When it comes to specifying fabrics for commercial, hospitality, and healthcare spaces, designers must weed through a saturated market with little, if any, scientific evidence detailing product composition. This makes selecting contract fabrics that best suit the project at hand a challenge, especially in highly regulated sectors, like hospitals and medical centers. Fortunately, one fabric innovator continues to revolutionize the space with its transparent approach to product development and education.
Crypton, based in Detroit, prides itself on inventing, patenting, and constantly innovating the most reliable, environmentally friendly, high-performance textiles in the market. The company strives to create smart fabrics that meet the needs of various high-impact spaces, recognizing that one stain-protection formulation does not fit all.
How does the innovative brand, founded in 1993, manage to create fabrics that outperform the rest? It all boils down to science. Crypton employs its patented technology to customize each and every yard of fabric, delivering the highest performance and durability—and the softest, luxe hand—with the fewest chemicals, including fluorine.
While varying types of fluorine exist, the controversial chemical element delivers superior performance when it comes to repelling oil-based stains. In fact, it is currently the only known-substance to repel oils, which means it is widely used in performance fabrics, as well as common household goods such as clothing, smart phones, and pharmaceuticals. But Crypton's team of scientists set out to drastically reduce fluorine use in its products, minimizing environmental impact and prioritizing human health.
At the brand's manufacturing plant in North Carolina, its research team calibrates the amount of protection needed based on the fiber content and texture of each textile, taking a 'less is more' approach. "In the 27 years since we were founded in North Carolina, we have been on a continuing mission to reduce fluorine in all Crypton fabrics," says Michael Grigat, VP of Research and Development at Crypton. "Today, our latest patented technology delivers our best stain protection and softest hand ever—with only 0.1% fluorine, our lowest amount yet and a new industry standard. And unlike the class of 'concerning' fluorines composed of small, mobile molecules that can leach, Crypton uses a 'preferred' form of fluorine—a large polymer durably bonded to the fabric’s fibers, safely encased and sealed to prevent migration."
The brand's 100% fluorine-free option—Crypton C-Zero—pioneered the industry, and the trademarked “C-Zero” has become a commonly used phrase when speaking about fluorine-free fabrics. C-Zero, which successfully repels water-based stains like those caused by red wine, coffee, and fruit, informed the evolution of the brand's gold-standard: Crypton Fabrics, now 99.9% fluorine-free while offering stain protection that is even superior to previous iterations.
Designers should keep in mind that Crypton Fabric, which resists both oil-based stains and water-based stains, best addresses needs in hospitality spaces, while C-Zero Fabric offers an ideal, fluorine-free option for hospitals requiring HHI or offices compliant with the ILFI Red List.
From stringent healthcare settings to bustling coffee shops, Crypton offers designers an array of durable smart fabrics that elevate the aesthetic of any space. Crypton and C-Zero develop unique textures, patterns and colors with a wide range of stellar fabric brands, enabling designers to exercise the ultimate creative freedom—choice.