Banish the blues


A Belgium-based printer of wallpaper and curtain fabrics, Masureel has expanded its brand of Khrôma to include four new collections: Catwalk, Sonata, Green and Lumina. As the name suggests, the theme of the latter (shown) is the refraction of light in transparent materials, such as crystal or diamonds, and the shadowy effects created by this, to the point where it is unclear at first if it is a shadow on the wall or the pattern on the wallpaper.


Sun protection manufacturer MHZ Hachtel GmbH unveiled new versions of its Plissee-Vorhänge (literally translated as “pleated curtain”) line at Heimtextil 2011, some with new embroidered patterns and modern designs in clear, translucent and dark materials; others in such new materials as bamboo, paper or wood. An eye-catcher at the Heimtextil booth was a curtain with a clever ausbrenner, or burnout, pattern that oscillates between transparent and opaque materials.


To the unaware, the bark of an East African Mutuba fig tree may seem incongruous in a trade show about fabrics. But in fact it is probably the oldest textile in the history of mankind, and was the subject of a special UNESCO World Cultural Heritage showcase at Heimtextil 2011. A processed version on display, called Barktex, is manufactured by Bark Cloth, a German company that partners with organic farmers from Uganda. The material is sustainable (it grows back quickly so trees need not be felled); soft but robust; and looks a lot like organza or leather. It is extremely versatile and can be used to make blinds, textile wallpapers, cushion covers, light screens and awnings, and other products.


Erfurt & Sohn KG, well known in Germany for its paintable wallcovering products, has launched the new Erfurt Vlies Rauhfaser Classico wall decorative product, which combines woodchip textures with the effect of modern wallpapers in wave and line patterns. The wallpaper can be hung vertically, horizontally or diagonally to create innovative design possibilities. Free of PVC, fibreglass and solvents, Vlies-Rauhfaser promotes a healthy room climate, while also being hard-wearing, structurally stable and able to bridge cracks. 


Banishing the winter blahs was the German firm Gardisette, whose booth was overflowing with nine new collections of decorative fabric meant to evoke the energy of spring. Together, the strict graphic fabric Yumi (with striking rectangles set against light accent-coloured fringes) and the voile Yoko (which employs graphic accents in a transparent block stripe) make a fresh duo (shown).


Plage France, a pioneer in the niche market of decorative adhesives, had the bright idea, so to speak, to augment its very popular wall stickers with Azaïa, a new line of light-up designs – such as a light bulb (shown); an outline of the Empire State Building; and a montage of London icons enhanced by LED technology powered either by a rechargeable unit with USB cable or batteries. 


The Netherlands-based firm Coulisse B.V. has expanded its window decoration collections with Skiathos XL and Kos XXL. These roller-blind fabrics have a width of 240 cm, wider stripes than those of regular double-roller blind fabrics, perfect for bold statements on larger windows. The stripes of the XL variety have a height of 25 cm, while the stripes of Kos XXL (shown) measure 40 cm.  


For six years, Smartfiber AG has been experimenting with bedding and home textiles products that do more than look pretty, but can also regulate body temperatures, repel stains and reduce odours. This year the company launched Smartcel Sensitive, a cellulose-based antibacterial eudermic fiber with trace elements of zinc that supports the skin’s protective functions. It can be incorporated in all kinds of textiles and is even suitable for wool blends. 


The new print collection of roller blinds for 2011 from Junkers & Müllers focusses on three designs under the title Easy Chic. The themes New Vintage and Elegant Classics are aimed at more subdued sophistication; whereas the Young & Fresh range (shown) targets young (or young-at-heart) customers with a collection of seven new designs in floral, abstract and text prints in vibrant colours, all intended to uplift the disposition of a room’s occupant.  


Höpke updated its JOOP! brand at Heimtextil 2011 with the JOOP! Delicate Pattern collection in four different lines, such as Carreau (shown), which plays off the multifaceted world of checks – for example, chenille checks; folklore checks from the south in their own traditional colours; strictly structured divisions from Scandinavia in slightly cool, chalky colours; and checks in a range of colours in Dover wool felt.