In the 1950s the use of plastic coatings in the textile industry was purely practical, and often referred to as ‘oil cloth’. It was prized for its durability and waterproof qualities, but its colours tended to fade in the sun and in time the material became brittle. By the 1960s, however, scientific advance led to new types of polymers, new types of machines, and new names such as faux leather and leatherette. These became standard in the automotive industry for door panels and seating. But the advances did not end there. New technology meant that instead of stiff, solid coatings, the polymer coatings were ‘blown’ in ovens to create what is now known as expanded or foam vinyl. These had a softness that could rival the most highly prized leather.

In the 1970s and 1980s with continued innovation, PVC-coated textiles came to be used in ever more upmarket environments, and increasing importance began to be placed on design as well as quality. Initially the focus continued to be on achieving the perfect replacement for leather, and a patented process even allowed our fabrics to be impregnated with the smell of real leather. In time, however, rather than being seen as simply a leather substitute, coated textiles became prized products in their own right. The CMI group, that was originally based at three sites across the UK before its international expansion, was at the forefront of many of these changes, as one former director noted:

"In the eighties and nineties we were at the forefront of R&D, and in a joint research project with a Swedish polymer producer, a German machine producer, and one of the automotive giants, we were in a race against the Japanese to produce more environmentally and recyclable products such as polyolefins."

Although the insatiable push for improvement often came from the powerful automotive sector, any technological improvement was also incorporated into the vinyl fabrics we produced for the hospitality, health and retail sectors. In addition to the highest quality, our aim has always been to create fine designs and styles that would enhance the products of our customers, and that is the endeavour we continue to uphold today.



The most effective way to achieve environmental sustainability is to manufacture products whose raw materials not only conform to the stringent standards laid down by the EU and US governments, but whose lifespan is maximised over rival products ensuring that the end product also has a long lifespan. To that end our products can be made REACH compatible and conform to all the SVHC requirements. RoHs compatibility and other stringent requirements are also produced, and our raw material suppliers are required to update us on any changes in composition and processing.


With an average production of over two million metres per month, our products have long been a staple of the automotive sector, and we produce to the highest standards as specified by the likes of Ford and Honda. We have also been at the forefront of research into recyclable alternatives such as polyolefins and TPUs. Our state-of-the-art lab ensures that anti-fogging, cold crack, and other vital qualities are strictly adhered to.


Our marine ranges are specially formulated with an additional surface coating that maximises colour fastness under direct sunlight, even in extreme temperatures. They also have extreme resilience to violent downward temperature swings, with cold crack protection of up to minus 40 degrees centigrade. In addition their unique formulation protects the fabric against mildew and other mould that often damages outdoor furniture.


Our fabrics have become the product of choice for contract furniture manufacturers in the UK, Europe as well as the US. In addition to maintaining the highest quality standards, our design team works tirelessly to produce new innovative ranges, transforming the appearance of vinyl fabrics so that the breadth of seating applications continues to expand in all sectors, from hotel chains and hospitals, to Olympic venues and transport hubs.
We are able to produce fabric to meet all contract furniture standards including French, German, Italian, British and US norms. For highly technical and specialist norms our lab will be only too happy to assist.


Our range of defence materials is extensive and includes infra-red absorbent fabric, kevlar coated fabrics, high-strength coated Corduras, as well as anti-static materials.

Heavy Industry

Whether the requirement is for traditional hard-wearing solid vinyl, expanded vinyl, vacuum forming PVC or pour-in-place sheets, CMI has decades of experience and has catered the best known off-road brands including the likes of JCB. We have also developed a unique reverse side coating that minimises 'bubbling' caused by minor temperature swings during the vacuum forming process.


In collaboration with Akzo-Nobel and Akcros Chemicals we have developed the Promedical anti-microbial additive that has been consistently shown to counter the spread of dangerous bacteria including well-publicised strains of superbugs. Specialist coatings also provide high level abrasion resistance, and we also produce multi-stretch fabrics for healthcare theatre tables that can be difficult to upholster. Promedical is also Oeko-tex certified and has eliminated all traces of phthalates. Phthalates in our plasticiser and other additives have also been either entirely eliminated or reduced to the bare minimum.
We also produce specialist materials for radiology departments.

Premium quality products with unparalleled customer support


Join us!

We recognise that our greatest asset is our staff, and we are always on the lookout for motivated employees of all ages to join our enterprising team. We also make a point of valuing experience and enabling flexiworking, and for that reason have no age limit on staff appointments. If you would like to offer your services to our company, please fill out the form below.

When Quality Means Everything



Unit 2, Vantage Court
Riverside Business Park
United Kingdom


+44 (0) 01282 420021


+44 (0) 01282 617488

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