Mehler Texnologies: Manufacturers and Suppliers of Coated Fabrics

Mr. Robert Schwetz
We have already found good acceptability of our fabrics among Indian Architects and tensile fabricators and foresee India as a major market for our membrane for tensile architecture and sun protection,” says Mr. Robert Schwetz, Sales Director, Mehler Texnologies, in an interaction with SKK.

Please tell us something about Mehler Texnologies’ global operations, its manufacturing facilities and their locations.

Mehler Texnologies is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of coated fabrics. Two of the manufacturing facilities are based in Germany and one in Czech Republic. These are state-of-the-art plants equipped with world-class weaving and coating machines.

We are now a part of Low & Bonar Group of UK. L&B is a specialist group of companies in technical/textiles and the floor coverings products segment.

In 2007, L&B Group revenues went up by 39% at £311.8m (2006: £224.5m).

Mehler Texnologies has more than 60 years of experience in development and production and sells more than 55 million sq. mtrs. of these fabrics annually.

Our company has sales units and sales offices all around the world.

What are the areas of applications of Mehler Texnologies products?

In a broader sense, the company’s products can be divided in the following areas of applications: marquees and membrane structures, sun protection, print, sports and camping, industrial, enviromental (containers), boat and pool and tarpaulins.

Is it possible to enumerate one or two success stories, where Mehler’s products have been used in challenging conditions outside India?

One of the success stories is the redevelopment of the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Australia.

The result was the largest tensile membrane structure in Australia and one of the biggest in the world – The Grand Pavilion. The challenge was to design a year-round, multipurpose venue for exhibitions, sporting events, concerts and formal functions. Jackson Architecture, who was appointed to design the site, created the venue as a connecting link between the heritage of the old buildings and the high functional demands of a modern venue. The decision for a tension fabric roof structure was made due to its timeless appearance and irrefutable advantages. The time to erect the building was considerably shorter and the costs were substantially less than for a conventional event hall of the same dimensions.


The Grand Pavilion covers an exhibition space of 8,000m2 and has 10,240m2 of total fabric surface. With dimensions 90m wide by 100m long by 25m high, it is almost half the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The fabric membrane manufactured by Mehler Texnologies is a flame-retardant roof fabric and has a base fabric of closely woven low-wick yarn that is coated with PVC, and then sealed with a protective PVDF lacquer on both sides to reduce dirt adhesion and protect against microbial and fungal attack. The membrane roof has the same approximate life as more conventional steel roofing. It is mechanically spliced from eight segments. Each individual segment measures 1,100m2 and 1,400m.

The other story is of Printed Stadium in Berlin Germany. As the main sponsor of the FIFA Football World Cup 2006, Adidas was eager to create a centerpiece for the event, as well as providing a memorable experience alongside the arena for football fans. To achieve this, the sports goods group used the Square of the Republic in front of the Berlin Parliament building to offer a “printed” stadium – a reduced size reproduction of the Berlin Olympic Stadium printed on banner fabric by Mehler Texnologies.

Thus, for each game approximately 10,000 spectators had the opportunity to enjoy a public viewing in a stadium atmosphere. Erected by Nüssli, a specialist in modular building systems, the structure was composed of an outer covering and roofing made of tear-resistant, weatherproof, PVC-coated polyester fabric. The wind load was countered by distributing 160 tons of ballast within the inner part of the mini arena, which also guaranteed anchorage to the ground. Furthermore, in order to make a detailed reproduction of the Olympic Stadium, 300 photographs of the original were taken and treated for digital printing on the PVC membranes. The firm P.O.S. Hauptmannl, which had been awarded the commission, opted for Valmex® Frontlit II FR by Mehler Texnologies, as a high-strength, flame-retardant banner fabric.

Mehler Texnologies products

By utilising 114 of these banner elements (with each piece 3m wide and 15.2m high), the digitally printed image of the stadium’s sandstone frontage was formed. The two towers and the lateral staircases were added to this to create an impressive 6,870m2 printed surface. The same technique was employed within the arena, with a further 1,800m2 of printed Valmex® Airtex Magic FR, in order to create an exciting ambience. The organiser arranged for a 2.2km long fence to be erected around the whole space, with containers for ticket offices inserted into it. This too, was digitally printed over to create a realistic effect. The fabric used was Valmex® Mesh FR and the whole surface area amounted to 8,500m2.

Where does India fit in Mehler Texnologies market strategy?

India is one of the fast developing economies of the world and there is tremendous activity in the infrastructure sector. We foresee a major market for our membranes for tensile architecture and sun protection. Tensile structures are a good solution for easy and fast installations and have already been utilized in numerous challenging conditions in other countries. Our other product ranges like sun protection, awning and print fabrics are also going to generate good demand in India.

Of the extensive products range, is it possible to give an example of new innovative materials suitable to Indian conditions?

Our high-end PVC coated fabrics branded as Valmex® Mehatop F are one of the materials suitable for tensile architecture. These fabrics are lacquered with PVDF on both sides. These are flame-retardant, UV-resistant and are protected against microbial and fungal attack. They have excellent dirt repellent properties.

These fabrics have already found good acceptability among Indian architects and tensile fabricators.

Our other interesting range suitable for Indian conditions include Sol-Boutique® and Sol-Green® Range for awnings and flashguard® range for sun protection (Mesh fabrics).

We are also trying to promote our high-quality print fabrics in India.

What has been the response of the Indian market towards products marketed by Mehler Texnologies so far?

The response has been phenomenal. You can see some very fine tensile structures with Valmex® fabrics in India such as Wind Sails in Amby Valley, the roof top of IBM Food Court in Bangalore and the Garden Roof Restaurant in Pune. More and more people are now becoming aware of the availability of these fabrics in India and are in touch with us for their different requirements.

What are the plans at hand to promote these products aggressively in the Indian market?

Well, we have already established our sales office in India and our warehousing facility is also now ready. We are trying to make people aware about these fabrics through magazines as well as exhibitions. We very recently organized a full day workshop on tensile architecture at New Delhi, whereby we invited experts from around the world. Many prominent architects and tensile fabricators from all over India attended the workshop.

We have more plans afoot to promote our other products and we shall inform you soon about them.

Deccan Harvest Restaurat

Can you please tell us more about yourself, and have you visited India and what do you like about it?

I am associated with Mehler Texnologies for almost 10 years and fulfilling my responsibilities as Director of Sales in the company. I am a textile engineer by qualification. I have visited India a number of times and found it a very interesting market for our products. I like kebabs here and the spicy Indian gravies. They are simply something to try once you are in India.

Can you give the details of your office and person in charge in India?

We have appointed a National Sales Manager for India, Mr. Faraz Aqil and all enquiries can be directed to him.
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