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'Yarning' for more

It looks like there's a new wave of energy in terms of design moving across the home furnishings market.

If the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York and Proposte and Scoperta in Europe were any indication, people are going back to the drawing board with fresh ideas and new uses of materials.

One never knows when creativity, technology and just plain luck will converge.

But it seems as if that happened at these recent, focused exhibitions.

And the implications loom large for everyone involved in anything to do with fabrics and home furnishings.

At ICFF, there were many good-looking products, more than in past years. And the silliness that was one of the major characteristics on the part of some exhibitors in the past has given way to a creative maturity that is refreshing.

While there was no single standout design direction, no wow, the overall design impact of the show — from furniture to fabrics — was far reaching in terms of materials, color usage. And from the reports from Europe, both at Proposte in Como and Scoperta in Switzerland, there was a lot of newness, especially in terms of yarn applications for all types of home furnishings fabrics.

It seems the Europeans, and especially the Italians, are developing new ways to compete in the Far East price wars — with design and developmental skills rather than with price.

So the news was more in the design of yarns and their application rather than repeats of the same old, same old.

While chenille was still important, the consensus was that the textural effects of yarns that were crimped and shrunk offered a new look in dimension. And the prices were termed to be value-oriented, not necessarily cheap.

Hopefully this new dedication to yarn development will spread across the marketplace here. There are some companies already deeply involved. Others will have to follow.

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