By Janet Bealer Rodie, Contributing Editor
Contract fabric manufacturer Carnegie, Rockville, Centre, N.Y., introduced its first generation of
Xorel® high-performance polyethylene (PE) woven panel, wallcovering and upholstery fabrics in 1981,
and from the start, the brand was hailed as an environmentally friendly alternative to vinyl.
Carnegie made a commitment in the mid-1980s to have a completely polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free line
of fabrics. With Xorel, it was able to achieve that goal, and today Carnegie claims to be the only
interior finishes company to be completely PVC-free.
Xorel offers other environmental benefits as well, as it is solution-dyed and carries all of
its performance benefits inherently, so it requires no finishes or coatings to provide those
benefits. It is highly durable, withstanding one million double rubs in testing; impervious to many
stains; easily cleaned; antibacterial; and flame-resistant. In all, more than 60 tests have been
conducted on the fabric to prove its performance benefits, and it carries a seven-year performance
Carnegie’s Biobased Xorel® is derived 60- to 85-percent from sugarcane.
In 2007, Xorel became the first textile to earn Cradle to Cradle Silver certification, and
it achieved Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Indoor Advantage Gold certification — the
market’s highest possible indoor air quality rating — in 2008. Since 2010, Carnegie has provided a
responsible return program under which used Xorel fabrics may be returned to the company to be
recycled or consumed in a waste-to-energy process. Over the years, Carnegie has rolled out various
iterations of the fabric, and several have won awards at exhibitions such as NeoCon® and from
architectural and interior design-oriented groups.
The newest Xorel iteration is Biobased Xorel, a high-performance PE fabric that is 60- to
85-percent derived from sugarcane. According to Carnegie President Cliff Goldman, the biobased
version — the first biobased high-performance interior textile in the market — is identical to the
traditional version in both looks and performance, and it also qualifies for the responsible return
program. It has received Cradle to Cradle Gold certification thanks to its biobased content, and
its use in building and interior design projects contributes points toward Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED™) certification of those projects. At NeoCon 2013, Biobased Xorel
brought Carnegie yet another Best of NeoCon Innovation Award.
“We knew there was a bright future for biobased polymers, so seven years ago we embarked on
an exploration to create a biobased Xorel product,” Goldman said. “Our goal was a polyethylene yarn
from plant-based resources instead of fossil fuels, to ensure a significantly reduced carbon
According to Carnegie, production of Biobased Xorel’s sugarcane feedstock emits less carbon
than corn or beet production, and for every ton of sugarcane used in the fiber’s production, 2.5
tons of carbon are captured and sequestered.
Biobased Xorel is available in six designs and 91 colorways.
Biobased Xorel is currently available in six designs — including three existing designs,
two new embroideries and one embossed design — and 91 colorways.
For more information about Biobased Xorel®, contact Carnegie +800-727-6770;