Designers“ appetite for metallic look“ sparks interest in fiberglass

If you missed the fashion analyses from the 2011 celebrity red carpet season, the summary version is: metallic is in. Fashion mavens are focusing their attention on celebs sporting clothing, shoes, ha…

If you missed the fashion analyses from the 2011 celebrity red carpet season, the summary version is: metallic is in. Fashion mavens are focusing their attention on celebs sporting clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories made from metallic-look fabric. But what does this metallic fashion trend have to do with fiberglass? What happens on the red carpet has a lot to say about design trends for everything from luggage to sporting goods. Designers from almost every segment of the consumer product landscape are looking for ways to “metallicize”. One solution for manufacturers looking to bring the glint of metal to various products is Barracuda(R), a new aluminized glass fabric developed by BGF Industries in Greensboro, North Carolina. A company spokesperson explained that the material is made from fiberglass fabric with an aluminum finish. They claim this gives it the strength and flexibility of industrial glass fabric, and that, when combined with a resin, it has a 3-D sheen that looks like woven steel. Barracuda was developed for product applications that require aesthetic appeal and strength. The material is lightweight and flexible enough to mold to the shape of just about any hard surface, according to the manufacturer. When combined with its strength and durability, the company claims that designers will find an endless list of potential product applications.