K.D. BraininFounder & Director

Tutorial No. 120: Manufacture & build quality

Blog: 7.02.2017

Active Birth Pools are handmade to order in the United Kingdom by Design & Form Ltd.

Our specialism is applying physiological design principles to the development of water birth pools and associated equipment.

Design & Form’s specialism is materials & manufacturing.

We have both been at the forefront of our respective industries for over 30 years and bring an unrivalled wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to the creation of our products.

When it came time to talk about material and manufacture we thought it best to let Design & Form do the talking…

Our single most important value is quality

  • The quality of our designs determines the comfort, function and beauty of our baths.
  • The quality of our craftsmanship is key to their reliability and value.
  • The quality of our materials confers unique and distinctive benefits, while the quality of our service means customers can enjoy meningful support at every stage – from design to delivery and beyond.
An Active Birth Pool being hand finished

Designing Top Quality Baths

Design & Form has been designing superior quality, luxury baths for over a quarter of a century.

We select our designers on the basis of their vision, their track record, their creative originality and – most especially – their shared commitment to delivering the best possible bathing experience.

In all our bath designs, we seek to combine good taste, elegance, comfort and functionality.

Whether traditional or contemporary, our baths are characterised by classic styling and a real fixation on detail.

The most important part of the design process – to which we pay considerable attention – is customer research.

Some of our bath designs have taken literally years to perfect.

They are the product of interviews, client suggestions, physical trials and other measures.

Every new model is shaped by feedback and painstaking discussions about the best possible marriage of comfort, function and style.

Though the process can be slow, it’s well worth taking the time to get things right; we believe the resulting baths are the very best of their kind.


Crafting Quality Baths

Craftsmanship is the key to realising our creative visions.

When the company was first established, a deliberate choice was made to locate it in an area with a strong tradition of hand-crafting.

This gave us the foundation we needed and ensured that quality always remained our hallmark.

Since then – over a period of more than 30 years – our workforce has grown and developed.

Through training and apprenticeships, we have sustained that vital expertise. Indeed, some of our staff now represent a second generation of local families who continue to work as part of the Design & Form team.

We have specialists in all the key stages of production, from pattern and tool-making to finishing, and they possess the critical skills necessary for installing some of the world’s most advanced, tailored hydrotherapy systems.

FICORE® – the Bath Reinvented

It’s important to note that many of the characteristics of our baths would simply be impossible to achieve without the use of our proprietary composite, FICORE®.

The fabric from which a bath is made matters considerably, not only aesthetically but in terms of its potential for design, and fundamental characteristics such as comfort, safety, cleanliness and durability.

We developed our most-used composite, FICORE® (pronounced F-EYE- CORE), over 25 years ago.

Crucially, it is stronger and more rigid than any other non-metal or stone bath material.

Unlike either, however, it retains water heat very efficiently, it is not excessively heavy and nor is it liable to chip.

A cross section of FICORE® composite

FICORE® is a solid composite, not a laminate or bonding, which means its various components are fused together in the manufacturing process.

It will therefore not delaminate nor come apart, and it affords a number of significant advantages when compared to standard bath materials.

Design benefits:

  • Because of its integral strength, baths made from FICORE® need no metal or wooden reinforcements and no chassis. They will not shift, creak or ‘give’.
  • FICORE® permits more sharply defined details and tighter angles.
  • FICORE® permits us to modify the external dimensions of rectangular baths and numerous other features such as depth.
  • Any bath built in FICORE® can be supplied in any colour or combination of colours.
  • FICORE® can be offered in most finishes, such as matt.
The rim of this bath shows the sharpness of detail achievable with FICORE®.

Functional benefits:

  • The insulating qualities of FICORE® keep the water hot over six times longer than acrylic and over twelve times longer than vitreous enamelled metal.
  • For bathers who enjoy a long soak, this can translate into extended relaxation and appreciable savings on water and energy.
  • Its tactile surface always remains warm to the touch.

Installation benefits:

  • FICORE® is immensely strong and resilient, but not heavy.
  • It requires no framework to assemble or install.


  • The hard surface of FICORE® means that it can easily be kept clean of normal dirt and grease. Any build-up of hard water stains and soiling can, if necessary, be wiped clean with a soft, wet, warm cloth and a cleaning agent such as Cif or Ecover. Harsh abrasive cleaners should not be used.
  • It is resistant to most chemicals – whether acid or alkaline.
  • It is resistant to cigarette burns.
  • It is more impervious to damage than most other bath materials. However, if it is damaged, it can be completely repaired as new – unlike many alternative materials.
  • It is guaranteed for 20 years.

In sum, FICORE® gives longer life and better performance for your investment.



Contact us for more information or a quote


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