The Pulse of Performance Products
April 7, 2008,
Spurred by developments in home textiles laboratories — many located in the United States — suppliers have created an array of products that perform various functions to enhance sleep (see story, page 1). A sampling from around the market:
American Textile Co.
DermaTherapy sheets, pillow cases, and pillows, approved by the FDA, minimize friction to reduce itch, improve skin appearance and increase uninterrupted sleep. They carry a soil-release finish that removes oily stains caused by skin contact.
The Nano-Tex line of bedding uses technology that manipulates fluoropolymers at the nano level (one billionth of a meter, or 4-atom size), allowing stains and liquids to bead up and roll off the surface.
AQ Textiles & IntellATex
IntellATex negative ion treated textiles bond and neutralize positive charged allergens as proven by Research Triangle Institute. Cotton Inc. has proven that the treatment is permanent, and ISO-10993 Compatibility tests that the products are biocompatible.
Available in percale sheet sets, cotton blankets, flannel sheet sets, duvet sets and comforter sets, all distributed by AQ Textiles.
Mattress pads, pillow, mattress protectors, pillows, mattress protectors and pillow covers are distributed by Louisville Bedding (Sleep Innovations will introduce a produce line during the September 2008 market). SureFit is distributing slip covers and throws. The product line is also being introduced in India under Portico brand owned by Creative Mobus.
New York (212) 944-1870
The new Lenox Pearl Essence towels are made of yarns spun from a blend of pima cotton and cellulose-based fibers made from crushed pearls, yielding a new and 100% natural fiber, wicking away moisture instantaneously while leaving the surface of the towel dry and soft to the touch.
Ware, Mass. (413) 967-5964
Softest Microloft Blanket, using fine gauge polyester yarn, is non-allergenic and wicks away moisture. It is also quick drying (energy efficient), wrinkle-resistant, warm when wet, mold- and mildew-resistant and durable after multiple washings. The product was recently named a Consumer Digest "best buy" in the blanket category.
Richmond, Va. (804) 359-0800
The SlumberFresh bed pillow is filled with Rely fiber, which protects the pillow against known allergens such as mold, mildew, fungus and the odors they cause. Rely is the only fiber that carries an EPA Registration Number for its anti-microbial properties, according to Carpenter.
Iso•Cool pillows and mattress toppers feature Outlast Adaptive Comfort material that adjusts to the body's changing temperature. The microscopic Phase Change Material beads sense whether the body's mean temperature is too warm or too cool and adjusts to cool or warm the body, regulating the temperature.
Casatex Home Textiles Corp.
Doral, Fla. (305) 851-2664
The Secco Smart Pillow is made of Tecdry, a smart cloth similar to that used in sports uniforms, that quickly absorbs and expels perspiration. Composed of thousands of lines creating millions of pores, Tecdry enables the pillow to stay dry and soft. This addresses the fact that the human body annually expels approximately 300 liters of water during sleep — 90 liters per year being transferred to pillows, sheet, mattresses and the rest in respiration.
In addition, the pillowcase is treated with Tinosan, developed by Ciba, which expels odor-causing microorganisms and blunts the proliferation of bacteria.
Providence, R.I. (877) 215-7378
The World's Cleanest Pillow debuted last month, featuring MicronOne technology, which completely blocks any form of micro-toxin and dust mite infestation or waste from entering the interior stuffing of the pillow.
Commonwealth Home Fashions
Montreal (514) 384-8290
A new line of indoor/outdoor grommet window panels can be used in gazebos, balconies, sunrooms, solariums, porches, pool shacks and other transitional spaces. The product is anti fungal and fade resistant, with 800 hours of UV-tested-against fading. The machine-washable line is also water repellant and mildew resistant.
Also new is Thermalogic, a blackout, thermal backed faux suede curtain that acts as a sound barrier and provides hotel quality, light-blocking sleep.
Fort Lee, N.J. (201) 585-8500
The new Five Seasons area rug collection is suitable for outdoor use and is mold- and mildew-resistant. Power-loomed of 100% heat-set Courtron polypropylene, the flatwoven rugs are UV stabilized to prevent color loss caused by exposure to the sun.
Portland, Maine (207) 761-0201
Mite-Proof Bedding Protectors are constructed of a cotton microfiber blend for protection against dust mites and their fecal allergens. The pore size of this sturdy fabric is 3.03 microns, well below the industry allowable size of 10 microns. Encasings are zippered with an interior zipper flap.
Danville, Va. (434) 799-7000
New Ionx sheeting uses Ionx technology found in athleticwear to amplify the body's ability to perform and recover by increasing the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to the body. This translates into a deeper, more restful and regenerative night's sleep.
Dash & Albert Rug Company
Pittsfield, Mass. (800) 557-2705
Indoor/outdoor polypropylene rugs are machine washable, scrubbable, bleachable, mold- and mildew-resistant, and UV treated for outdoor use.
