Making onboard spaces into unique places

Forbo Flooring Systems’ Jason Holmes discusses the new Flotex Vision FR marine collection

Making onboard spaces into unique places
The Flotex FR digital printing allows for detailed designs

By Alice Chambers |

Whether in cabins, leisure areas, restaurants or bars, high-performance floor coverings are needed to provide comfort, safety and aesthetic appeal onboard cruise ships and passenger ferries. Forbo Flooring Systems’ Flotex Vision FR marine collection meets all these requirements, while contributing towards the feel of onboard spaces.  

“My main inspiration when creating new designs for the marine applications comes from the global hospitality and leisure industries,” says Jason Holmes, head of design textiles at Forbo Flooring Systems. “It is an industry that is very trend-focused and so it can change quite quickly. Trade shows, reports and publications are also a good source of information.” 

As interior trends have become far more varied, Forbo Flooring Systems is seeing an increased interest in the influence of nature on design and the concept of bring the outside in. 

“Well-being is also becoming a big influence, with interior designers using more tranquil colours to create a calm and peaceful effect,” says Holmes.  

When designing for cruise and ferry operators, Holmes always considers the usage and durability of an area.  

The Flotex FR digital printing allows for detailed designs and creates textual elements and depth, replication wood, stone and concrete, which cannot be replicated in yarn-constructed carpets.  

“Flotex FR is a substrate which is very generic in terms of application for design – the flocked surface is very dense, so lends itself very well to the printing process,” says Holmes. “With digital printing, you can pretty much print anything onto the substrate and it will look good. You can get wonderful effects of detail and texture that you can’t with a tufted or a woven process where you’re limited to the yarn itself creating the pattern.” 

The possibility of design definition has also improved thanks to digital print technology. “Colour space has improved, in terms of some of the limitations of depth in yellow, reds and blues,” says Holmes. “However, the main thing is that light and wash fastness are now much better than many tufted yarn-based products. The penetration of the dye into the fibre means that it has very long life with no issues in terms of wearability.” 

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.  

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