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Playful musings over color leap off palette

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, November 10, 2003

Leap, golden shades with fresh greens; Muse, a medley of purples and pinks; and Play, brights tempered with camel as a neutral are the fashion-forward palettes for home fabrics, according to the American Trend & Color Committee (AT&CC) in its color forecast for the International Fashion Fabric Exposition here.

The committee identified six color palettes and 48 colors in its fall/winter 2004 forecast that included home fabrics along with apparel fabrics.

Leap, with warm, shimmery, luminescent colors, also includes metallic effects. Green is mixed with sunshine yellow, cream, honey and cocoa.

Fabrics offer a comfortable and cozy feel. Important fabrics include blanket plaids, faux furs, mohair, boucles, fisherman knits, dimensional cables. In a high-tech mode, jacquards touched with metal or plasticized with a casual effect and metallics updating argyles, tweeds and Prince of Wales plaids offer a new twist on classic looks.

Design motifs for Leap includes pine trees, maple leaves, acorns, and autumnal prints inspired by the English countryside. William Morris inspired prints, ombre stripe and '30s geometrics are fashion directions, and weathered or gold-dusted leathers and cotton feeling microfibers are directional.

In Muse, the committee cited combinations such as dusty mauve and hot pink reflecting antique and Victorian overtones as well as rosy browns, pinks and purples as the new neutrals. Hydrangea, wine and plum are other members of this family.

Within the Muse palette, tonal stripes, glen plaids, wool flannel, pointelle, crochet, refined corduroy and velvets are key fabrics. Applique, buttons, delicate bows, ribbons, smocking, tucks, pleats, pointelle and beaded flowers are fashion embellishments while Victorian lingerie and flowers are an inspiration for prints as well as fabrics like crepe, satin and jersey. Muse also highlights boucle with gloss, felt with knit, plush with shine.

Pattern inspiration comes from paisleys, art nouveau swirls, geometrics and stripes that are mixed and layered.

Playful brights perk up the color palette in Play, a family that includes red, royal blue, split pea, tangerine, fuchsia and purple tempered with a camel as a softening neutral.

Play also fosters pop design, sports references and kaleidoscope color effects as well as a variety of high tech fabrics from parachute cloth, mesh, and baseball jersey.

In design, color blocking, funky florals and bold, crazy stripes are important. Geometrics, op and pop art and curvilinear shapes are major influences in prints.

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