Akzo Nobel has developed a sensorial, textile-effect paint which can reproduce the look – and feel – of suede, leather, or woven fabric. Known as Alpha® Tacto, it’s the world’s first decorative paint product capable of providing two distinct effects, depending on how it is applied to the wall.
Marketed under the Sikkens® brand name, Alpha Tacto introduces a multi-sensory element into the whole concept of interior design, because the unique product isn’t just visually attractive – producing a cloudy, or leather effect finish – but touching or stroking it also gives the same tactile, soft touch sensation which is typical of fabric.
The latest in a long line of coating innovations from Akzo Nobel, the secret behind Alpha Tacto lies in the application method. Using an ordinary brush causes the leather effect, while using the specially designed Alpha Tacto tool (made of coarse plastic hairs) creates a finish which mimics the look and feel of textile.
“Gone are the days when there was only room for one decorative design trend,” said Rudy van der Meer, Akzo Nobel’s Board Member responsible for Coatings. “In the 1960s it was psychedelics, and in the 1970s greens, oranges and browns dominated. But the market is much more diverse now and real innovation is crucial if you want your products to make an impact. Alpha Tacto fits the bill perfectly. It’s a unique, trend-setting product which architects and designers have been getting very excited about.”
Added Leif Abildgaard, General Manager of Akzo Nobel’s Decorative Coatings Europe business: “People are using their tactile senses more and more. This has led to an increased variation in the use of shape, surface texture and gloss in architecture and design. Interior designers and architects are always looking for different products and aesthetical effects and, anticipating this trend, the Alpha Tacto concept offers the opportunity to introduce a multi-sensory element into interior decorating.”
Used in combination with a specially developed primer (Alpha BL Grond), which was based on new binder technology, Alpha Tacto is available in 33 colors, with the palette of shades inspired by nature having been developed in conjunction with leading Italian architects. Only on sale in Italy at present, plans are being made to launch the product in several European markets. Patent applications for the whole system have been submitted to the European Patent Office.
Alpha Tacto is the latest in a series of innovative products to be developed by Akzo Nobel Coatings. Last year saw the introduction of Tinova VX – the world’s first waterborne exterior wood paint to have a unique high solids content (about 65 percent). The Company also launched Maskin® in 2004, a unique temporary car paint which can be peeled off after use without risk of damage to the original finish, while other groundbreaking products such as marble effect paint Stucco Antico® and Crown IndicoatTM – a topcoat which goes on pink and turns white as it dries – have also been introduced.