Show Preview - May 2012

Style Check
By Wanda Jankowski

Weitzner Expands Into Home Textiles

Home furnishings designer Lori Weitzner established Weitzner Limited in 2004, introducing a line of innovative wall coverings. In January 2012, Weitzner Limited launched the Vernissage Collection of textiles made with uncommon materials, including several that are also environment conscious. The line incorporates Lori Weitzner’s style signatures: a sophisticated color palette, dimensional textures and a lyrical, painterly approach to pattern. The collection includes 21 fabrics, including Celeste and Felicity (shown). Celeste, a solid offered in 14 colorways, features the thick slubs and textural irregularity of its Thai silk yarns. Felicity, offered in seven two-toned colorways, is made with a quilt-like matelassé construction that adds dimension to the lacy motif. As principal and creative director of Weitzner Limited, Lori seeks to create high-quality designs that serve a broad range of markets. “Design is interactive,” she says. “It is defined not just by itself, but also by how people engage with it. When I work, I always keep all of my senses open. By combining interesting materials, blending the unexpected and working with dimensional color, we enhance our senses and give people the gift of feeling in their space. It is a wonderful opportunity to inspire.” The Vernissage Collection from Weitzner Limited is available in fine showrooms throughout the U.S.

Style trends and fresh resources in fabrics and trims, many debuting at Showtime in June, along with suppliers’ insights into how business is faring

Leading suppliers of fabrics and trims will gather to display their goods from June 3 to 6, 2012, in High Point, NC, during Showtime™, the semi-annual fabric and trim market, sponsored by the International Textile Market Association. Presented here is a roundup of fresh resources, many of which will debut at Showtime, along with insights into design trends and the business state of the sector.

Modern Vs. Traditional

The pendulum has been swinging more toward modern and transitional designs in interior design for several years, but there still remains a significant market for traditional styles. Suppliers’ views vary depending on what customer niche they serve, indicating that there is still consumer demand for each major style grouping along the pendulum’s swing—clean-lined modern, softened modern or transitional, and embellished traditional styling.

Allison Maestas, vice-president, Harry Harry USA, reports, “We have seen an increasingly significant degree of interest in our contemporary lines—these are mainly black and white combined with yellow. Our more popular transitional collections have been florals printed in silhouette or tone-on-tone—or when printed in a current colorway, such as turquoise or tangerine.”

“Modern is a huge category for us,” says Jason Carr, co-owner/president, Softline Home Fashions, “and we continue to build the line with different geometric looks.”

When it comes to trims, the advance of new styles of fabrics has led Belagio Enterprises to modernize its home décor trim collections. Danny Elyessi, vice-president, Belagio Enterprises, says, “While traditional tassel and brush fringes are still bestsellers, we have introduced new modern design trims. New pleated border tapes have given the consumer who is looking for a less opulent presentation a new look that is stylish and innovative.”

Susanne Patrolia, product development manager, Regal Fabrics, Inc., puts an interesting spin on exactly what pushes a design toward the transitional middle of the style spectrum. “Our customers have been moving steadily toward transitional designs. I think color has a lot to do with that movement,” she explains. “For example, paisley and suzani designs are generally considered to be on the traditional end of the spectrum, but put them in orange, fuschia, teal and purple, and you are firmly in transitional territory. It’s great that we are exploring the bounds of color outside of the contemporary and contract worlds and even better is that our customers are really responding. Having said that, we still offer some beautiful traditional designs and are also expanding our contemporary offerings.”

For Expo International, the pendulum swings to the tried-and-true. “Since the recession started, we have found that our customers have purchased more traditional trims and color combinations,” notes Debi Schmitz, product development director.

Steven Shelly, sales director, Classical Elements, says, “We have seen more requests for modern/transitional trims from our customers and our design team has incorporated these styles into our collection, though the demand for traditional style trims will always exist.”

Trimland reveals that increased interest in transitional trims led it to create its new Turquoise Concept trimmings.
“When it comes to the input I hear from our designers regarding trends and colors, there is definitely a trend/counter-trend thing going on,” concludes Kristin Norville, vice-president, D’Kei Inc. “Buzz words are either transitional, neutrals and natural fibers OR bold, bright and bling! These contrasting trends are both hot right now.”

Colors Trends

When it comes to color, it seems that though interest in brights has increased, neutrals remain a popular staple.
“In the last few years, grey has really become a strong color,” says Patrolia. “I am also impressed with all the beautiful new greens that have been developing. Blues, pinks, oranges and purples have really come on strong in the past year. The difference recently is that we are finding these accent colors are suddenly taking center stage.”

“Gray, silver, slate and blues continue to grow in popularity for the home décor area,” says Carr. “In the tween division, lots of metallics and brights continue to be popular.”

Harry Harry USA continues to push the envelope when it comes to color. “We consistently offer alternative color combinations. Our most requested variations are of light blue and turquoise hues as well as our reds and tangerines, especially when combined with pink,” says Maestras. “There is a marked resurgence in the use and acceptance of color seen across mainstream media. Although it must be acknowledged that the demand for our neutrals has remained steady—natural textiles with white and cream print is a winner.”

