At Frankfurt’s massive textile expo, the biggest wall covering trends were photorealism and tactility, as seen in the many attention-grabbing fabrics that fooled the eye and begged to be touched.
1 Nouveau flocking
Flocked wallpaper has been around since the rule of Louis XIV, and while traditional manufacturers continue to roll it out in classical patterns, smaller, niche design studios are experimenting with contemporary motifs. Manchester’s Pario unveiled a portrait of an Old Hollywood starlet in a black and hot pink repeat, while Barcelona’s Tres Tintas, a firm well known for its subversive offerings, released the Heritage collection, which includes vanishing wax-stamp like patterns.
2 Fun photorealism
Faux-stone walls, barn board and marble were abundant at the fair, where high-definition photography and digital printing remained a hot trend. Designed by studio Sketch for Curious Boy, Paints, with its shadowed cracks and drips, looks like a paint job half complete, while Merci’s Brooklyn Tins for NLXL is a dead ringer for a collection of encrusted copper tiles salvaged from a manor.
3 Crafted fibres
Belgium’s Omexco impressed with its sustainably crafted Sumatra collection of hand-woven rattan wall coverings that feature protruding bamboo knots. At the other end of the luxury spectrum, Germany’s Marburg showcased a number of wallpapers by Luigi Colani, including one embellished with lines of raised “pearls” and the example above, heavily embossed to recall swirls of hardy blond grass.
4 Relief motifs
In this aesthetic, non-woven vinyl takes on the surface qualities of aged infrastructure. Parkour by France’s Texam resembles hand-drawn designs in cement mixed with gold dust. The fiberglass paper with its glass-ball pattern is so grippy it just might be climbable. Jannelli & Volpi of Italy released a collection of reversible vinyl tiles that layer Celtic and Arabesque motifs in muted tones with raised patches of sheen, the effect being of a faded mural on an ancient stone wall.