Questions & Answers with Cathrine Ahlenius and Lisa Jarhult.

The expansion of the Botanic collection is equal parts an intuitive process and market research. Responsible for this is the R&D department, working to heighten the collection by carefully selecting colours that are elegant, embracing and amiable. We sat down with Head of R&D, Cathrine Ahlenius and product developer Lisa Jarhult.

The Botanic collection is updated, what is new?

Cathrine: Botanic is a soft and inviting collection – these characteristics are now enhanced. The texture and colour of the thread in combination with the woven structure is what gives the design its character. Botanic has a beautiful balance between the colours of the warp and weft as well as structure. New Botanic has a strong identity, with colours offering more possible combinations both within the collection itself and with other products by Bolon.

The name of the collection, Botanic, rightfully suggests soft, natural colours. But what are natural colours, really?

 Cathrine: Within the concept of colour there are different groups and subgroups. We talk of primary colours – pure colours that are not possible to create by mixing. Between the primary colours we have secondary colours such as purple, orange, and green.

Whilst the primary colours are saturated, their opposites, neutrals, have low saturation. There is often a mix-up between neutrals and natural colours, but to me natural colours are often mild, earthy, and toned down. Except for colours found in plants, such as saturated green, intense yellow and red, even purple. Blue we rarely see, apart from the sky and the ocean.

Natural colours are those you see around you, and those depend on geography. Imagine the difference between a tropical forest and the Swedish forest; or cool mountain tops and a hot desert. We could generalise and say that natural colours include every colour found in nature, made by nature. The opposite would then be synthetic, man-made colours.

Something perhaps more intricate is the question of nuances, how would you define it? 

Lisa: Nuance is the part of a colour’s character defined by the amount of darkness or brightness, the balance between black and white. Also colour saturation, being the intensity of the colour itself. The more saturated the more colourful. While less saturated means blacker and whiter, and less colour. Canyon is saturated, whilst Spearmint is not.

When developing a collection, we have an idea about a colour and will search passionately among different nuances to find “the one”. An entirely intuitive work that is also based on research and trend analysis. The slightest change of nuance will have a huge impact on the colour’s final expression.

The result is a well-balanced selection of colours, equally timeless and contemporary, depending on the setting they’re placed in. Botanic collection has a 10 year warranty and a high-performance classification - 32 General commercial. Thanks to the construction the floors are a durable choice for many spaces.

What effect does the woven threads of vinyl have on colour?

Lisa: The curved surface of the thread will reflect light and cast shade. When moving across the flooring’s surface the material comes alive; it will shimmer, or flatten out, or grow as the structure changes. It is the structure of the weave that shapes the display of colours from different angles. Looking from one direction sharp colour will appear from the warp thread of the weave, from another angle the mixed (mélange) weft will instead give an impression of colours being more blended.

What does mélange signify in the context of weaving?

Lisa: Mélange is the blend of two or multiple colours and in the Botanic collection we’ve made the weft thread two-coloured. The high contrast between those two colours creates a mélange-coloured surface. When threads in a weave are two-coloured the look becomes that of irregular stripes or a zigzag-like pattern, from a distance the surface becomes more indistinct. Higher contrast between the colours will make the blend’s pattern look more distinct. When adding more colours, or from a longer distance, the colours will blend and create an entirely different colour tone.


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