Mason, Ohio (513) 229-3696
The Sensitive Solutions utility bedding collection features RestAssured white down fill paired with a Tencel Lyocell outer for hypoallergenic cooling and moisture management.
The Performance Collection features antimicrobial Primaloft down alternative fill with Nanotex fabric that repels and releases stains without compromising the softness of the fabric.
Carmel, Ind. (317) 816-9774
This custom house provides a line of draperies using a spray technology to create fire-retardant panels that maintain the softness, shine and drape of silk. They are also insulated, which helps with heat transfer, provides fullness, and protects the fabric from sun damage.
Faribault, Minn. (562) 430-5792
The Viking blanket line is 50/50 constructed of wool and Outlast, the performance technology that continuously interacts with the microclimate of the body to keep it from becoming too hot or too cold. The Outlast absorbs body heat when too much is created, diminishing the amount of moisture produced by the body.
Pella, Iowa (888) 522-3487
Provinaire E-Screen roller shades are mildew- and bacteria-resistant, stain-proof, fade-proof, colorfast, easy to care for and suitable for use indoors or outdoors. Yarns are 100% polypropylene, pre-dyed to eliminate chemical-dye finishing and can be recycled.
The line was awarded an honorable mention for "most innovative overall design" in "green" fabrics by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association at the recent 2008 IWC Expo in Atlanta.
Commerce Township, Mich. (248) 863-3001
Dreamshield Ultra bedding protects against dust mites, bacteria, water and stains. Sleep pillow and mattress pad are filled with hypo-allergenic microfiber and covered in 300-thread all-cotton cover. Pillow and mattress protectors are also constructed of 300-count, 100% cotton.
The line has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal. Certification from the British Allergy Foundation is also pending.
New York (212) 213-9412
New scented pillows and throws made of alpaca are available in apple, strawberry, lavender, vanilla and other scents that last through several washings.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
New Cupron copper-infused bath and bedding products are designed using Cupron's patented copper technology. Copper's natural properties are clinically proven to penetrate into the skin, enhancing the overall look of skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and crow's feet. In addition, the fabric and fibers kill the bacteria, fungus, and microbes that cause odor. Because the copper-infused fibers are embedded deep into the fabric, it never washes out.
Louisville, Ky. (502) 495-5397
New Simmons Beautyrest UltraFit sheets use patent-pending FlexiFit stretch flexibility technology to guarantee a perfect fit, corner to corner on any mattress up to 18 inches. The sheets are available in many thread counts and colors.
New antimicrobial technologies for textiles include Microban Z06 for fungal inhibition as well as Microban QS and Microban PB bound quaternary compounds, which are suited for cotton substrates.
Later this year the company will launch Microban AG, a new topical silver technology.
Pacific Coast Feather
Seattle (888) 297-1778
The patent-pending Embrace comforter solves dual sleeper warmth preferences by providing individualized warmth zones for sleepers sharing the same comforter. The design allows the comforter to drape and conform to each sleeper, creating individual sleep cocoons that maintain individual comfort climates.
The patent-pending, triple chamber design of the Tria pillow holds Eurofeather fill in place for extra firmness with a down outer pillow for extra softness. The chambers concentrate and restrict the movement of interior fill to provide support and softness while the sleeper moves throughout the night for enhanced sleep.
Richmond, British Columbia (604) 272-3004
The St. Dormeir mattress protector uses wool that has been specially milled by a new European process to make it completely machine washable (and dryable) without shrinking. The protectors are made with 100% cotton terry covers, filled with New Zealand wool.
A cotton terry skirt goes all around the sides of the protector to fit completely over the mattress.
A newly expanded line of throws using Sunbrella yarns offer a soft hand while remaining stain, bleach, mold, sun and fade resistance. Machine-washable, the throws can be used indoors or outdoors.
United Feather & Down
Des Plaines, Ill. (847) 296-6500
Microfiber down alternative pillows treated with Proneem provide a natural, chemical-free protection from bacteria while mimicking the lightness and loft of quality down. From neem extract, recognized for years for its medical and organic insecticide properties, specially developed neem microcapsules are used. The Proneem treatment is non-toxic, dermatologist-tested to be hypoallergenic, and long-lasting.
DriSoft towels use a special loop construction of cotton and microfiber blend that saves 25% of dryer time while remaining soft highly absorbent.
Sewn grommet holes provide hanging and drying options.
The Fast Dry towel dries 50% faster in the dryer, as well as on the towel rack.
Scotchgard Dual Protector utility products have a dual action repel and release finish.
Stain-resistant Scotchgard Dual Protector utility products employ a repel-and-release finish.
Related Content By Author
The Countdown to the ICON Honors Continues featuring Christophe Pourny