Patio & Hearth Product Report

Page 40

as i see it

Bella-Dura Home 2020 Collection (LtoR): Thoroughbred, Falkirk, Cosine, Lansinger, and Edenwalk

Bella-Dura Home 2020 Collection (LtoR): Edenwalk, Falkirk, Shady Grove, Lansinger, and Selwyn

falling forfabric Customers are fond of Bella-Dura Home’s fashion-forward, durable designs. BY SHARON SANDERS

David Thomases

Momentum is building for Bella-Dura Home as its fresh,

style-driven performance fabrics continue to make headlines. Now that the outdoor living industry is back on its feet, this up-and-comer is poised to be the most talked-about addition to the performance fabric space going into 2021. Patio & Hearth Products Report met up with David Thomases, executive vice president, to find out how the brand plans to take advantage of the surging demand for beautiful residential areas indoors and out.

Who is Bella-Dura Home? Thomases: Bella-Dura Home is owned by Swavelle, a third-generation family-owned textile company that has been making luxury indoor fabrics for over 50 years. In February 2019, the company decided the time was right to diversify its offerings to include performance fabrics, so it purchased Wearbest Weavers. The mill, based in Garfield, New Jersey, had

most recently focused on upholstery fabric for the contract industry, as well as indoor/outdoor performance fabric under the Bella-Dura brand. Bella-Dura Home has the same performance characteristics as BellaDura—made in the United States, high durability and bleach cleanable—but has a distinct new personality. It also targets the residential outdoor market. We debuted the brand at the Casual Market in Chicago in September 2019 to great reviews and launched our first full line in November a few months later. What is Bella-Dura Home’s personality in the performance fabrics space? Thomases: Bella-Dura Home has taken on the personality of its parent company, Swavelle. As a company, we are design driven, not a commodity fabric—we never have been and never will be. It’s just not in our bones. The overall look is casual, yet sophisticated. Our uniqueness lies in the little details like our interesting yarns, unique weaves, and the textures that the yarns create. Bella-Dura Home is fashion forward with its colors, while still maintaining the neutral tones that


everyone has been comfortable with for the past few years. Swavelle is a big name in the indoor residential furniture space, so Bella-Dura Home has a natural jump start, as opposed to a newbie coming along and trying to get into the performance fabric business. We take full advantage of our ability to pull in designers from Swavelle’s residential indoor furniture division to help create textures and colors that look and feel like the indoors with an outdoor twist. How does Bella-Dura Home meet consumers’ expectations for performance fabrics? Thomases: Bella-Dura Home joins the best-of-the-best manufacturers in the performance fabrics space. The industry has strict standards that need to be met for upholstering, lightfastness, cleanability, and washability. We test all of our fabrics to ensure they meet or exceed those required standards, which is what we strive to do in all areas of our business. Bella-Dura had previously developed its own proprietary polyolefin yarn. Bella-Dura Home’s yarn toolbox also includes a high UV polyester yarn to diversify its look yet still maintain performance.

This yarn allows the fabric to be soft to the hand, decorative, durable, washable, and bleach cleanable. How has the bleach cleanability story taken on new meaning in today’s environment? Thomases: Every performance fabric supplier has a bleach cleanability story, but now that story has more impact than ever before due to the pandemic. Our contract and hospitality customers are concerned about things being anti-microbial and antibacterial—and when fabric is cleaned with a bleach mixture, the risk is greatly reduced. Over the past few months, we have been pushing bleach cleanability in social media to help shine a light on its benefits. Do you think fabric is an important tool to sell furniture? Why? Thomases: I think it’s becoming more and more important for several reasons. First, manufacturers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves. With Bella-Dura Home fabrics, there is almost unlimited diversity with designs, colors, and textures—and the exact same frame can look completely different based on the fabric choice. Second, consumers