Category Close-Up - September 2011

Royal Treatments
By Wanda Jankowski

The Fireworks pattern explodes dramatically with a unique embroidery effect on woven jacquard with hidden tabs. Beacon Looms, 201-833-1600, beaconlooms.com.
The Omni, a contemporary jacquard panel with a woven dotted circular design on a chocolate ground, is offered both as a rod pocket and grommet top. PDK Worldwide/Arley, 212-889-1818.
The patented Bamboo Ring Panels are the company’s newest offering in woven textures. There is an option to add thermal liners, which adds to its functionality. Shown are the panels in a 64-inch length. Versailles, 514-351-8402, Versailles-inc.com.
The firefend™ Grommet Panel, made in the U.S. and machine washable, adds a contemporary look for the younger urban market to the collection. As part of the firefend™ collection, the panel is flame retardant. Louis Hornick Company, 212-679-2448, louishornick.com.

Insights on design directions and an array of soft window fashions, decorative hardware and trims debuting this Fall during New York Home Fashions Market and beyond

When it comes to window treatments, trends might not swing as dramatically as they do in apparel fashion, but consumers do crave some change in home décor to freshen their environments.
What styles in soft window treatments are popular with consumers today? James Romano, president of Renaissance Home Fashion and vice-president of Stylemaster® states, “Grommet top faux silk and grommet solid fabrics in fashion colors, as well as transitional sheers, embroidered tier pairs and valances.”

Lorraine Home Fashions is debuting three polyester grommet-top panels—the Highgate embroidered heavyweight faux silk, the Malverne embroidered semi-sheer with vertical leaf motif and the Vista open weave sheer—during New York Home Fashions Market, which runs from Sept. 19 to 23, 2011.

Barry Goodman, vice-president, national accounts, Commonwealth Home Fashions, agrees, “Grommet panels are popular, along with panels without headers and clean, tailored looks. Contemporary designs and bright colors are trending, as well as embroideries, faux silks, insulated, blackout and outdoor curtains, and burnouts.”

In addition to new grommeted and burnout styles, Commonwealth Home Fashions will be expanding its Outdoor Décor and Thermalogic categories and debuting its Chromozen line during N.Y. Market, which Goodman explains features colors for Zen Living.

“Energy saving and blackout items continue to dominate the market due to their added value,” says Cheryl Leisenring, window design director, CHF Industries, Inc. “In addition, commodity items like voile and crushed voile, and any opening price point items continue to perform well. Bright designs with youthful motifs have also seen recent growth in the market.”

Catering To Younger Generations

When selling to younger consumers, Leisenring explains, “Brands focusing on the 21-to-45 target group have had great success with livable contemporary looks. These consumers emulate looks from shelter magazines to make their homes modern and clean lined, thus making grommet window panels essential.”
Sung Oh, director, design and product development, Beacon Looms, Inc. notes, “Our kids programs with key retailers are gaining momentum.”

“Brands that target the 46+ crowd have had better success with traditional motifs and silhouettes. Damasks with strie grounds and larger scales show updates in this category. Pinch-pleat silhouettes are also moving back into this demographic with great success,” says Leisenring.

On The Wane

Styles whose better days may be behind them include traditional jacquards and chenilles, according to Romano.

“Novelty sheers have been a tough sell due to higher ticket costs on specialty yarns,” adds Leisenring. “The customer will still choose value in this area and make the voile purchase for her sheer. Velvet has also seen a down trend that is partially the fault of increasing costs for cotton blends.”

Finally, Goodman notes, “Older stylings, such as floral patterns, are in decline.”

Trims & Tassels

When it comes to trims, tassels and fringes that complement soft window treatments, Danny Elyassi, vice-president, Belagio Enterprises notes, “Our bestsellers still include novelty tassel fringes, which is a great way to bring newness to window treatments.”

Declining in popularity, are bullion fringes, “especially the heavier, thicker ones,” Elyassi says. “We are also seeing a slight decrease in the various shades of chocolate.”

This Fall, Belagio has expanded its newest collections to include novelty flat braids. “Based on the fashion trends,” explains Elyassi, “we have designed braids that add a touch of class to a clean-edged look.”

