• Choosing Healthcare Fabrics for Medical Office & Hospitals

Textiles come in many different forms, textures and designs. In the commercial world alone, thousands are made for all industries and applications - from Aerospace to Zoos! Depending on their intended end use, some are produced explicitly with safety in mind. This is the case in the healthcare industry, possibly the most stringent regarding people's safety, and where every last material fibre must be deemed suitable

Let’s delve a little deeper into the specialised medical fabrics used in the healthcare sector, and look at why it is critical to choose the right fabric for the right application.

Medical fabric used in the healthcare sector

Points to Consider When Choosing Medical Fabric for a Healthcare Environment

Healthcare environments are among the most rigid sectors when it comes to safety - if not THE most rigid. Why? Primarily, people attend hospitals and healthcare centres because they are unwell - and the last thing a healthcare provider wants is to make their existing condition any worse by operating in a sub-standard environment. They have a duty of care to both patients and visitors. Among the many factors causing health concerns in hospitals, the following three are key:

  • Bacteria
  • Mildew
  • Fire

Hygiene plays a huge role in the healthcare sector. Keeping a facility free from bacteria and germs is critical to minimising patient risk, this starts way before any cleaning processes, with the materials and fabrics used within the environment. Thankfully, many healthcare fabrics are produced with anti-bacterial properties built in, providing a first line of defence against harmful germs.

Moisture which leads to mildew is another key concern within the medical industry, with most modern hospitals operating huge HVAC systems that can easily cause moisture - a breeding ground for mildew on many types of fabrics. When selecting a medical textile, choose one that the manufacturer specifies as mildew-resistant to help mitigate mildew growth and minimise the health risk it poses to patients and medical teams.

Fire is a potential hazard in any environment and is no different in a healthcare setting. Thankfully, many modern textiles are made to resist fire entirely or at least slow its progress, and you should find a medical fabric to suit your application.

Remember: sourcing medical fabric for healthcare that tackles all three concerns IS possible if you do your homework! Think about the application - and the environment where it will be used – before selecting your medical textiles to ensure optimum health and safety.

At Ricky Richards, our healthcare textiles are anti-bacterial, anti-mildew and fire retardant, suitable for multiple applications in medical environments - easy to manage, durable and safe.

Mattress Fabrics for Hospital Beds

Mattress Fabrics for Hospital Beds

Imagine how many people use a hospital bed every day. That’s a lot of linen changes! It also makes healthcare and hospital beds ripe for bacteria if they’re not kept clean.

Linen changes between patients is one thing; keeping hospital beds at their most hygienic means using mattress covers. Unlike bedsheets that are changed on repeat, mattress covers stay on the bed for much longer and must be highly durable and clean to protect the patient’s health.

Thankfully, there are plenty of choices in mattress covers made from medical fabrics to suit applications in the healthcare sector. Vinyl and PVC mattress covers are the most durable option and easy to maintain while resistant to stains, odours and bacteria.

Here are two hospital mattress covers to consider:
The HC600 Mattress Fabric is a heavy-duty, high-strength mattress cover ideal for medical facilities. Made from polyester-based fabric with a PVC coating, the mattress cover features antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, fluid-proof, fire retardant, anti-static and stain-resistant properties – a highly durable and safe healthcare textile.
The MC520 Mattress Fabric Medicover is another excellent choice made from a strong and safe medical textile. Produced from a PVC-coated polyester fabric, FR treated and with anti-static, anti-mildew and anti-bacterial properties, it ticks all the boxes for medical hygiene and is a preferred choice for use in many medical settings.

How Healthcare Fabrics Can Play a Role in Patient Wellbeing

In healthcare, fabrics will always be required for hospital beds and their surroundings – producing bed linen, mattress covers, curtains and blinds. However, medical textiles can be used in other ways too.

Research has long shown how aesthetics in a hospital can help aid a patient’s recovery time.* More recently, studies in Australia have found that artwork hanging on walls depicting natural scenes can help patients visiting a medical office for a consultation remain calmer.** Finding a medical print fabric in Australia can be challenging to create such settings, but finding a knowledgeable can ease this burden.

This is excellent news for patients and is a relatively simple way for healthcare facilities to ensure the well-being of their visitors, purely through improving their interior design. And thankfully, with the ongoing advances in medical fabrics, wall art in hospitals and medical offices can be beautiful and hygienic.

Vinyl wall covering presents an excellent option in healthcare because of its many properties suited to the environment – anti-bacterial, fire retardant, moisture and waterproof, durable and easy to clean. It is also print-friendly, allowing all types of vivid and colourful imagery to give the room a lift.

It could be waves rolling onto a sandy tropical beach in Hawaii or a photo of a glorious mountain waterfall. Whatever your image, print it onto the vinyl, and mount it on the wall of a patient’s room, consultation or waiting area. For some patients, it will help their recovery; for others, they will at least feel less anxious about their visit.

Ricky Richards, Your Premier Fabric Supplier

Ricky Richards one of the most premium medical fabric suppliers in Australia. For expert assistance on medical textiles contact the fabric experts at Ricky Richards.

Our friendly team can advise you on the best choice of fabric for your needs - whether it’s for the healthcare sector or any other type of application. Contact our team


*Healthcare Design: Discusses research conducted by Dr Roger Ulrich in 1985


**Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Research conducted in September 2008