Textile messages

The first morning of my first visit to Heimtextil — Frankfurt’s International Trade Fair for Home and Contract Textiles, held each January — panic set in. Stretched out before me were 10 multi-level halls full of the latest fabrics for windows, walls, floors, furniture and decoration, along with bedroom, bathroom and table textiles. Exhibitors topped 2,500, from 60 countries — India, Germany and China leading the pack with close to 400 exhibitors from each. Where to begin?

Lucky for me, some survival instinct kicked in and I found my way to the Trend Forum, a show within the show that brought everything into focus. In March 2009, six designers from six different countries had come together to identify four textile trends, with a clear emphasis on the future. The Trend Forum comprised four imaginative exhibits, one for each trend, using products from Heimtextil exhibitors — draped on walls, clipped to suspended netting, tacked to tables — all neatly labelled (textile, company, hall, stand). After spending an hour or so jotting down notes, I was off on my own personal textile treasure hunt. The next day, rinse and repeat.

The four trends, in a nutshell: Futurustic (note the spelling) — irregular structures like those in nature, simple styles, raw materials; Hypernature — natural fabrics like soy and bamboo, hybrid materials, shadow effects; Temptation — a worn-out look for modern finishes, combination of old and new, digital imaging; and Intuition — strong colours and pictoral design, graphic elements, patterns from different cultures.

In the following pages, you’ll get a taste of mein Heimtextil. I’ve tried to provide a representative sample of everything I saw. And felt, of course. Heimtextil’s motto could be “Do touch.”


Founded in 1964, German textile company Nya Nordiska — known for innovative high-end fabrics — has subsidiaries in Paris, London, Tokyo and Como, Italy. Its 2010 collection includes (clockwise from left) Amarillo, featuring loosely scattered and finely woven colour stripes, with a satin gloss over a delicate base of organza; Batou, a light, transparent weave with a plain graphic pattern and a Venetian blind effect; Bambala, 100 per cent linen, with handmade cut linen ribbons — printed with gold or silver pigments — arranged within squares into opulent roses; Tamboro, a 100-per-cent-cotton fabric whose marbled design is created by an ink-jet print technique; and Mezzo, imitation leather (100 per cent polyurethane) with colour-coordinated embroidery creating squares and ovals. nya.com


Based in Berlin, this curtain and upholstery manufacturer was founded by a great-grandson of Karl Eustergerling, a well-known German furniture maker and designer of upholstery and textiles. A wide variety of materials is used to produce designs that combine classics with the latest fashion trends; the majority of Eustergerling’s collection is made of mix-based fabric using cotton, polyester, acrylic, viscose and linen. Lines include (clockwise from top): Black & White, Modernistic, Spring, and Abstraction. eustergerling-interieur.de


Chinese company Safetex Mills Hangzhou specializes in yarn- and piece-dyed jacquard, taffeta, organza, embroidery and suede fabrics. Durable and saturated with colour, they are used for curtains, pillows, bed coverings, sofas and other home textiles. Three new introductions are made from rayon/polyester (top) and polyester/cotton (centre and bottom). safetex.cn


Established in 1976, Kas Australia is the premier designer and manufacturer of coordinated soft furnishings in Australasia. Located in the hub of Sydney’s home fashion and design district, the company’s wares reflect the youthful outlook of its management and designers. The Kas range — in all-natural cotton, silk and linen with high thread counts — includes bed linen and such coordinated accessories as cushions, throws, comforters and footstools. kasaustralia.com


This South Korean upholstery and home textile manufacturer is best known for its brand-name product Amco Velvet. Made of 92 per cent polyester and eight per cent spandex, it is as tough as it is soft. Tuening Monaco (left) — shown in Marble (in wine) and Chain (in green) — is available in 20 vibrant colours, as is Monaco Burim (right). okmst.net


Based in Taiwan, this wallcovering company is the exclusive agent for the county’s best-known brands, including luxury wallpaper that uses natural and environmentally friendly materials. One such brand is ATT Sanko, whose general manager, Ding Sanko, designs rare, rich papers prized by royalty — handcrafted using gold and silver, bamboo, shells, bird feathers (shown) and other special materials. att-rotex.com.tw


Dutch company BN Wallcoverings, located in Huizen since 1926, has its own design studio and production facilities, geared toward the latest trends and technical innovations; Brand van Egmond, on the other hand, is a high-quality lighting design label based in the Netherlands. BvE’s Annet van Egmond and BN Wallcoverings have come together to create Shadows on the Wall, a collection of romantic wallcoverings encompassing 15 different designs in various colour combinations. Motifs include roses (left and centre), chesterfield sofas (right), pearls, lace and lingerie. bnwallcoverings.com


Starting life as a belt and bag manufacturer, this Spanish company creates a wide range of articles — including rugs and fabrics — that can be custom made for all kinds of spaces. Its rugs are usually made from natural fibres, but the Belt Rug (left), designed by Felix Deiner, is made of polyurethane “leather.” A new woven-steel fabric (centre) produces special reflections and light effects. Naturtex’s latest innovation is the decorative NTX Panel (right); made of MDF and covered with a synthetic material in a variety of finishes and colours, it is easy to install and clean. naturtex.es