Decorative Hardware

According to Sunil Patel, ceo, Orion Ornamental Iron, “Decorative hardware is not as ‘trendy’ in colors as other areas of decorating, such as fabrics. Over the years, we have seen that golds, wood tones and metal finishes are always our strongest sellers.”

Patel also does not see a swing toward any particular style, such as modern or traditional, over the past year in decorative hardware. “While we always see modern collections being introduced,” he says, “the bulk of our industry is traditional and transitional.”

Like any other home fashions category, the window treatment sector is affected by current economic uncertainty. Beacon Looms’ Oh concludes, “In general, we see a trend toward products that have longevity and high quality in classic and timeless designs that ensure value.”

The Buffalo Check is available in a variety of colors, including burgundy, chocolate, sage and taupe, and in long and short (shown) panel lengths. Achim, 212-686-6652, achimonline.com.
The 100 percent polyester Heritage offers a casual texture in a traditional pinch pleat with a back tab behind each pleat for easy hanging. It is available in charcoal, slate blue and natural. CHF Industries, Inc., 212-951-7800, chfindustries.com.
The new Godiva Collection of trimmings is an innovative, versatile line with a soft hand that is made with cotton and/or rayon yarns in 10 exciting colors and designs. Belagio Enterprises, 323-731-6934, belagioenterprises.com.
The 100 percent polyester Plumage sheer pattern evokes the look of peacock feathers. The printed voile can be used as an under panel or coordinated with its matching shaped ascot valance with multi-colored tassel. Lorraine Home Fashions, 212-684-0805, lhfonline.com.

New England Curtain Show In October

The 9th Annual New England Curtain Show 2011 takes place Sunday, Oct. 2 and Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Marlborough, MA. The show is geared toward buyers and owners from independent retail stores and specialty shops.

Attendees arriving on Saturday, Oct. 1 can enjoy an evening Welcome Cocktail Reception that begins at 6 p.m. The show itself is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2 and from 8:30 to 10 a.m on Monday, Oct. 3.

Complimentary lunch is offered on Sunday and Monday from noon to 2 p.m. Complimentary coffee, tea, juice, Danish and muffins are available on Monday morning.

Exhibitors as of press time include Commonwealth Home Fashions, A.L. Ellis, Old Towne, Famous Shower, Curtains & Home Décor, Anchor Products, Athena, Textile Linen Corp., with many more expected by showtime.

For more information, visit necurtainshow.com or e-mail info@necurtainshow.com. Registering via the website earns attendees a reserved spot on the new Curtain Retailers Guide, which will be posted after the show as an online resource for consumers.

The Sonic embroidered grommet panel is available in 84- and 95-inch lengths with a retail of $34.99. It is offered in natural, black and red. Commonwealth Home Fashions, 514-384-8290, commonwealthhomefashions.com.
The Diamonds Are Forever window panel from the Elégantia brand is a 100 percent polyester engineered cut panel made with piece-dyed yarn. Famous Home Fashions Inc., 800-465-4566, famoushomefashions.com.
The Anastasia offers elegant sheen in a sophisticated colorway. S. Lichtenberg,212-689-4510, Lichtenberg.com.
The Manhattan and Classic Collections offer room-transforming, on-trend colors and styles. Reliant Ribbon & Trims, 973-881-0404, reliantribbon.com.
Candy Stripe sheer window panel, part of the company’s juvenile collection, is shown in Bubble Gum Pink, but is also available in Grape Fizz and Blue Splash. Elrene Home Fashions, 212-889-6378, elrene.com.
The Bohemia line of crystal finials expands, offering customers the look of crystal without the price of hand-cut crystal. The prices are low—less than $100 each retail—and they complement the K-Blair hand-cut crystal line. Orion Ornamental Iron, Inc., 877-476-6278, ironartbyorion.com.
Bali in the Energy Saver Product Category is a paisley printed blackout panel available in three traditional colors that can be hung as a back tab or a rod pocket (shown). Bali has a matching lined scalloped valance with cording. Stylemaster/Renaissance Home Fashions, 718-805-0200, stylemaster.com.

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