In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different – Coco Chanel.
Much like the clothes we wear, our homes aim to reflect the people we really are or aspire to be.
The work of interior designers has played a large part in this through the centuries, with each taking full advantage of the increasing range of materials at their disposal to create innovative pieces.
From the mid-20th century onwards, technological advances in plastics, coatings and textiles have transformed the way we dress our homes, blending art with utility, and bringing innovative designs to the mass market.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has played a large part in this, with its opaque, smoothing and brilliant white characteristics enabling the creation of some of the most iconic pieces of furniture on the planet.
One of the issues with recycled wood stems from its uneven colouring and texture. Here, TiO2 coatings are used to blend and add smoothness.
Its bright appearance means that, when used in paint or coatings applied to wood or wood-containing materials, it provides a consistent, smooth finish.
This allows designers to blend together various sources and species of wood, which can then be coated by paint, plastic foil or by laminate application, all potentially containing TiO2.
Plastic and laminate applications also allow for printing of wood grains or other graphics onto white décor paper or white plastic foil, giving more creative décor choices to designers.
Textile and leather furniture
Within textiles and other fabrics, TiO2 plays an important role in the delustering of man-made fibres – with anastase TiO2 pigments used on polyester, polyamide, acrylic, viscose, rayon – as well as cellulose acetate fibres.
Apart from the pure aesthetics associated with TiO2 pigments, nanoform TiO2 is used for UV protection, boosting the traditionally low ultraviolet resistance of materials, thereby extending useful life.
A number of iconic designs in production today feature TiO2: