2 Feb 2009
Well Covered(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 02,2009)
Those familiar with carpets from central Asia can now add a new floor covering to their lists in the form of useful and functional matting from Hong Kong.
Purpose-designed for dust and moisture control, and to prevent slipping and accidents, Union Venture Ltd's "Matgic" mat is a new product from a former specialist in gardening tools.
The company offers "Matgic" for all occasions, outdoors and indoors. "This is the quintessential modern doormat," smiles Director Sam Wong. "We invested in R&D in this area after a client expressed interest in doormats to collect dirt - especially when a person came into the house after gardening."
Looking for something different to the range already on the market, Union Venture went for flexibility and functionality. Nitrile rubber was a leading contender for the backing material, even though it is difficult to manufacture and requires a lot of know-how. "Our product uses machine-washable and tumble-dry-safe rubber," says Mr Wong. "It is also grease-proof and PVC-free."
The product is complex to produce. "We have developed several techniques during the past two years, and now have all the expertise," Mr Wong claims. "We feel good about our product in terms of quality and usefulness. It improves the quality of life, and ensures safer, healthier and cleaner floors that save work. For example, 80% of all indoor dust arrives on the soles of shoes. That's our strength. Other general-purpose mats don't really clean shoes."
The technology used incorporates mono-filaments - the stiffest tiny mono filament with angled cuts that are shaped according to use. "The outdoor version of our mat type comprises an all mono-filament arrangement that results in a scraping action as the shoe traverses the surface of the mat and its high- twist fibres," says Mr Wong.
"Our indoor mats are available in several versions and employ high-strength, high twist and heat-set multi-filament yarn, while we have mat combinations in mono- and multi-filament for different brushing effects," he adds.
Shoe-brushing is an optional function. "When the shoe is pressed firmly into the outdoor mat it gets brushed on the way down and brushed again on the way up. This twin-brushing approach means that the soles of the shoes are really clean," says Mr Wong.
This is called the "super scraper mat", and employs mono-filament nylon 6.6 as the cleaning element. Because the mono-filament is solution-dyed, it will not change colour in the presence of UV light when used outdoors. Furthermore, each filament is uniformly coloured.
"Another version is our super-absorbent mat using a highly absorbent fibre with a capillary or suction effect that extracts moisture or liquid from the soles of shoes," says Mr Wong "There is a demo video at www.matgic.com that is amazing."
Another version is the antimicrobial mat. "Currently available in the market are mats with only about 5% of antimicrobial yarn," Mr Wong says. "In our mats, all of the filaments are antimicrobial and SGS-tested."
Union Venture clearly has its feet well and truly on the floor. "We are also well covered," says Mr Wong.
TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON