Mulberry Case Study


Mulberry is an iconic manufacturer of luxury leather goods. From humble beginnings as a small family business, it has steadily grown into a global British brand, focusing on handmade handbags with timeless appeal. Mulberry’s products are still handmade in its two factories in Somerset, which are the base for their extensive worldwide distribution. Mulberry handbags and other leather goods are now found and loved all over the world, from European countries to as far afield as Tokyo.

The Challenge

After decades at the same premises, the original heating system was beginning to show its age. Opek was contracted to replace the ageing system with modern, efficient heat pumps. Prihoda UK was brought in to design the fabric ducting that would connect to the new heat pumps and distribute the conditioned air throughout the factory.

The location consists of a large open space with an exposed roof. With a fair distance between the roof and the production areas below, the design of the new ducting would need to focus on ensuring that the supply air could reach the occupied zone throughout the range of expected operating temperatures. It would also have to do this at comfortable air velocities without causing unpleasant draughts that could bother the workers in the building or disrupt the operation of the production equipment.

Industrial ventilation with blue fabric ducts with Mulberry logo

Our Approach

We designed a total of eight ducts to cover the entire area, connecting to the eight new heat pump units. With aesthetics in mind, the ducts were set up to give the appearance of five separate ducts spaced evenly across the length of the room. Three of the apparent ducts are actually six ducts set up in three pairs – each pair looks like a single duct with a unit at each end.

Schematic of fabric diffusers for Mulberry manufacturing centre

We used several rows of fabric nozzles to deliver the air and distribute it around the whole space, giving it enough throw to ensure the air can reach all the required areas.

Mulberry selected our recycled material, an eco-friendly alternative to the classic polyester material with identical performance characteristics but reduced environmental impact. They also chose to use our Prihoda Art service to have Mulberry’s distinctive tree logo printed in white on a blue background. The ducts were fitted with internal aluminium rings to ensure they are open and round even when the fans are switched off.

Sonic-welded fabric nozzles on Prihoda fabric ducts

The Outcome

With the new improvements, Mulberry can expect a more comfortable and pleasant working environment for the building’s occupants. The bespoke distribution produced with the new fabric ducting makes the most of the heat pumps’ increased efficiency. The new system provides air at the right temperature for each area without causing excessive noise, draughts or air currents, creating the ideal conditions for the leatherworking activities of the crew.

The nozzles are made of the same material as the rest of the ducts, giving them the same fire resistance and material properties as the ducting and minimising abrasion damage during washing (as compared to plastic nozzles).

The ducts feature Mulberry’s iconic logo in crisp white on a beautiful blue background, printed using our Prihoda Art service. The design strengthens and unifies the brand’s image within the building, providing the perfect backdrop for any marketing imagery or visitors to the business.

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