Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric AB is effectively a fabric sealant with anti-bacterial properties that is effective in killing 99% of bacteria. It can be used on all kinds of fabric materials and protects against water-based stains, creating a hydrophobic effect.
Gtechniq’s claims aren’t wrong in my opinion. It was extremely easy to use – just spray on and wait for it to dry – and delivered more than acceptable levels of hydrophobicity.
The product does leave a strong chemical smell which can last for a few days, so be prepared for this but rest assured it will disappear.
Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric: Testing Process
For my test, I brought the car mats indoors as it was freezing cold outside and I think being in a warmer environment would help the product to dry more evenly on the fabric.
I wanted to see the level of protection that is applied to the fabric. I figured that the floor mats are the hardest worked area of any interior, so this would be a really good test.
Ease of Use
Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric has got to be one of the easiest products to use that I have ever reviewed. It takes seconds to apply as a spray-on product which really can’t go wrong in my opinion.
The instructions do suggest spraying from a distance of around 15cm and ensure that the surface is clean and completely dry before application. They also suggest that you should make sure that the surface is sufficiently saturated with the product as a second coat won’t be possible due to the first coat repelling any moisture, stopping a second coat from drying, so I made sure to completely cover the matt on application.
If you are applying it to fabric seats inside the car, I wouldn’t think you may need to remove the seats to allow the spray to get into all the crevices. However, this is not an essential step in the process.
I found that my car mats had completely dried after application within one hour, admittedly I did carry out my test indoors so I would allow a little longer than this if you are applying the spray to the car’s fabric outside, and the instruction does say to allow 24 hours to completely dry.
There was no visible change to the fabric during application as the liquid is clear, however, the smell is extremely strong and has a very chemical like odour. It was quite overpowering if I’m honest and the smell travelled throughout my house. Even after the mats had dried I could still smell the chemical odour and the smell didn’t disappear for a good 3-4 days so I would prepare for this.
Gtechniq claims that the product will last between 6-12 months depending on how ‘used’ the surface is. I would suggest that if the carpet is in a worn condition then you won’t get the best results from the product. Luckily my mats are in decent condition with minimal wear so I’m interested to see just how long it remains on the fabric.
If the hydrophobic effect lasts 12 months then this will be an extremely good product, however, I can’t give a definite answer to the longevity as yet because I have only just applied it. For now, I will base my score on their quoted timeframe, but I will monitor this and keep the review updated.
One claim they make is that wash tests reveal the performance level remained at full capacity even after being washed on a 40-degree cycle, and still performed well after 5 washes.
Again without washing my mats it would be difficult for me to confirm this but it is something worth revisiting in the future as if the claims are true then this would make it a pretty special fabric sealant indeed.
I was pleasantly surprised with the number of hydrophobic properties that the Gtechniq Smart Fabric achieved on the fibres of the mat. I waited a good few hours for the solution to fully cure and the mat to dry then I decided to pour water onto the mat and see how it reacted.
As you can tell from the pictures, I decided to separate the matt into two sections, half had been treated and half hadn’t so I figured this would be the best way of showing the difference.
The treated half of the matt seemed to make the water bead on impact and the water beads just rolled straight off the fabric whilst the untreated half just soaked the water up.
Gtechniq does state that the fibres should be sufficiently saturated on the application as a second application won’t be possible after the first has cured as the first application would repel any further liquid and stop it from drying.
What’s In the Product?
Gtechniq Smart Fabric AB contains their trademark Biocote antimicrobial technology. This is effective at killing 99% of bacteria which in current times is definitely worth using for peace of mind.
The ingredients included in Smart fabric are as follows-
- Propan-2-OL which is basically Isopropyl Alcohol and is used as the carrier ingredient and makes up 70-90% of the bottle. I think this explains the very strong odour that is left behind when used!
- Zirconium Tetrabutanolate is a liquid compound that enables the chemical impregnation process on fabrics, giving it hydrophobic properties. It is extremely flammable and can irritate the skin, so for this reason I would highly recommend that you use rubber gloves, a mask and safety glasses when applying Smart Fabric.
- Zinc pyrithione is an antifungal chemical that inhibits the division of fungal cells, effectively preventing and removing the chances of mould from being produced within the fabric.
Value for Money
Gtechniq Smart Fabric AB certainly isn’t the cheapest fabric sealant available. Prices range from £14.99 for 250ml, £24.95 for 500ml, £47.95 for 1ltr and £195.00 for 5ltrs.
Whilst there are other cheaper alternatives available, I didn’t find any that have the antibacterial function included, so I think this is a really good addition to the product, but whether or not it justifies the high price is down to personal preference, I guess.
For my review, I purchased the 500ml bottle for £24.95.
Gtechniq doesn’t give a recommended amount of product to use per application as it is a spray. They merely state that for best results, the fabric must be sufficiently saturated.
So for me to give my best indication of how much will be needed, I can tell you that I managed to completely coat all the carpets including the boot and floor mats in a 7 seat 4×4 and a 4 seat coupe and still had around an inch of product left in the bottle.
As a rough estimate, I would equate this to £12.50 per car which in my opinion isn’t too bad if their claims of 6-12 months protection are true.
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the bottle supplied. The plastic was very robust and the spray head was sturdy and comfortable to use. The nozzle also produced a satisfying amount of spray with a strong mist effect and has an on/off nozzle for storage.
Gtechniq was originally founded in 2001 by Drew Gill, a Quantum Physicist by trade.
They were originally known for their paint protection products to begin with and gradually expanded into the world of car detailing products, creating and supplying some of the best car products available today.
Their products range from all-purpose cleaners, snow foams, shampoos right through to specialist ceramic coatings and they are generally known for being at the higher end of the market in terms of quality.
Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric: Final Thoughts
My conclusion on the Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric AB, is that it is a very capable fabric sealant from what I have seen so far. Obviously, I will need to come back and revisit the longevity of it, however, I did see some really good hydrophobic effects when I carried out the water-repellency test.
The one downfall of the product for me was the overbearing chemical smell that just seemed to linger for days. Yes, it does eventually disappear, however, it did start to sting the nostrils when I got into the car and became quite annoying after a while.
It would be great if they could somehow overcome this issue, however, I think due to the nature of the product and it’s intended purpose, the use of strong chemicals is unavoidable.
I would certainly use Smart Fabric again in the future, and I’m yet to see how long it lasts, but from the results I’ve seen so far, I think it is a good fabric sealant from a reputable company.
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