NBAA Convention News

Townsend lands exclusive deal with 3M

 - September 19, 2007, 1:43 PM

Townsend Leather (Booth No. 8351) recently announced an exclusive agreement to offer 3M Scotchgard Protector treatment for its range of aircraft interior leathers. The Protector treatment prevents soiling and staining, extending the life of the leather while keeping it soft and supple.

The Scotchgard product will be applied at Townsend’s 110,000- sq-ft factory in Johnstown, N.Y. The deal follows a year spent testing the company’s leathers for resistance to stains by a variety of substances including wine, ink, newspaper print and grease.

The 3M Scotchgard laboratories will continue to provide quality controls for the treatment process.

“There is no other leather upholstery supplier in the market offering the next-generation protection properties that we now provide,” claimed Townsend president and CEO Terry Kucel. He said that the Scotchgard protection lasts the life of the leather and contains no silicone. It also meets all FAA requirements for flame-retarding performance.

Creative Designs
Townsend has been in the leather business for more than 40 years and offers 25 different collections of cowhide and lambskin. The family-owned company recently introduced the Toro hair-on cowhide, offering naturally textured finishes for so-called “spirit of the wild west” interior designs.

According to Townsend director of marketing Geoff Peck, the company’s embossing and hand-rubbing techniques have given aircraft interior designers freer range to get creative inside the cabin. He told NBAA Convention News that even owners of smaller jets now aspire to a high degree of customization, and Townsend can achieve this with a range of special finishes that give the leathers greater depth and textures (such as the metallic or antique appearances that can be achieved through hand-rubbing). Nonetheless, tans, browns, taupes and grays are still the most popular colors for business jet interiors.

Standard delivery lead-times are three to four weeks, increasing to around five weeks if a client wants a customized texture (such as embossing) or a specially mixed dye.

Townsend has its own design department to help aircraft interior contractors get the results they want from the materials.

Peck said Townsend’s embossing techniques have made customization more affordable and flexible in the aircraft completion and refurbishment process. The company can match or closely interpret patterns and logos that customers ask to see in the cabin design. Projects have included company logos and personal designs.