Since 1956, Morbern has been at the forefront of innovation – creating breakthroughs in the performance fabric industry. In addition to working directly with customers, Morbern partners with universities and other organizations for research and development projects that advance manufacturing and product capabilities. Recent work includes projects with the National Research Council in Ottawa, Queen’s University and University of Toronto.
Read on to learn about some of the company’s most outstanding product solutions and breakthroughs.
With the introduction of MorCare in the 1990s, some 15 million yards ago, Morbern revolutionized performance vinyl for healthcare applications. At the time, options for vinyl in healthcare were very limited in scope. Some products could handle the cleaners but weren’t attractive for use in interiors. Others looked great but didn’t have the capability to withstand products used in critical environments. Morcare eliminated the need to choose between aesthetics and performance.
A properly formulated and applied thin layer of top finish is vital to a coated fabric’s performance. Morbern’s MGX, an industry best stain resistant finish, was originally developed for the needs of the marine market. Boat manufacturers and aftermarket jobbers were having difficulty with upholstered surfaces getting stained in the production process with little ability to clean them. So Morbern developed a cleanable top finish for marine named MGX, which eventually led to its application in other markets including hospitality and healthcare.
(n)deavor is an advancement in marine vinyl printing technology that uses a proprietary printing process to create original designs for use in harsh environments. Its introduction allowed manufacturers to break the norm of solid palettes and discover a world of unlimited design capabilities. The product allowed manufacturers to coordinate upholstery and paneling designs with that of the individual watercraft, creating an original look.
Prior to the introduction of (u)phoria! a few custom coated fabrics were available but they had high minimums, often in excess of 1,500 yards. (u)phoria! custom printed vinyl allowed customers to create any look desired with smaller run sizes of 300 yards. After nearly 14 years and millions of yards sold, (u)phoria! advanced once more in 2017 with the introduction of (u)phoria! HR, adding high-resolution print capability to the product with well-defined, eye-catching results.
In the 70s and 80s, boat manufacturers used non-woven coated fabrics to upholster seating and panels. The fabric was soft and supple, but it didn’t recover well, resulting in puddling. So Morbern created a knit substrate that has the hand of non-woven, but stretches to allow recovery and eliminate puddling. Mellohide, with its soft and flexible knit backing, has been used by the boating industry ever since.
When Morbern created Allante in the mid 1990s, it was the first faux leather with a luxury hand to be introduced into in the marketplace. Originally developed for RVs, it has expanded to become a best seller in multiple markets. Building on that success, Morbern introduced Allante Touch in 2016. It offered the same leather-like hand as the original Allante, with the added benefit of superior denim-dye resistance.
The all-way stretch of Morbern’s Allsport relieved many issues for the personal watercraft industry. Its stretch allowed manufacturers to contour around corners or aggressive seating designs without the need for stiches, seams and sewing. That meant no entry point for water. A boon for products designed for wet environments. Allsport contoured and shaped like a molded vinyl without investing in costly custom tooling.
Morbern’s vertical integration proved ideal for the creation of Mordura. As a mill owner, the company developed additional applications for the knit substrates it manufactured to back coated fabrics. One of those applications is Mordura, a high tech, high performance knit. Its extreme durability makes it popular for use in industrial equipment and heavy trucks.