What makes a great workplace fabric?

From their durability and fire-retardancy, to their comfort-factor and aesthetic appeal, at Agua our workplace fabrics are suited to everything from hard-working task chairs to soft seating breakout spaces

It’s not easy to produce a long lasting, attractive workplace fabric. There’s a lot to consider, from the practical elements of fire and stain resistance, through to the nature of the weave or material itself, which needs to be suitably sturdy. But, it’s something we excel at here at Agua – and we take pride in our ability to cover all bases.

We also understand that in the modern world workplace fabrics need to look good. Gone are the days of tired, beige looking Wernham Hogg-style offices. Post-pandemic, workplace design has never been more vibrant or added more to the experience of employees. Today, workplace-appropriate fabrics should contribute to the overall look and feel of a scheme, with plenty of texture and a soft, tactile feel that is both luxurious and comfortable. And, what works for one type of space might not work for another – so the various different ‘zones’ of an office need catering for too. Just because a fabric complements a hard-wearing task chair doesn’t mean it’ll also perform optimally in an informal breakout space with soft seating.

While easy to overlook, this is a concept we take seriously. So much so, we have an entire range devoted to the humble task chair alone. Part of our purpose-built @Work collection, which is dedicated to workspace interiors, Task consists of a range of hardy, breathable crepe weaves with a subtle texture that complements metal or wooden chair frames alike. These no-frills fabrics are antimicrobial and resist the spread of infection – a handy feature in the time of hot-desking – while they’re also stain resistant. We believe this is a necessity, and with more people eating and drinking at their desks, these features keep task chairs looking newer for longer.

Our @Work range has other kinds of seating covered too. For chairs in meeting rooms, both comfort and durability are necessary, but it’s also important to make an impression. This is a room that might be the focal point of an office, and may be used to host external clients as well as employees. Our Lavoro and Buro ranges are popular for this very reason. Their stylish textured weaves look great, but they’re also long lasting, breathable and comfortable for extended periods of time.

Then there are the aforementioned breakout areas. Many contemporary office spaces favour the luxurious design language of a five star hotel, with sophisticated colour combinations and opulent textures on show. Our signature fabrics Pearl and Primeira are exceptionally popular in this regard. Pearl is a glossy soft fabric with a birdseye weave that adds a luxurious, contemporary look to a professional environment, while Primeira is a range of competitively-priced, high-performing velvets in a wide range of neutrals and jewel tones. It’s a different story again for booths and pods, where lots of upholstery is needed. We often recommend thicker, plain fabrics from our Tones collection, which boast the attractive qualities of wool while being far more economical and practical.

Of course, there are certain traits that are essential regardless of where exactly workplace fabrics are used. Comfort is one of them, with all of our workplace materials designed for day-long softness, whether soft fabrics or our faux leathers. Another is flexibility of design and ease of use. A fabric is only as useful as it is easy to upholster, after all. 

We’re also cognisant of all the ways in which the workplace has changed as a result of the pandemic. Virtually all of Agua’s wide range of fabrics are suitable for home working, for example, designed to be fire retardant while also meeting domestic regulations. ESG is also a growing concern for designers, businesses and individual employees alike, and new innovations like our VerdEco range, which utilises recycled fibre created from textile waste and is completely water-free, are perfectly suited to workplace seating. In fact, VerdEco can be used in any number of applications and like all of our designs is practical, stylish and long lasting – three traits that are essential for any modern workplace.

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