Introducing Challenger: The High-Performance PVC Fabric

It’s not often that a fabric can be used for a variety of projects across a wide range of markets and still maintain a stylish look. At Ennis Fabrics, we realized that there was a growing need for a vinyl that can not only meet industry specifications for essentially any market, but also offer stylish color options and a soft hand.

What is Challenger?

Challenger is a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabric. What makes it unique is that it has the soft feel of a PU, but retains the durability of a PVC fabric.

The goal with Challenger was to create a vinyl that could be used across all markets without compromising on features. After an extensive development process, we made Challenger to be the versatile fabric that meets the needs of all our customers.

For instance, our marine customers often look for a vinyl that can remain durable even with repeated exposure to salt water and inclement weather, while our contract customers focus more on stain resistance and high abrasion.

Challenger can not only withstand the uses that our marine and industrial, healthcare, contract, and hospitality customers need, but its pleasurable feel and soft texture mean that it’s perfect for use in residential applications as well.

Colors shown (clockwise): 908 Chincilla, 602 Mystic White, 35 Royal, 63 Vanilla, 306 Naval Blue, 91 Dove, 44 Pumpkin Spice, 804 Amber, 54 Citron, 303 Denim Blue, 31 Lagoon, 909 Raven, 102 Champagne, 66 Diamond.

What are the main features of Challenger?

Challenger has four key advantages that make it stand out from other PVC fabric:

  • Soft New Hand technology. Even though Challenger is a PVC, it has the soft feel of a PU. This means that it not only feels luxurious, it can also stand up to heavy use
  • Finished with Endurepel Armour. The second advantage with Challenger is that it is finished with Endurepel Armour, which gives it the protection it needs to stand up to spills, dirt, and other contaminants while being easy to clean. In fact, most spills can be cleaned using water and a soft cloth. If you need more cleaning power, a mild detergent and a soft bristle brush should do the job.
  • Available in colors enriched with Encool technology. A lot of vinyls that are exposed to direct sunlight will heat up, which makes dark colors difficult to use for outdoor seating applications as they become too hot to sit on. Challenger is available in 5 colors that are enriched with Encool technology, which means that these colors will remain 10% cooler when exposed to direct sunlight compared to other vinyls in similar colors.

The Encool colors available are:

  • 35 Royal
  • 306 Naval Blue
  • 308 Midnight Blue
  • 908 Chinchilla
  • 909 Raven
Challenger fabrics (with Encool) top to bottom: 909 Raven, 908 Chinchilla, 35 Royal, 306 Naval Blue, 308 Midnight Blue
  • Great product value. A big advantage that Challenger has is that it doesn’t break the bank–it remains affordable, even though it has a ton of great features and benefits.
  • Environmentally friendly. Among all its other benefits, Challenger is also eco-friendly. Challenger is Prop 65 compliant, FR additive free, REACH compliant, phthalate free, formaldehyde free, heavy metal, and lead free.

With these features, Challenger has an extensive breadth of applications that traditional PVCs don’t necessarily have.

What colors does Challenger come in?

Challenger is available in 40 different color skus to cover all markets, including four distressed, two-tone colors, and four metallic-pearl colors.

How do I clean Challenger?

Challenger’s Endurepel Armour performance finish coating means that it has tough anti-stain, anti-bacterial, and anti-mildew properties, so mild soap and water will clean most stains. If you need to, you can use a soft bristle brush over stubborn areas. When you’re done, be sure to wipe remaining soap residue away with clean water and a soft cloth, and then dry the area with a separate cloth to help maintain the fabric’s longevity.

If you need to use something stronger than soap, Challenger has been tested with common healthcare and other industry standard cleaners with great results.

The image below shows the results of a spot cleaning test using various industry standard cleaners (which are listed in the image caption). For the spot test, we left a chemical on the fabric for 3 hours and then wiped it away with a soft cloth. The results of our test showed that Challenger performed well with all the chemicals we threw at it.

From top left to bottom right: Oxivir TB, Opeis 146 Multi-quat Concentrate, Oxivir TB Wipes, Accel Prevention Wipes, Accel Prevention Concentrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Virox 5 (concentrated), Oxivir Plus Concentrate, Regular Bleach, Accel Fire TB

Sometimes fabric seams can cause an issue with cleaning because the cleaner can penetrate the tiny thread holes and cause damage to the fabric. We tested the same chemicals as above on Challenger fabric that has seams, and once again found that Challenger performed well.

The results of these tests mean that Challenger is poised for success for a variety of different applications.

Innovating For Your Success

The textile industry is constantly changing and evolving, and we need to do so as well. Challenger is just one exciting new product that shows how Ennis Fabrics is on the forefront of fabric innovation.

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