukewarm water.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution to the affected area using a spray bottle.
  4. Work the solution into the affected area by lightly scrubbing the area with a sponge or soft-bristle brush. Make sure to work from the outside of the stain inward so as not to spread the stain, and rinse your sponge or brush frequently.
  5. Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric.
  6. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue, as residue will attract dirt. Blot excess moisture with a clean, soft towel or sponge.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 if needed.
  8. Allow fabric to air-dry.

If you still have questions, or should your clients come to you with a really tough cleaning question, we’re always at the ready. The Crypton Care department is available to provide advice, tips, Crypton cleaning products and complete contract specification support services. Call 800.CRYPTON (2797866) or email care@crypton.com for help between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET. Chances are we can solve your tough cleaning problem on the spot, as it were.


Designers looking for some instant karma of the good variety for their next project will discover it offered up imaginatively in the latest collection of Crypton contract fabrics by renowned maker Architex. The 69-item BELIEVING collection tells a series of design stories inspired by the concept of global unity. According to Architex Marketing and Product Director Lauren Williams, “With the constant reminders of that which divides us all in the world, this collection aims to remind us to take a pause to remember at our core we are all the same. We are all humans who have hopes and dreams of love and laughter – but more importantly of freedom, of equality, of peace, of tolerance and of understanding.”

Among the things that can unite humans are architecture and design. The Architex design team took photos of key places: communities, architectural marvels and memorials with symbolic significance. From the edited photos came sketches, which were then translated into nine patterns, each in multiple color palettes. Says Ms. Williams, “Every motif represents a place where humans come together and connect face to face–creating instances where the beliefs in our similarities outshine our differences.”

L-R: Coexist, Kindred, Community and Lennon patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

L-R: Coexist, Kindred, Community and Lennon patterns from the Architex Believing Collection.

The creative stimuli range from ancient to modern. A few highlights: The moving and poetic structure of a Santiago Calatrava bridge was the source of INSPIRE, a pattern of interconnecting arcs soaring into elongated diamonds.

Inspire pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Inspire pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Inspired by the recently unearthed mosaic floor of a Byzantine Monastery, CHRONICLE features a pattern of intricately intertwined concentric circles that dates back to antiquity, when stone mosaics were often employed to tell stories without using language.

Chronicle pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Chronicle pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Design elements from a contemporary public light rail train system create the COALESCE pattern. It eloquently represents the connection and unification of people and countries. In another pattern, PRESENCE, a collection of antique watches found at the Museum for Islamic Art loosely informs a series of small, open circles. Each tiny circle indicates a precious moment of time.

Presence pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Presence pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

The imaginative beehive structure of a Zvi Hecker apartment complex in KINDRED makes use of 720 different non-rectangular components to form a pattern that evokes stained glass windows or puzzle parts. It also speaks of neighbors and nature and how the human community is formed.

Kindred pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Kindred pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

LENNON is a reminder of the late musician’s devotion to political activism and his dream of a world filled with love and peace. The design is a takeoff from the famous “imagine” circle at the Strawberry Fields Memorial in New York’s Central Park.

Lennon pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Lennon pattern variations and concept art from the Architex Believing Collection

Another thing humans have in common is a need for interiors that work under the particular pressures and conditions of everyday life. This is especially true in the worldwide contract applications such as hospitality, office and healthcare where designers are specifying this collection. Woven in a polyester-acrylic blend and powered by Crypton performance, Believing fabrics are durable, cleanable and beautiful for all.

Although Architex conceived it some time ago, world events since have continued to put a finer point on the meaning of the Believing fabrics line. Turns out it is even more timely now than in its nascence. Notes Ms. Williams, “Meaningful and uplifting design is important. If we can put out any good and hopeful vibes, even in our business, if we’re able, that’s the goal.” We agree. One tribe y’all.

Are you a specifier and are planning to use any of the Architex BELIEVING fabrics in an upcoming installation? We’d love to hear about it and see a photo. Perhaps we can share your instant karma right here in this space!

All images in this post courtesy of Architex.