“They [customers] will ask for brighter colors and exciting color combinations, but the sales of browns, golds and blacks is still the strongest part of our market,” notes Schmitz. “Blue has been a newer color to our palette in the past couple of years and seems to do well as long as it is somewhat muted. We look forward to a brighter palette in the coming year!”

How’s Business?

Suppliers in the fabric and trim sector report sales increases in 2012, though at a slow and gradual pace.
“The upswing is a slow upswing,” says Carr. “Rising gas prices and cost of goods, labor wage increases in China are all ingredients affecting wholesalers and retailers.”

“We are happy to report our business is definitely on the upswing. Regal has been strengthening the design team and challenging them to think outside the box,” says Steve Kahan, president, Regal Fabrics, Inc. “We have also expanded our offering of interesting textured body cloths and many of those have become very popular. Our customers are really responding.”

In the Fall of 2011, Classical Elements relocated into its new corporate office, showroom and warehouse in Morrisville, NC, which is triple the size of its previous headquarters. The company plans to exhibit at the Grand Hotel di Como during Proposte in Italy as well as at Showtime with new collections rolled out for each event.

“The outlook for trimmings is extremely pleasing, as we see a high demand for tassel fringes, braids and tapes,” say Shelly. “Our business has increased since the days of the recession. The suppliers of decorative trimmings have changed in the past few years as have suppliers in the fabric industry and Classical Elements has built a solid reputation with our customers for supplying fashion-forward trims to the marketplace with reliable deliveries.”

For Expo International, business has been good and it anticipates it getting better. “Gas prices have a huge effect on every industry and with an election year escalating, we look forward to lower gas prices, more confidence in the economy and even better sales,” says Schmitz.

For Trimland, bestsellers include fringe with beads, wide tapes and tie bands. Its business is also on the rise due to its new string drape and trim lines, as well as improved delivery time to same day delivery with no price increase.

Maestras notes that much of the increase in Harry Harry’s business “is due to impact from offshore and international buyers, rather than domestic, which has increased somewhat, but pales in comparison to our international demands. Our commercial lines though have stayed steady, as interest from the hospitality industries has continued to be one of our strongest lines.”

A brightening business outlook and a wide array of new styles in fashionable colors make Showtime an exciting destination this June for buyers of fabrics and trims.

Belagio Enterprises
The traditional tassel fringe made with 63 percent rayon and 37 percent viscose from its Fairview Collection, is paired with the company’s new pleated tape, made with 100 percent viscose, from its Pompeii Collection. Each collection includes matching cords, braids, brush and tassel fringes as well as tiebacks.
Brimar
The Serenity Collection includes this wide tape with modern floral design, also shown enhancing drapery with its clean-lined silhouette.
EXPO
Expo International offers this new trim with beads and tassels shown in a neutral colorway.
DKEI
The Inside Out Collection includes jute tapes and the ball tieback shown. The collection offers Sunbrella trims in 14 colorways in cord, brush, tape, bullion, key tassel and chair tie. It also offers jute trims and tapes and some linen tapes.
EuropaTex, Inc.
The Natural Materials Collection of trims includes lip cord, gimp, brushed fringe, 5-inch bullion and charities, tassels and tiebacks. All are made with jute, linen, cotton and a blend of linen and cotton.
Lee Jofa
Interior designer Kelly Wearstler introduces a collection of fabrics through Groundworks by Lee Jofa. The fabrics, shown in the neutrals colorway, feature prints, wovens and embroideries, including a velvet tie dye design, raw silks in a range of hues, a delicate print based on the veining found in marble, and bold graphic patterns.
Trimland
The Turquoise Concept Collection of versatile trimmings complement virtually any decor from modern through traditional. The program consists of cord with and without tape, 1-inch and 2-inch braid gallon, brush cut fringe, organdy loop fringe, hand tied tassel fringe, bullion with beads and gallon with beads. The line is available in 32 colors with tiebacks, tiebands and key tassels, and is in stock for same-day delivery.
Softline Home Fashions
Astoria presents a leaf-embroidered linen look that creates a sense of serenity. Offered in eight colors from light earth tones to black, the pattern is available as ready-made panels, decorative pillows or fabric by the bolt.
World Wide Fabric Inc.
The company carries a wide variety of fashion-forward fabrics in varied textures and colors for residential use, as well as fabrics for events and parties. The patterns shown (top to bottom) are: Lotus, Padma, Ikat, Mies and Director.
Harry Harry USA
The company’s popular contemporary lines feature patterns that combine black and white with pops of yellow.
Classical Elements
The new Contemporary Collection, available in Summer 2012, includes this tieback and key tassel.
JAB USA
The Red Desire Collection includes 29 designs in an array of materials and weaving techniques that showcase nuanced tones of red ranging from purple to vermillion.

Resources


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