December '19

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rv-pro.com December 2019 • RV PRO • 27 methods are designed to create products that are soft to the touch, yet durable and easy to care for. That's not the only area where Ultrafabrics plans to dis- tinguish itself from the competition. Its product line may be synthetic, but the company has just launched its first bio-based collection, and sustainability is a big focus as it moves into the 2020s and beyond. Old Friends Make no mistake: The RV industry helped get Ultrafabrics on its way – and it remains an important part of the compa- ny's business mix. Ultrafabrics, with its U.S. headquarters in Tarrytown, N.Y., celebrated its 20th anniversary back in April. However, both Ultraleather and company founders Clay Rosenberg and Dan- ielle Boecker-Primack were part of the high-performance poly- urethane fabric market long before that. Ultrafabrics Marketing Director A.R. Swan explains that they were employed by another company that was working with Japanese-based fabric mill Daiichi Kasei Co. (DKK) to manufacture and market Ultraleather. When that company decided to sell off parts of the business, Rosenberg and Boeck- er-Primack went to DKK and started a partnership. "We grew quite rapidly over the years, so we merged with DKK in the spring of 2017," Swan adds. "Today, we're a pub- licly traded Japanese/American company called Ultrafabrics Holdings. The relationship hasn't changed; we're the sales and marketing arm of the business, and they're the manufacturers of the business, but we're now one company." Also, what hasn't changed is the company's relationship with the RV industry. Joe Bernstein, director of business development, transportation markets for Ultrafabrics, says that RV was among the company's first markets. Even today, the RV industry is in the top four markets it serves, according to Swan. "The company's initial opportunities were recreation based," Bernstein says. "We started in RVs and then moved into marine, followed by heavy-duty truck, automotive, avi- ation, hospitality, health care, residential and other diverse applications." While it's easy to think of seating with those early RV and marine upholstery applications, in automotive, truck and Ultrafabrics is capable of providing fabrics for the RV market in a multitude of colors and textures. Pictured at left is the company's new Volar Bio bio-based product, which is made with a mix of plant-based and plastic resins. Pictured above is a 2020 Airstream Interstate featuring Ultrafabrics' Ultraleather synthetic leather. Manufacturers of all sizes and types use Ultrafabrics' material in their RVs.

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