Technology means there's no limit to designs Bolon's factory can produce, says creative director Marie Eklund

Dezeen looks behind the scenes at Bolon's factory in Sweden to see how the brand's woven-vinyl flooring is produced in the next instalment of our exclusive Bolon at Heart video series.

Bolon's Jacquard loom
Bolon's woven flooring is produced at the company's factory in Sweden. Photograph by Bolon

All Bolon flooring is produced at the company's factory located in a small town called Ulricehamn in Sweden's textile-producing region.

The heart of the production facility is the weavery, where thousands of threads and strips of vinyl are woven together to create the surface material of the flooring.

Lars and Monica Eklund, senior advisors at Bolon.
Lars and Monica Eklund, senior advisors at Bolon

"We have two different kinds of looms in the weavery – shaft looms and Jacquard looms," explains Lars Eklund, who ran the company together with his wife Monica before his daughters Annica and Marie Eklund took over in 2003.

Bolon's Jacquard loom
The weavery is the heart of Bolon's production facility

Bolon has used shaft looms for many years to create flooring with a simple pattern or block colour, but has invested in a number of state-of-the-art Jacquard machines over the last five years to produce more complex designs.

Unlike a shaft loom, where the vinyl yarn is controlled in groups, Jacquard machines control each vertical warp thread individually, which enables much more detailed and complex patterns to be produced.

Bolon shaft loom
Shaft looms are used to create more simple patterns

"Marie and Annica wanted us to help them with the designs, so we invested in the Jacquard looms" Lars Eklund explains.

Marie Eklund adds: "Today, I would say we don't have any limit – we have so many possibilities to design flooring."

Torbjörn Klaesson
Torbjörn Klaesson, chief supply chain and technical officer at Bolon

Bolon's Missoni collection features the fashion house's iconic zigzag pattern and is produced on Jacquard looms, as is the company's weave-on-demand service Bolon By You, which launched last year.

"The Jacquard looms allow us to make the Bolon by You collection," explains Torbjörn Klaesson, Bolon's chief supply chain and technical officer.

"This makes it possible for the customer to make personalised flooring. They have several hundred combinations that they can choose between."

Bolon Jacquard loom
Jacquard looms allow more complex patterns to be produced, such as Bolon's Missoni collection

After the surface material has been woven, it is heated so that the vinyl threads bind to each other and then laminated onto a backing made from from partially recycled material.

In 2015, Bolon invested in an on-site recycling facility, which takes offcuts from Bolon's production process – as well as waste material from other companies – to create the backing material.

"The backing provides stability for the product," explains Klaesson. "We actually manufacture the backing ourselves in our recycling plant."

Marie Eklund adds: "We add up to 33 per cent waste material back into our product."

Bolon Jacquard loom
Bolon's Missoni collection features the fashion house's iconic zigzag pattern

Once the backing has been laminated onto the woven material, the flooring comes off the production line in either a roll – which is shipped directly to customers – or large sheets that are then cut up to make tiles.

"We can either create rolls, or we can create sheets, which we can die cut to make into tiles," says Klaesson. "The tiles are boxed and shipped to customers all over the world."

Bolon directors Marie and Annica Eklund
Bolon directors Marie and Annica Eklund

This movie was filmed by Dezeen for Bolon in Ulricehamn, Sweden. All photography used in this story is by Dezeen, unless otherwise stated. Music is by Tobias Lindén of Fry Communications.

This movie is the third in a 12-part series exploring Bolon's history, design and technology as well as documenting its new product launches in 2017.

Watch all the movies at: