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There's A Good Reason Why Bus Seats Are Covered In Hideous Patterns And This Video Proves It

Harley Young

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There's A Good Reason Why Bus Seats Are Covered In Hideous Patterns And This Video Proves It

What do bus seats and pub carpets have in common? If you're thinking of the naff, retro colourful print that they're adorned with then you'd be right. But why do bus seats still look like something out of an 80s movie?

It's because they're a lot more minging than you might think.

Using complex mind-reading algorithms, bus seats are designed in such a way that our eyes become distracted from all the muck they're hiding. Instead, we're just insulted by the pattern, rather that the grime that's actually on them.

As a commuter, it's probably not something you think twice about. The seats on your local bus service might look relatively clean and well looked after, but switch the dazzling patterns for something more simple and you'll see a different story.

Chon Kit Leong / Alamy Stock Photo
Chon Kit Leong / Alamy Stock Photo

Thank goodness for this forgiving illusion, because we really do dread to think what is actually on there!

That isn't the only reason for the unique choice of material and patterns that this lovely mode of public transport adorns, however. The BBC reports that this is one of the main reasons – but also explains that there are several others factors at play too, such as durability and keeping up with trends (or lack thereof).

Harriet Wallace-Jones, co-founder of Wallace Sewell – the UK-based design studio that's designed fabrics for Transport for London – told the BBC that the chosen material, wool, is "naturally flame retardant, and moquette is a pile fabric which has more durability than a flat woven cloth. The fabric is usually a mix of cut and uncut pile, which also makes it more durable."

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

It makes sense really – just think how many people sit on those seats each day. Less hard-wearing materials such as cotton will fray and warp a lot quicker, making them look tired and even worse than the dated patterns we have now.

Speaking of things being 'dated', there's not much point in making the seats look trendy as trends tend to fall in and out of fashion quite quickly. So, what might look really hip and cool one day could look pretty rubbish and unfavourable the next.

It's just easier to go with something that's never going to be cool (sorry to any bus fanatics out there).

Featured Image Credit: SemiServis/YouTube/Mark Hillary/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Topics: Travel

Harley Young
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