“Innovation: the action or process of innovating, this could be through a new method, idea or product.”

To be successful in today’s fast moving world innovation is the key. Here we profile a selection of products that are truly breaking the boundaries.

Camira Fabrics

Camira’s experience in developing its acclaimed Sting fabric  has led to an array of innovative and renewable bast-fibre fabrics from nettles, hemp, flax and jute.
Main Line Flax is a sustainable take on Camira’s well-loved classic Main Line Plus fabric, re-engineered using environmentally sensitive flax fibre. Extracted from the stem of the plant it has strong, long and smooth fibres perfect for contract fabrics.

Camira innovation
Wild flax has been used in textiles for thousands of years thanks to its strong, long and smooth fibres found inside the stem of the plant. The individual fibres are fibre dyed and are then sent to Camira’s own spinning plant to be blended and spun into a 70-30 wool flax blend. The result is beautiful mixture yarns which are woven into interesting solids and cross-colours.

The blend of wool and bast fibres delivers an inherently flame retardant fabric to higher level flammability standards without the need for any chemical treatment. The unique properties of both fibres help form a stronger char which acts as a barrier between the flame and the foam.

“Main Line Flax is a living example of biophilic textile design. It emulates the beauty found in natural environments and utilises all the benefits of sensitive raw materials with inherently safe properties.”

Paul Arnold, Sustainability and Innovation Manager


Interior designers are ever pushing the boundaries to create unique schemes that offer something different. But suppliers need to demonstrate both technical capabilities and flexibility, and this is particularly true with lighting.

Chelsom’s latest collection, Edition 25, has been designed with sustainability as a key consideration. Almost every product in the entire range is available with an LED lamp option. The company’s new Wireless Charging range also enables phone and tablet charging in hotel rooms and operates when a compatible phone or tablet is simply placed on top of the charging pad. Wireless charging technology is fast developing and the charging port is wired onto a separate circuit so that it operates whether the lamp is on or off.

chelsom LED DOCK Charging

However the company’s LED Dock Combination Wall Light is perhaps the ultra in innovation. An E27 8W retrofit lamp is housed within a fabric shade along with a 1W LED reading light with a special optic focusing lens and UBS charging port.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be designing lighting. From a technological perspective things have never been more fast-paced, particularly in terms of LED light sources and dimming capabilities.”

Robert Chelsom, Managing Director

Muirhead Leather

Muirhead has introduced a fully integrated, patent protected digital print capability. A wide range of customer file image formats can be supported which allows the potential for rapid turnaround on digitally printed samples. These can then be seamlessly incorporated into the finished product as required.

muirhead European map_leather_close_4
The LED UV print technology is suitable for photographic images as well as corporate branding and abstract design, and allows any digitally printed image to have the same high performance as the Muirhead standard products.

A world-leading manufacturer of high performance, low carbon leather, Muirhead supplies the automotive, marine and contract furnishing sectors and is the largest supplier of leather to the global aviation industry, working with over 130 airlines and aircraft manufacturers.

“Our new capability for digital printing will create opportunities for customers who are looking for cutting edge design whilst maintaining the durability and cleanliness that our leather has always offered.”

Colin Wade, Managing Director


Brintons has taken carpet manufacturing into the 21st century with its innovative High Definition Weave technology.

Allowing 32 separate colours to be incorporated into a single design, the method introduces a new level of colouration into carpets, creating highly defined, photorealistic results, reflecting Brintons’ desire to achieve bigger designs and richer colours within its carpets.

brintons Hoar Cross Hall 2
Brintons has recently worked with award-winning designer Cristian Zuzunaga to create a collection using HD weave technology. Captivated by similarities to his own design principles, the renowned designer’s pixel based designs use a palette of vibrant shades in contrasting hues, weaved together using Brintons’ HD Weave technology, linking inspirations from the archive with Zuzunaga’s pixelated style.

The collection creates a range of innovative carpets that combines digital imagery, ancient fabrics and multicolour weaving technologies together, linking historical influences with modern manufacturing.

HD Weave technology can also creatively transform photographs and images into three dimensional floor designs, recently showcased at the historic grade II listed, Hoar Cross Hall Hotel and Spa.

“HD Weave Technology allows designers to break free from the traditional constraints they may face when transforming their inspirations into a reality.”

Sarah Draper, Commercial Marketing Manager


Johnson Tiles

Johnson’s focus on continuous product development through innovation has kept it at the forefront of the UK tile manufacturing industry for more than a century, and its Artile service demonstrates how there really are no boundaries when it comes to tile design.

Its recent collaboration with artist Nina Beier saw the company reproducing natural textures such as dry cracked mud, concrete and marble onto large format tiles. Artile perfectly replicates any design – such as a drawing, sketch or even original artwork – onto tile. Its ability to accurately reproduce every tiny, intricate detail with no loss compared to the original has also seen Johnson replicating Aboriginal art onto tile for the first time.


Tile is now a real and tangible alternative to natural resources such as stone, wood and slate. All of the desired, natural effects and aesthetics can now be achieved using tile thanks to new techniques and technologies. The company’s new Sawn and Artisan ranges in its Absolute Collection also feature all the knots and unique woodgrain patterns of the coolest tones of Scandinavian Oak, but in a porcelain tile.

johnson Absolute_Sawn_Feather_SWN03N

“Innovation to us is creating a design or tile style that’s never been done before. As a company we very much push the boundaries and make what seems impossible, possible.”

Darren Clanford, Creative Director

About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
View all posts by Alys Bryan →