Richlite is an incredibly durable material made from paper, ideal for a variety of uses. Developed over 70 years ago for industrial tooling, Richlite has evolved into a premium surface material used by aerospace, extreme sports, marine, food prep and the architecture and design community.
The innovative surface material’s mottled appearance, honed look, leathery feel and warmth complement a range of interior and exterior applications including furniture, cabinetry, shopfitting, cladding, consumer products, signage, retail displays, restaurant tables, bar tops, and worktops.
Nonporous, heat and water resistant, the paper composite material can withstand everything from food preparation environments to the harsh outdoors. Whether selected for its natural appeal, durability, strength, sustainability or its unique look and feel, Richlite outperforms and outlasts conventional materials.
HOW IT'S MADE
Made from many layers of high quality decorative paper, Richlite’s surface texture comes from the natural variation in the way fibres lay within the paper. These rolls of paper are saturated with a thermosetting resin before they are cut to length and laid up by hand. Each sheet is carefully stacked, alternating the direction of paper for the ultimate balance and stability. The stacks are pressed under even heat and pressure, which bonds the layers of paper together and cures the resin. The panels are then slowly cooled to produce a solid, stable sheet material.
Richlite’s colour comes from a combination of the colour of the paper and the deep amber tone of the resin. No dyes are added to the material, and all of the paper is either post consumer waste recycled or sustainably harvested FSC® Certified paper (FSC® C007915).
The Northwest Collection is available in earth tone colours with names that reflect natural and historic landmarks near the manufacturing facility.
Cascade layers Northwest colours to create multicolour edges, and& Stratum combines Richlite Black Diamond with a rapidly renewable amber edge grain bamboo core. These layered materials can be easily machined for a striking contrast of colour and texture.
The Heritage Collection consists of the first colours that Richlite started making in 1943 and represent the company's varied history. All of these colours are NSF approved and can be used as Skatelite.
Like wood, the colours develop a natural patina as they age; becoming darker, warmer and more dramatic. The through colour material can be refinished and restored like new, or repurposed in a completely new application.
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Richlite is unlike stone or solid surface and works very similar to an incredibly dense hardwood and can be milled, sanded, routed and joined. Richlite can be pressed to order from 3mm to 75mm in a range of sheet sizes up to 3660mm x 1525mm.
Richlite is shipped from the factory with a mill surface which can be used raw in some applications. Some applications need to be processed by a fabricator to create a leathered or honed surface for the best performance.
We support Richlite by offering architects, designers and fabricators, samples, product and technical information and supplying the material. Surface Matter stock the most common colours and thicknesses in the UK, but custom cascade or thicknesses to the millimetre can be made to order. You can find a range of large samples and live applications in our space in London Fields.