Specialty fabrics are not limited to just aerospace, industrial, or military applications or shade sails, party tents and structures. There are a variety of specialty fabric applications. In fact, a common industry that we see specialty fabrics used is healthcare. Here’s a quick list of specialty fabric products used in the healthcare industry:
Specialty Healthcare Fabrics Uses
- Hospital curtains for the shower or cubicle
- Hospital bedding; like bed sheets, pillow covers and mattresses
- Medical grade protective gowns, masks, and other gear
- Wheel chair coverings, cushions, and straps to hold equipment in place
- Fire barriers
- Even vinyl wall coverings!
Key Characteristics of Specialty Healthcare Fabrics
So what makes a specialty fabric healthcare worthy or applicable? Healthcare fabrics have to stand up to rigorous use and often times are antimicrobial and flame resistant. Healthcare fabrics can also be thermally conductive, stain, moisture, fluid, and vapor transmission resistant, hypoallergenic, and can feature odor resistance as well. Next time you go to the hospital, you might notice those specialty, antimicrobial and flame-resistant curtains or appreciate those pressure sensitive hospital beds a little more now that you know they are specially designed for the healthcare industry; there’s more to these things than meets the eye!
For some examples of some healthcare fabrics and how they can be used, visit Herculite Inc. at www.herculite.com/healthcare-fabrics. Herculite Inc. manufactures Sure-Chek® brand medical fabrics which are the original healthcare fabrics that were patented for use as protective covering fabrics and today are the standard in the industry. Sure-Chek® medical fabrics were developed in cooperation with healthcare professionals to provide industrial fabrics that are comfortable, safe and effective for use in healthcare facilities, prison industries, jails, camps, and dormitories. These thermoplastic fabric composites are strong, durable, antimicrobial, antistatic, flame resistant, stain, odor, fluid resistant, and resistant to popular disinfectants when used as directed. Sure-Chek® medical fabrics are designed to be optimized when used together providing a complete system solution for a wide range of healthcare application. (Herculite Products maintains ISO 9001 certification).
Healthcare specialty fabrics are quite amazing when you really think about it and it’s a wonder how far we’ve come from using just cotton sheets and linens to specially formulated medical grade textiles! If you look at the healthcare industry today, you’ll see that it is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.
Healthcare Industry Outlook
In fact, jobs in the healthcare industry are projected to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations and industries related to healthcare are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022. Total employment is projected to increase 10.8 percent, or 15.6 million, during the decade.
The home healthcare industry is growing in the United States as well, according to an article in the Specialty Fabrics Review, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International. In fact, the home health care industry is growing because of the aging U.S. population. By 2020 people 65 years and over will reach 55 million by 2020! This means that more people will need more care at home which means more in-home medical equipment like hospital beds and wheelchairs.