Stardust 66-503-53 Mercury

Stardust 66-503-53 Mercury by KOTHEA
Stardust 66-503-53 Mercury, a photo by KOTHEA on Flickr.

Bored with wallpaper? Wallcoverings come in many foms. KOTHEA are now releasing 7 Raffia Wallcovering Designs each in a range of colourways.

Stardust is a classic weave of 100% natural cellulose. Suitable for residential or contract usage – if properly treated. At 106cm wide each standard roll is 36m long with a cut-length service available.

Via Flickr:
Raffia Wallcovering. 100% Cellulose. 106cm untrimmed. Can be FR Fire Treated. KOTHEA Luxury Fabrics @

Raffia Wallcovering

Raffia adds texture as a wallcovering. As a natural product it has many benefits for the interior designer including a degree of thermal insulation and the ability to be adhered directly to wall surfaces or fastened to wall surfaces or ceiling when wrapped around wooden panels.

With Wyzenbeek rubs of 40,000 KOTHEA’s 2011 Raffia (Raphia) are also eminently suitable for a wide range of upholstery uses.

Raffias can usually be fire treated to meet a wide range of contract requirements including hotels and marine installations.

This type of raffia weave has been used for thousands of years perhaps most famously as Japanese Tatami mats. They are of course one of today’s modern day design staples for a clean, modern look.


Contract Upholstery Fabric – How to Specify It

Here is a VERY quick guide to specifying contract fabrics. Contract Fabrics 101 if you like. It shows you the main areas you need to consider.

1. Determine Use

Is it panelling or seating? for the latter you will need to consider flammability (cigarette, match and crib 5) and abrasion (Martindale)

2. Fabric Composition

The composition of the fabric including the yarn and weave will affect the fabric’s long term wear, appearance and technical performance.

Natural fabrics such as wool can be more expensive but generally offer good feel and technical characteristics such as natural flame retardancy.

Man-made fabrics usually are more easily cared for but can look cheap if not properly chosen.

3. Flammability

The single standard for contract seating which is acceptable throughout the EU is EN 1021 Parts 1 and 2 (cigarette and match). Higher level standards in the UK are BS 5852 and BS 7176.

The standard which applies to vertical surface fabrics is BS 476 Part 7.

4. Abrasion

You should be looking at the Martindale properties of the fabric. <Here> is more information on the Martindale rub test.

5. Environmental Considerations

Generally natural fibres like wool are good. And man-made ones less so, NYLON is not great.

6. Care and maintenance

Generally contract fabrics will look bad because of dirt rather than because they wear out. So follow the manufacturers instructions on care and maintenance.  Basically wipe away stains quickly and vacuum clean regularly.

What Is BS 476 Part 7 Class 1 ( BS476 )

BS476 Part 7 Class 1 is the FR / Fire Retardancy test for contract wall covering.

In the case of fabric wall coverings, the fabric is held vertically and subjected to a flame. If the rate of spread of any flame falls below a certain level the test is passed.

The test is a severe one. It is appropriate for example, in hotels and offices.

When organising treatment for your fabric ask for it to be treated so that it passes this standard test and inform the treatment company that the fabric will be subsequently tested.

Faux Leather Skin – Heavy Contract Upholstery Walling

LONDON, England. 07-DECEMBER-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its extensive contract faux skin collections by the addition of KOFAUXLEATHER. KOFAUXLEATHER is a high durability, faux leather: a superb contract fabric with a very high Martindale result. It simply and effortlessly delivers longstanding elegance in all the right bars, hotels and marine environments both as upholstery and as a wall or door covering. It looks great.


Reference: 04-003-378

Colour Shown: Marle

Other colourways: 18

Width: 140cm

Repeat: none

Composition: 100% Cotton basecloth, 94% vinyl 6% polyester coat.

Martindale: 100,000++

Primary Usage: Heavy contract upholstery and walling.

Type of fabric: Faux Leather / Faux Skin


KOTHEA are a Continue reading “Faux Leather Skin – Heavy Contract Upholstery Walling”

KOTHEA Release KORAFT Fabric – New Raffia

LONDON, England. 05-OCTOBER-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its panelling collections with the addition of KORAFT. Like KOTHEA, KORAFT is, well, just a little bit different and in the nicest possible way. KORAFT is just one of those products where you desire what you see – the very highest quality, beautifully textured raffia-like wall panelling also suitable for domestic upholstery. 

Reference: 01-009-410

Colour Shown: Natural

Other colourways: 1

Width: 138cm

Repeat: none

Composition: 73% Cotton, 27% Viscose

Primary Usage: Panelling and upholstery, contract & domestic.

Martindale: 14,000 Rubs

Type of fabric: Rafia/Textured Weave


KOTHEA are a top-market fabric house based in Continue reading “KOTHEA Release KORAFT Fabric – New Raffia”

Hotel Fabric / Hotel Fabrics

Hotel fabrics from KOTHEA offer the very best Martindale / rub test values for upholstery and light fastness for window treatments / curtains. Serving top market hotels and boutique operations including spas; KOTHEA never compromise on elegance in design throughout their extensive range of collections. Much more information can be found about our products and company elsewhere here in The Fabric Blog.

Try searching for particular technical characteristics like ‘Martindale’ or ‘light fastness’ or on the specific type of product like ‘Mohair’ or ‘upholstery fabric’ or ‘textured upholstery’ or ‘sheers’.

Alternatively ask a question by commenting on this page and it will be answered.