History of Italian Porcelain
The use of Italian tile began in the Middle Ages when ceramic tile became a useful architectural medium for the decoration of walls and floors in religious and public building. The tiles, mostly hand decorated majolica, had their origin as a local handcraft. The local artisans, in turn borrowed from the hexagonal terracotta tiles prevalent in the late Roman Empire, and other medieval decorative tiles. By then, Islamic and Moresque tiles had also been introduced to Christian Europe. Italian majolica handcrafters developed new styles, adapted from those types, to fit the changing modes and patterns of interior deco-ration in both public and private buildings.
One of the first tile floors designed by a known artist, was in the chapel of S. Petronio in Bologna in 1487. It was designed by Pietro Andrea da Faenza and the use of the medium by him quickly became known. Afterwards tile usage spread rapidly in religious buildings, palaces and villas throughout Italy. In Southern Italy, artistic ceramic first was used in Sicily, during the Baroque period.
For the first time, tiles were used in the representation of large biblical and other historical scenes. By the beginning of the 19th century, large decorated scenes were no longer in use. The artistic and decorative energies of tile designers and installers become focused on the use of varying and repeating geometric patterns. Many of the design concepts and elements first used in that period remain prevalent today.
After its mass use during the Art Deco Period, ceramic tile became a product primarily manufactured in large industrial complexes. Additionally, because of technological advances, larger and thinner tiles were manufactured with greater strength and endurance. New manufacturing methods permitted the use of glazed floor tiles with high resistance to abrasion.
At the same time, decorative techniques, including hand decoration and silk-screening, evolved quite rapidly. It became virtually impossible to collect or even catalogue all the new designs. In the 1980’s tiles had become, primarily, a mass manufactured, industrial product. Decorative styles had to adapt to the new production methods which emphasized economies of scale. However, the countervailing need for product diversity continues to maintain the artisans and artistry that was the core of the origin of the industry. The artistically and industrially vibrant tile industry continues as a source of pride and economic development for the Bologna region and for the country. Naturalis Porcelain Products
At Naturalis, the respect for people and the environment is a veritable work philosophy, a core value. For this reason, the company sources materials which assist in safeguarding the environment and attests Naturalis as a purveyor of products of eco-sustainable porcelain stoneware.
And it is no coincidence that the chosen factory for production was the first porcelain stoneware manufacturer in the world to obtain the ISO 14001 certification (1998), a testament to the belief that is possible to combine industrial development, quality improvement and environmental sustainability.
Moreover, Naturalis porcelain stoneware products can be used by planners following the guidelines of the Green Building Council and can contribute to the LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) of buildings.
In light of this, the factory made the decision to offer a wide range of porcelain stoneware tiles containing a considerable percentage of recycled material, in order to reduce the exploitation of virgin raw materials and reduce the production of waste.
Some of the commitments in which the factory and Naturalis can benefit customers and end users.
100% recycling of industrial water.
Thanks to the investments done in production machinery and equipment, the factory can purify and recycle the water used during the production process thus reducing the exploitation of this precious natural resource.
100% eco-compatible products manufactured using natural raw materials,
such as clay, quartz, feldspar, kaolin and natural dyes. The absence of harmful substances such as lead and cadmium, eliminates or reduces damage to the health of people working in the production departments or those who live in the spaces clad with our ceramic products.
100% recycling of ceramic waste
deriving from the pre-firing process. Porcelain stoneware tiles that do not comply with our quality standards are not fired but re-introduced into the production process. This reduces the consumption of raw materials.
100% recyclable packaging.
The materials used for the packaging of porcelain stoneware tiles and for the majority of our marketing tools are totally recyclable and made up of paper, paperboard,
wood and plastic.
100% recyclable fired tiles.
Even fired waste tiles that cannot be re-introduced into the production process are recycled and used to produce substrate of roads. Moreover, compared to other finishing materials with a high environmental impact that must be disposed in specific landfills, ceramic waste are inert therefore they do not represent an environmental hazard.
Use of FAO pallets
for transport in accordance with the ISPM-15 FAO STANDARD. The use of this type of pallets reduces the contamination risk for countries importing our
porcelain stoneware tiles.
Minimum release of polluting substances into the atmosphere.
The investments made in avant-garde machinery abating the release of polluting substances and gases reduce the environmental impact of
the production process.
The investments in innovative technologies result in the reduction of the energy need for the firing of tiles to a minimum. Moreover, thanks to an avant-garde co-generation plant, the factory has been able to reduce the consumption of methane gas and energy in compliance with the highest standards of efficiency.
Composite decking products for the residential and commercial markets
Combining FSC® 100% certified hardwood timber with recycled plastic, our composite decking and fencing products offer the traditional look and feel of timber, with the attractive benefits the inclusion of plastic has to offer. For a longer-lasting, low maintenance alternative to timber look no further.
Naturalis Decking – Composite Prime
At Naturalis, we are extremely proud to have formed a unique partnership with composite Prime decking in order to maintain our beliefs and dedication to provide our customers with high quality products which are sustainable, environmentally friendly and ethically sourced.
Composites combine two or more materials with significantly different properties to produce a new product with unique characteristics to the original constituent parts. Our wood plastic composite materials combine both FSC® 100% certified hardwood timber and recycled plastic.
Some of the benefits and advantages of using Composite Prime decking:
Naturally resistant to mould and fungus, the number one cause of rot & decay in traditional timber
Maintaining its aesthetic appeal years after installation, HD Deck requires no staining, treating or painting.
HD Deck will not warp, bend or splinter like traditional timber decking. Rot and decay are a thing of the past
There is the equivalent of more than 3,000 recycled plastic bottle caps per square metre of decking.
Safe and resistant to slippage in wet and dry conditions.
HD Deck is not only comfortable to walk on barefoot, its also safe because of itssplinter free properties!
Did You Know?
Composite Prime has saved the equivalent of 25,000,000 MILK BOTTLES from landfill over the last six months alone
Composite Prime has recycled the equivalent of 280 PLASTIC MILK BOTTLES per square metre of decking
Composite Prime have saved the equivalent of 300,000,000 PLASTIC BOTTLE CAPS over the last six months alone
We recycled the equivalent of 3,000 BOTTLE CAPS per square metre of decking.