Soft wall panels will help to bring comfort to the room and make it original. Despite the appearance of numerous modern finishing options, textiles are not losing ground in popularity, however, now they are implemented in a completely new form. What are soft wall panels made of, what nuances should be taken into account when choosing them and is it possible to create such panels yourself? This will be discussed in the article.
# 1. The main advantages of soft wall panels
Wall panels have an original appearance, so they can become an excellent decoration for any room: they can be used to decorate either one of the walls of the room or part of it, for example, over the head of the bed. However, high decorativeness is not the only advantage of soft wall panels. The pluses also include:
- excellent soundproofing qualities, therefore, the walls of the bedroom are often faced with this material, creating complete comfort and silence there;
- easy installation;
- the ability to hide wall defects;
- panels made of leather or imitation leather do not accumulate dust and lend themselves to wet cleaning.
Trying to make the design of the apartment unique, it is important to remember that soft wall panels also have disadvantages:
- panels made of fabric and suede attract dust and will retain their original attractive appearance for only a few years;
- the cost of such material is high, and if it is necessary to make panels to order, then the price rises significantly.
It is customary to cover walls with soft panels, but they are also used for finishing ceilings, podiums, for zoning space, etc.
# 2. Where can soft wall panels be used?
The most suitable room for this finishing material is a bedroom. As a rule, the area near the bed is distinguished with soft panels, but other options are possible. You can select panels to match the wallpaper or curtains in the room, or, conversely, play in contrast.
For a nursery, wall panels are also a good option, because if something happens they will soften the blow. For cabinets, you can use panels covered with leather – this finish will add status to the workspace.
Soft panels are also suitable for arranging the space of a cinema or a nightclub: they both look great and are an additional barrier to the spread of noise. In this case, it is better to use panels made from specially prepared fabrics, for example, those that resist fire or have an antibacterial effect.
As for the interior styles, the soft wall panels can look good both in Art Deco and Baroque and in high-tech style – the main thing is to choose the appropriate design and color.
No. 3. Soft wall panel material
As a rule, the following materials are used for the manufacture of soft wall panels:
leather. This is the most luxurious and expensive option, and it also performs well in operation. Such panels will be perfectly combined with both plain wallpaper and abstract patterns, they are in harmony with leather and wood furniture;
leatherette. It looks almost as impressive as genuine leather, but at the same time it costs several times cheaper. Such panels will be as easy to clean as possible, because they do not attract dust and can be wet cleaned;
alcantara. It is a new material developed in Italy. It is outwardly almost indistinguishable from genuine leather, but at the same time it is more elastic and costs several times cheaper;
textile. This is the most common option, which gives a huge scope for design imagination, because you can choose any pattern, ornament and color. The main thing is that the fabric is strong enough to withstand mechanical damage, friction, the effects of pets’ claws and other negative influences, and does not stretch or sag over time. The material must be sufficiently dense and retain its original color for a long time. A big minus of the fabric is the ability to attract dust, therefore it is better to use panels whose fabric is impregnated with special antistatic substances, but even in this case, you will have to regularly vacuum the surface of soft panels. As a rule, tapestry fabrics are used, but it is not forbidden to sheathe the panels with the same material from which the curtains are made, however, such a finish will serve less.
Some manufacturers can custom-make panels using some other materials: it all depends on personal wishes and interior features.
No. 4. Filler type
The properties and quality of soft wall panels also depend on what material is used as a filler. The most common options are:
foam rubber. It is often used in the manufacture of thick panels, it is considered an excellent material in all respects. True, the foam rubber has one drawback – it begins to crumble over time, however, few people make repairs less than once every 15 years, and the foam will withstand this period;
synthetic winterizer. With the help of this material, a more uniform surface is formed, and since the weight of the padding polyester is less than the foam rubber, the upholstery material will stretch and sag less.
In very rare cases, mineral wool is used to fill the panels. The bottom layer is responsible for strength and gives shape, and it is usually made from plastic sheets, plywood, chipboard or MDF.
No. 5. Size and method of forming
The sizes of soft wall panels vary widely. These can be small soft tiles measuring 10 * 10 cm and huge panels 1.5 * 2.7 m. The shape, as a rule, is a square, rhombus or rectangle. Sometimes large panels that occupy the entire walls are replaced by the installation of two slats at the bottom and at the top, the space between which is filled with padding polyester, and then a cloth is pulled onto the structure, but this option does not quite fit the description of soft wall panels.
Whereas small elements are usually made smooth, large panels are often made using capitonné, or a carriage tie. Its essence lies in embedding large decorative buttons in the material in a certain sequence. Such decorations are often used in the manufacture of furniture, and earlier they were used to decorate aristocratic interiors.
