large numbers of visitors are drawn to Germany’s coasts during the warmer months. A typical feature of these beaches is the two-seater strandkorb or beach chair. There are rows and rows of these covered seat nooks along the North Sea and Baltic beaches – upholstered in material with a typical striped finish. The material for this is supplied by Continental.
The Stolzenau site has been part of the international technology company since March and specializes in the production of strandkorb upholstery: “We’ve been supplying the manufacturers from northern Germany for more than 20 years,” explains Bruno Lehmann, vice president interior in the Benecke-Hornschuch Surface Group business unit. “Almost every strandkorb on North Sea and Baltic beaches is now upholstered using our material. That’s no accident.”
The tough PVC fabric is especially wear- and weather-resistant – which therefore also includes resistance to salt water and sand. “A convincing sales point for outdoor furniture such as a strandkorb that sees a lot of use,” says Lehmann. “Another thing to add is that we coat the stripes onto the fabric instead of printing them. That substantially enhances the product’s quality level.”
This is made possible by Stolzenau’s “stripe machine” – a one-of-a-kind in the sector. The machine operates with color fields, enabling it to coat the different colors on lengths of sheeting. “The most popular color combinations are, of course, white-and-blue and white-and-red, the usual colors associated with the cult object from the beach,” says Lehmann. “However, we now also get inquiries for more unusual combinations or simply for solid colors – such as all in white.“
The stripe machine ran flat out when a strandkorb storage unit went up in flames last winter. Emergency production of some 1,000 strandkorbs with the corresponding upholstery materials had to be completed as quickly as possible. “We were therefore faced with a major challenge,” says Lehmann. “Ultimately, however, we were able to deliver a quick response and are delighted that holidaymakers won't have to sit on the sand this summer.”