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Furniture Features: Mobus Fabrics

Can you give an introduction to who you are and who/what your brand is? How long have you been in business? Was this the first time you exhibited at the January Furniture Show?

Starting in 1994 Mobus fabrics are a global supplier of quality upholstery fabrics. Based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire we employ over 40 staff at our 65,000sq ft head offices. We work with some of the country’s biggest retailers and manufacturers and pride ourselves on supplying well designed, ethically sourced fabrics that surpass the highest testing standards. This was our first time exhibiting at the January Furniture Show and we really enjoyed it. 


How did you start your company? Are you a family run company? If so how has the company developed over time?

Mobus was started by our founder and shareholders Mike Presley and Grant McConnell in 1994. Mike previously worked in fabrics sales and Mobus was created as a side project from his Barn, based on a cut length wholesale idea. After 15 years of steady growth, Mobus started to source fabrics from China establishing very strong and lasting partnerships.


Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out?

Whilst owning a business is a journey of consistent learning, we would advise the need for self-belief in what you’re doing and trying to achieve. 


Can you tell us about your new collections/ranges that you launched at the January Furniture Show?

At the show, we showcased our GreenFR® ranges. GreenFR® is a halogen-free flame retardant finish. With years of research and development GreenFR® allows fabrics to be effectively flame retarded with a safe and effective Bromine free coating. The first Oekotex class 1 rated FR, GreenFR® meets ZDHC (zero discharge of hazardous chemicals) to wastewater and the environment. 

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Any personal favourites from your new collection?

Our personal favourite from our GreenFR® collection of fabrics are our Richmond and Lyon ranges. Richmond is a needle-core velvet with a distressed look. A truly beautiful fabric, the colour palette is really on-trend and offers furniture makers a great soft, easy handle fabric to work with. Lyon is a modern European body fabric, with a two-toned textured look. Lyon offers a subtle finish which is full of life and personality, which is why it is one of our favourites.


What are you most looking forward to at the show?

We are mostly looking forward to seeing and support our existing partners but also the ability to educate more people about GreenFR® and its environmental benefits. We are aware of the move within the industry to a more sustainable, environmentally friendly ways of working, GreenFR® sits perfectly within this agender. 


Do you have any highlights from the 18 months that you would like to mention?

The last 18 months have seen massive changes here at Mobus fabrics firstly, Lee Paxman recently stepped up from Sales Director to become our new Managing Director. Mobus undertook a rebranding process in order to modernise our marketing output involving a new user-friendly website, a clearer social media presence and a fresh new way of presenting our fabrics. We invested heavily in the transition of many of our ranges from traditional FR to GreenFR®. We held a very successful in-house show for the whole of October. Showcasing our new sit, including a state-of-the-art testing laboratory and design studio. We saw many new faces join the company, creating new teams and departments.


Where do you see the furniture industry going? Any styles/trends from the past that are coming back? Any designs that are least likely to return?

Shape wise we see softer, rounded styles of furniture coming through. The biggest changes are likely to be driven by the move of more sustainable products. People will look for new ways to make furniture last longer, be more environmentally friendly and ensure an end-of-life strategy.  As the cost of components rises manufacturers and retailers will also look at ways to reverse engineer designs to be more cost-effective. 


What’s next for the company?

We want to continue to support our partners here in the UK by supplying high-quality fabrics. Mobus is looking at growing our oversea territory in particular the USA. As part of our sustainability journey, we will be looking at adding more recycled fabrics and working on how as a company we can minimise our carbon footprint and influence the industry to be more sustainable. 


How did the January Furniture Show go for your brand and what was your highlight? 

The January Furniture Show was really a great experience and it allowed us to connect with buyers we would have never otherwise met. The show was never about getting orders, it was about raising awareness of new finishing techniques for fabrics and laying foundations for future development or collaboration. We received high acclaim from a number of people who praised the sustainable direction we are undertaking. This is particularly relevant to the contract sector and overseas markets, not something we anticipated from a home domestic furniture show. We have a lot of leads, many of which we feel well placed to develop into meaningful business and hopefully lasting relationships.
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