Buttons are usually staggered, forming squares or rhombuses. In addition, buttons can be used to form a whole pattern (company logo, family coat of arms, etc.), thus giving an interesting look to the room. The carriage coupler looks better on plain materials, especially on leather, velor, velvet, suede, leatherette. Often, capitonnés are also used for small panels, whose main advantage is the ease of replacing damaged elements.
The size of the soft wall panels is selected depending on your own design idea and room parameters. If it will be more convenient to work with large panels to decorate an entire wall in a room, then to decorate only a small area it will be more appropriate to use small panels. By the way, the elements can be of completely different shapes, being assembled on the wall, like a kind of puzzle.
Although the soft wall panels themselves are voluminous, the so-called 3D panels stand out separately. They are made on the basis of MDF panels, gypsum or solid wood, which are given a certain shape, and then they are either painted or covered with leather or textiles. The latter option is often referred to as soft wall panels, but due to the absence of a layer of padding polyester or foam rubber, they cannot be considered as such.
No. 6. Top manufacturers
Soft wall panels are popular in different countries of the world, where their own production facilities have been established. In Russia, the products of foreign enterprises are not widely represented, since the cost of panels increases significantly due to transportation. There are well-equipped factories in different parts of the country that also produce custom-made panels. Let’s stop at the largest and most proven ones.
This company specializes in the manufacture of beds, but is gradually expanding production with related products. The enterprise is equipped with modern European equipment, which produces wall panels of various types: fabric, leather, eco-leather and alcantara. There are a lot of design options, there is a separate series of panels for cinemas and clubs.
“House of Walls”
The company produces furniture, leather furniture fronts and soft wall panels. The manufacturer is proud of the high quality of the products and their individual design, using the highest quality and safe raw materials. The company offers the creation of custom-designed panels and assistance in the development of sketches. Leather, suede, alcantara, fabric, as well as fibers with specific properties: non-combustible, antibacterial, odor-breaking can be used as facing material for panels. The range also includes 3D panels.
The leading domestic company for the production of designer furniture “MOLIZE” has recently mastered the process of manufacturing soft wall panels, and now this direction has become the main one in the company’s activities. Consistently high quality of products is ensured by cooperation with the best manufacturers of leather, fabric and accessories, training of the company’s employees at European enterprises and constant quality control. The panels are made with leather, fabric and leatherette upholstery; individual orders are possible.
This company is based in Yekaterinburg and carries out the production of soft wall panels simultaneously with the manufacture of furniture. The assortment includes options made of leather, eco-leather and fabric, it is possible to manufacture panels according to customer requirements for size and color.
LLC “Soft sign”
This Perm company, among other products, also produces soft wall panels under the Soft Sign trademark. Foam rubber and synthetic winterizer are used as fillers; upholstery is made of flock, velor, jacquard, tapestry and other furniture fabrics, natural leather and leatherette. The company offers both ready-made options with a unique design and the development of panels according to its own idea.
LLC “Knerzer Group”
The company is engaged in the production of children’s furniture and upholstered wall panels, offering a wide selection of ready-made options with upholstery in leather, leatherette and fabric. At the request of the customer, panels of any size (from 5 cm) and design are made.
The company was founded 12 years ago and initially specialized in the production of floor coverings. Today, the range of the manufacturer has expanded significantly, and soft wall panels have become almost the main field of activity. The manufacturer focuses on the manufacture of panels with leather upholstery.
No. 7. DIY soft wall panels
To save money and implement your own interior idea as accurately as possible, you can make soft panels yourself. This process is simple, does not require special skills, but accuracy and patience will be needed. Main steps:
- design development, size selection and preparation of all necessary elements: plywood or chipboard, fabric, decorative buttons, glue, foam rubber, ruler and pencil, drill, scissors, stapler, nylon cord;
- preparation of the base and filler of appropriate sizes;
- preparation of pieces of fabric. It is worth adding allowances for the thickness of the slab and for the bend on the wrong side to the dimensions of each element;
- if the use of buttons is provided, then at this stage it is necessary to mark the plywood. The places where the buttons will be are drilled with a drill;
- foam rubber or synthetic winterizer is glued to the base, fabric is applied on top;
- the buttons are fastened with a nylon thread, which is fixed to the base with a stapler in several places on the reverse side;
- the fabric is tightly stretched and fixed with a stapler from the wrong side.
Soft wall panels are a great way to make the room more comfortable, to give it exclusivity and originality. The appearance of this material is captivating more and more people, and there are more and more applications every day.