This Week: Heimtextil

This Week: Heimtextil
Heimtextil Trend panel at work. Courtesy of Messe Frankfurt.

The world’s largest trade show devoted to residential and commercial textiles kicks off this week. Over 2,650 exhibitors from 60 countries fill the halls with everything from bedding and table-top textiles to wall and floor coverings, window treatments and upholstery for indoors and out.

The annual Frankfurt fair, which runs from January 9 to 12, delivers innovations from such big manufacturers as Graham & Brown, Sahco and Almedahls, as well as up-and-coming pattern artists such as Beatrice Waanders. The result is a showcase of cutting-edge developments – improved digital printing techniques, high-tech, robust fibres promising greater durability, UV resistance, fire protection and anti-allergy properties. But the show’s most fascinating element is its trend showcase.

Led by StijlInstituut Amsterdam, a design agency/trend forecaster, the trend show’s panel has declared 2013 the year of “being.” The textile industry is addressing the individual’s desire to stamp their spaces with their own spirit. If rooms were personalities, these are the four characters you may see more of in 2013 and beyond, according to Heimtextil.

The Eccentric

This layered assemblage of patterns, textures and styles (think: houndstooth, silky Chinoiserie, tribal geometrics and digi-culture psychedelia) recalls various time periods to evoke the kind of person who takes pride in hunting down unique products with a rich cultural context. The trend favours saturated, high-contrast colour ways, featuring fuchsia, black, mustard yellow, blush pink, grape, lime green and teal.

The Inventor

Emphasizing the extreme and future-forward, mixed with the understated and organic, this trend plays up sharp metal mesh, airy sheers, soft and foamy surfaces, and bubbly layers of latex. Watch for multi-dimensional decorations, comforting marshmallow-like textures and computer-derived patterns. The dominant shades: coffee bean brown, grey-white, light green, corn yellow, pea green and red.

The Historian

The intricate craftwork that went into the ornate furnishings of the 16th and 17th centuries has inspired this assemblage of luxurious textures – golden surfaces, lacey weaves, beading and embroidery ­–­ rendered in such tones as black, dove and charcoal grey, tanned leather and amethyst. The general idea: nothing overly bright – think of how things must have looked in rooms lit by candle and shielded from the sun by velvet curtains.

The Geologist

Raw and untamed wildlife provides this aesthetic’s cooler hues – including robin’s egg blue, prune and leather brown – acid brightness and metallic sheens. Earth tones are enlivened with geological or skin-like textures, irregular or oxidized surfaces. The patterns feel bio-based, with copper reflections, chips and cracks; and some evoke nature gone wild (purple zebras, silver snakes).

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