• Cindy W. Hodnett

New fabrics to shine at Showtime in High Point

High Point, N.C. - It's the era of the artisan.
When suppliers open the doors to their Showtime showrooms here on Sunday, many will be introducing fabric lines with a strong hand-crafted aesthetic. Reminiscent of textiles found in global bazaars or created using centuries-old techniques, these artisanal fabrics are an important option for upholstery suppliers trying to address consumer demand for customization.
"We have added designers, and with this addition, we're now drawing 80-90% of all of our patterns," said Cathy Smith, director of design and merchandising for De Leo Textiles. "We've been heading in this direction for several seasons, and now we've brought it to fruition."
"A key theme for the introductions is shape," said designer Amber Cummins. "We're showing how geometrics are evolving from basic and rigid to artistic, organic and digitally inspired."
De Leo Textiles will introduce 60 new patterns at Showtime and is also showing significant colorway additions in more than 30 existing fabrics. Smith said the company is also introducing resist dyed fabrics.
"These are not individual yarn-dyed colors," Smith said. "We'll have neutrals, gold and grays, blacks and grays and blues.
"Our digitally inspired fabrics include voids and lines," continued Smith. "The null space is an important part of the design, and the lines aren't quite perfect. It's a deconstructed look."
Valdese Weavers is introducing a fabric that could accurately be described as "inspired by artisans for artisans." Inspired by a hand-made basket, Telles is a thick blue woven fabric that is modern and rustic, complementing many of the introductions in Valdese's urban lodge style interpretation.
Along with the urban lodge theme, Valdese is introducing a collection of new traditional fabrics to correspond with the transitional category in upholstered furniture. Updated cut velvets and tapestries energize traditional patterns, and distinctive patterns like Chickadee, featuring embroidery on top of a jacquard, and Peacock add a touch of whimsy to classic décor.
Valdese Weavers is also introducing a performance collection at Showtime. Recently, the company announced a partnership with Crypton Home, and the first collaborative fabrics include a variety of styles.
"This initial launch will include both contemporary and traditional patterns in six fashion-forward color palettes addressing a flexible lifestyle interior," said Laura Levinson, chief creative officer at Valdese. "Future collections will be based on the broad portfolio of patterns created by Valdese Weavers each season."
Valdese says its product variety and substantial investment in equipment has put the company on track for a record year.
"Year to date, this has been one of the best years for us in the history of the company," said Mike Shelton, president and ceo. "We're continuing to make substantial investments in equipment and our customers are confident that we will be able to meet their needs."
American Silk's introductions include fabrics hand-painted by designers. The company is also adding to the Signature Silks cut yardage program available in three-yard minimums.
"It is a very artisanal collection," said Cynthia Clark Douthit, vice president of design for the company. "We also have a recycle story with Sensuede, which is as green as a fabric can be, as well as cleanable and washable. Skins are doing well as are fabrics with hints of luster. Silk damasks are becoming more important, and velvets are not subsiding. I think classic style is growing stronger, and we make sure our colors are current, forward, lasting and timeless. When a color is great, it never goes out of style."
The High Five showroom will include collections from six mills - Algemene, Trapo, Penelope, Bruvatex, Vilber and De Poortere. Introductions include a luxe gray solid with 37% viscose from De Poortere and two 100% cotton plaids from Trapo - one in vibrant coral and tangerine and another in muted gray and blue.
At Se7en, key introduction themes include modern contemporary, casual elegance, global impact and eco-chic. President and ceo Michael Durham said the themes correspond to a diverse product line.
"Diversity is part of the reason we've done so well," Durham said. "We're more aggressive on some price points for volume players, and for target customers, we're doing the things they need to freshen up their showrooms. We were up double-digits in August, and we had the best furniture placement market that we've ever had. We're continuing to try to provide four or five lifestyles introductions at each Showtime."
Sunbury Textiles is featuring bright colors, florals and retro-inspired geometrics in its introductions. Linear Fusion is described by company officials as "modern art meets technology in a line work drawing." Shawbury is a multicolored pinstripe, and Swoosh Graphic is listed as an "action-linked geometric with retro inspired texture."
Adesal Jacquards is showing Grain Sack, a textured fabric inspired by burlap with a bicycle motif. The Magazine Collection combines classical designs, stripes, pied de poule and animal prints with "cuts" from magazines, newspapers and other publications with various fonts and styles.
Geometrics, florals and linens are key introductions at P/Kaufmann. Paint Palette is a 100% linen collection with impressionistic watercolor patterns. Enchanted Forest is a dramatic 100% cotton introduction that combines brights with black in one colorway for a mix that is both classic and fresh.
"Geometrics are huge right now," said P/Kaufmann's Terrell Gary. "They are popular because they are very transitional and can go anywhere.
"We are also introducing Finley and Lanark, which are more traditional," Gary said. "You always have a market for traditional."
P/Kaufmann's Graphic Edge is a new base cloth for the company that is 100% cotton fabric made to look like linen. Temptation is a new velvet available in 40 colors, and Gary said the company is also offering prints on velvet.
The Boudoir collection is a series of coordinated wovens that includes paisleys, matelassé and embroidered patterns.
"You can do an entire room from this collection," Gary said. "It's a one-stop shop for designers."



Cindy HodnettCindy W. Hodnett | Upholstery/Style Editor

As the Upholstery/Style Editor for Furniture/Today, I spend my work hours studying the sloping curves of sofa frames, the intricacies of fabric and the nail head trim and button accents that function as jewelry on a piece of upholstery. I research the companies that bring these things together for retailers, and ultimately consumers, and interview industry leaders about their business strategies and where they think furniture is heading in the future. And when traveling, I provide a sneak peek at what I'm seeing, whether at international markets or in High Point or Las Vegas.

I look forward to sharing what I see and I hope you'll feel free to do the same. Email me at chodnett@furnituretoday.com or follow me on Twitter @CynthiaWHodnett.

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