We ask the expert how flame retardant fabrics offer design flexibility.
Color, durability, peace of mind. These are some of the benefits of GALE Pacific’s newest lines of flame retardant fabrics. It won’t be long before flame retardant fabrics are not just preferred, but required on many projects, and, as usual, the Australian-based company is getting ahead of the curve with its many options. “It’s only a matter of time before performance characteristics like this will be mandated, so we wanted to get ahead of widespread regulations and make products that are relevant while providing more choices to architects and engineers,” says Andrew Nasarczyk, research and development manager for GALE Pacific. “We want to provide the market with the same options and be able to demonstrate to the market that flame retardant does not limit the aesthetics or options.” We talked to Nasarczyk as part of our Ask the Expert series to learn more.
GALE Pacific has been manufacturing durable knitted shade fabric for the commercial market for 40-plus years, initially for agricultural, crop, and produce protection. Over time they’ve broadened the application for people protection—manufacturing a comprehensive line of architectural shade fabrics. As GALE Pacific places safety above everything else, it was a natural extension of the company’s line to manufacture flame retardant shades that meet the most stringent global fire standards.
GALE Pacific’s latest range of flame retardant fabrics comes in a wide array of colors and knit patterns. The newest lines are the Commercial NinetyFive 340 FR, Commercial Heavy 430 FR, and Commercial DualShade 350 FR, representing 50 colors—the widest range of flame retardant knitted fabrics globally. Nasarczyk says the flame retardant nature of the designs does not limit the consumer’s choices but on the contrary provides an expansive selection.
“What makes the current positioning unique to GALE Pacific is the breadth of products,” he says. “Most manufacturers have one style of flame retardant material. We’re launching three styles and materials, effectively in unison. We’re also launching this range with the full breadth of colors that are available.”
Nasarczyk says, traditionally, additional flame retardant impacts color matching. But with GALE Pacific’s new range, you can take the flame retardant options and non-flame retardant options, put colors side by side, and not see a discernible difference. “We’re trying to make this a seamless experience from a consumer’s perspective, so when they’re selecting from colors, they shouldn’t expect to see a big color difference from non-flame retardant to flame retardant.”
The color palette within each GALE Pacific range is broad. Choose from Commercial NinetyFive, their most versatile fabric line with 22 colors, or DualShade®, a two-tone range with 12 color combinations. Within those 12, the fabric has a unique aesthetic as two color yarns are combined to create a single fabric with a shimmery effect in the sunlight. “We’re the only manufacturer to offer this iridescent effect that we know of globally,” Nasarczyk says. Commercial Heavy, GALE Pacific’s heavier weight fabric, has 16 colors.
Nasarczyk says no other company offers such a range of color in flame retardant fabrics in multiple weights to support virtually any design need. GALE Pacific provides a plethora of choice to architects or specifiers in the styles and materials they need, so they can achieve the looks they want.