Two new covers that make a statement
Hövding offers a range of covers so you can personalise your Hövding. The covers are as much about design and fashion as function and safety. A cover keeps your Hövding clean, and the design enhances your visibility, making the cover a smart extension of Hövding’s basic concept of optimum protection for cyclists in traffic. We launched two exciting new covers in August 2021: Brazil and Spectrum.
Inside the head of a cover designer
Stina Malmros is the product developer for the cover and chassis textile areas at Hövding. This means that she is responsible for developing the designs for new covers and taking them from the drawing board to finished products. Stina has always been interested in the technology behind various fabric products and likes to dig down into pattern design and sewing techniques. For her, the design is the cherry on the icing. Stina has solid training from various colleges of sewing and design in Malmö, Östra Grevie and Borås, and her career has involved both design and pattern design with small companies in the clothing industry and a long period of employment with Gant Home:
“I was attracted by Hövding’s complexity and the challenges inherent in the textile components.”
– Hövding advertised for a seamstress and, although I did not see myself as one, I applied for the job. It was a stroke of luck. During the interview, I realised that the job involves much more than just sewing. I was attracted by Hövding’s complexity and the challenges inherent in the textile components.
Since then, Stina has been an important cog in Hövding’s development. When a technically advanced product such as Hövding has textile components, it is essential to know precisely how fabrics behave and how they can be used to guarantee function and reinforce the product as a whole.
– What makes my job so exciting is that it involves both design and the underlying textile technology, which is my passion. It is quite simply the best of both worlds, says Stina with a smile.
From design to finished product
When we design new covers at Hövding, we start by deciding what we want to say with them, what their theme will be. Should they be an explicitly fashionable product? Or more functional and perhaps sporty? Should they be unisex or take a particular direction? Stina explains:
– When we have decided on a theme, we start to look at various materials and fabrics and then we visit the international textiles shows in Paris and Munich to find suitable materials and interesting new products. Then we make a selection and check that the fabrics we have chosen meet all the legal and internal requirements for safety and durability, etc.
“At the same time, people take the prototype on test rides so we are certain that it is comfortable.”
The fabrics are then tested by being washed repeatedly so that we are certain that they will last. If anything needs to be printed on the fabric, we wash a test print to ensure the print can tolerate wear. The next step is to test various solutions for the design and sew prototypes, first in our own studio and then with the factory in Latvia. At this stage, we have a finished cover that is tested again in the washing machine. At the same time, people take the prototype on test rides so we are certain that it is comfortable. And, of course, we carry out crash tests to ensure that the Hövding is triggered correctly with the new cover. When everything has been checked and is ready, we press the button and production can begin. The most recent results were presented in August 2021: Brazil and Spectrum.
Brazil – an explosion of tropical colour
Brazil offers a brilliantly coloured, lively tropical pattern. The pattern is applied individually to each cover, giving each cover its own unique expression. Stina says:
– “The appearance of the Brazil covers varies as the fabric has a fairly high rate of pattern repeat. The pattern also has no large dark areas, which means the pattern is all over the cover. There are also two small parrots in the pattern which are visible on some covers, but not all.”
The basic material is 100% polyester as this is the best material when fabric needs to be printed with clear, strong colours. The fabric type is jacquard, a woven fabric chosen especially because it is glossy and produces a luxurious feel. The jacquard fabric itself has a camouflage pattern with various structures in different areas. This means that the printed fabric has a varied surface that retains the shimmering elements and makes it alive.
– I think that the Brazil fabric is fantastic. In this case, the fabric itself creates the entire impression as the cover has no other details and I love the way it really makes a statement.
“The fabric is essentially grey but changes with the light, creating a shimmering effect in all the colours of the rainbow.”
Spectrum – when you really want to be seen
Spectrum has a shimmering metallic, rainbow-reflective effect. The fabric is essentially grey but changes with the light, creating a shimmering effect in all the colours of the rainbow. Stina talks about the creative process, which had barely started before it was finished:
– “The first proposal is sometimes the best. That was the case with Spectrum. It felt right from the start and we quickly agreed to take it further.”
A reflective material of the type used for Spectrum consists of a base fabric, glue and micro glass beads. Different processing methods are needed to produce the fabric. These include several coatings and hot pressing to make the surface as durable as possible. All reflective materials are naturally sensitive to wear and we therefore recommend hand washing to maintain the reflective capacity as long as possible. We have also placed a design detail in the form of a small label on the back of Spectrum. Stina explains:
– As the fabric is monochrome, we realised that the cover needed some form of label on the back. The material is called Viridis. It’s a unique bio-based material made from maize. We have used Viridis before, but in a ‘leather’ version. This has a matter finish, which goes very well with the fabric of Spectrum, concludes Stina.