With almost limitless potential, the creation of the ideal fabric for your rail interior can be a daunting, if exciting, task. From choosing the perfect shade and establishing an on-brand pattern to navigating global flammability standards, there is a myriad of considerations to take into account – and it can be difficult to know exactly where to start.
In this article, Aimee Larson, Senior Designer at Camira – the UK’s leading manufacturer of transport textiles – explains everything you need to know about creating the perfect fabric for your railway.
To begin, I always recommend identifying the aesthetic you’d like to achieve, and the priority of your key concerns – are you looking for a traditional or contemporary interior? A sleek or textured finish? Is practicality at the top of your list? Once you’ve established the answers to these questions, you’ll be in a much better position to begin identifying which construction is the best fit for your needs.
In short, there are four types of construction from which to choose your railway’s upholstery, and these can be summarised as follows:
Many railways opt for their upholstery to be designed in their brand colourways – whether as a piped accent to a base neutral, integrated into a woven pattern, or embroidered as a logo – there are a number of different approaches. At Camira, we specialise in custom-made fabrics, working in close collaboration with specialist design houses to turn their design concepts into woven realities; from developing exact colour matches to creating perfect pattern repeats, our in-house design studio has the expertise to translate ideas into reality.
In terms of general colour advice, we always recommend avoiding pale shades, such as pastels or taupes, on seating upholstery – simply due to their susceptibility to staining and scuffing – and instead using them as delicate accents on trims, e.g. curtain tiebacks or piping. There’s a reason that so many railway interiors opt for darker shades or vibrant tones – they really do hide a multitude of sins, and with intelligent, considered pattern designs, there is no limit to the visual detail they can offer.
Associated with many high-profile contracts where the fabric has become instantly recognisable as an iconic part of the branded interior – think London Underground, the Orient Express, Thameslink, First Great Western, Belgian Rail, Swiss Rail and Queensland Rail to name but a few – our design team has a proven record of developing textiles for rail interiors that are not only on brand, but visually striking – and manufactured to withstand the most demanding of performance requirements.
The vast majority of railways opt for a bespoke textile, however for those requiring an expedited turnaround, or those who would like a pre-designed quality, there are a number of ways in which this can be accommodated. For example, at Camira, we offer an extensive range of standard patterns which are available to be custom-coloured to perfectly match a branded interior – providing a bespoke look within a reduced timeframe – or which can be ordered ‘off-the-shelf’, manufactured, treated to specific FR standards, and delivered with exceptional ease and speed.
Formulated in 1987 on behalf of British Rail, the BR252 flammability standard formalised the testing of rail carriage interior fabrics in terms of physical performance as well as their flammability properties. There are now a number of international fire tests and, to provide complete peace of mind, all Camira rail fabrics can be treated to the following geographic standards:
Rest of World
If you’d like to speak with our team of experts to learn more about creating the ideal textile for your rail interior, get in touch at [email protected].
Use the form opposite to get in touch with Camira Fabrics directly to discuss any requirements you might have.