Textile design: Returning to the traditional
CID talks to regional experts about fabric and textile trends that are currently influencing both commercial and residential designs in the Middle East.
As in the fashion industry, fabric and textile trends inevitably influence the direction of colour, pattern and style in the realm of interior design. The latest textile collections presented by major designers and suppliers in the region show that traditional and visually heavy patterns still remain strong, but are now being recreated with a more modern and abstract twist.
Designs influenced by traditional cultures and floral patterns are other prominent trends in textile design, according to Avinash Kalwani, managing partner at York Furnishing Fabrics, based in Dubai. This company works with many designers and is involved in furnishing specifications for new hotels, restaurants and residential projects in the region.
“Trends that I have seen in textile design recently have been Aztec-inspired and floral. York has been very much focused on this with our new collections, Miracle Garden and Glamorous. Both collections contain colour clashes, nature influences and heavy patterns. As well as this, York has issued a wide variety of newer velvet’s to adhere to strong demand,” says Kalwani.
Similarly, Nahel Selo, creative director of Sedar, says that this season there has been a major focus on geometric and abstract shapes with some light colours.
“The aim here is to bring back those classic designs, but with an edge,” says Selo. “Last year it was primarily based on the idea ‘less is more’ so many designers focused on making very plain and simple fabrics. This year we are aiming to revive the Arabian pattern but with a few twists. Since Dubai is a hub for all tastes and nationalities, we are looking into creating a line of fusion between Arabian patterns and western designs.”
Established in 1926, Wilson Fabrics specialises in designing and developing decorative and functional roller and Roman shade fabrics as well as co-ordinating drapery fabrics. When designing window furnishing materials, Jennifer Donnelly, marketing manager at Wilson Fabrics, emphasises it is important to be both innovative and fashion conscious.
She comments: “Window furnishings are often the last thing customers think of when renovating or building, but when they do, they are subject to the influences of interior fashion design, furniture, paint and also structure and external trends as well as functional requirements like solar characteristics. Therefore, it is critical that we take a holistic view and keep complete home trends in mind when researching and developing fabrics.
“We continue to see the inclusion of natural textures and a pared back aesthetic, with customers asking for subtlety in their shade fabrics. In drapery, however, dominant shades such as blues and greens are becoming more and more popular.”
‘Well-being 4.0’ is the key trend at the upcoming Heimtextil, a trade fair for home and contract textiles, held in January in Frankfurt, Germany. New design themes that have been introduced are all about textile furnishing that delivers an atmosphere of relaxation and calm. Everything will be geared towards offering a better life and greater well-being.
The Tarovine collection fits perfectly into this style, says Kerstin Schweiger, communications manager of Ernst Feiler, a German company that produces colour-woven chenille. A company recently released its dark version of Tarovine design and will introduce a beige range at the Heimtextil.
Schweiger says: “Feiler’s classic collection is famous for its chenille towels in strong and vivid colours. The company will reveal a small but exclusive series of towels in reduced sand and stone colours, popular in Europe. At the moment, we cannot predict if this mood will be suitable for the Middle East where such colours are found in nature. However, the whole collection is large and diverse enough to match any individual lifestyle.”
Selo explains that textile designs in the Middle East are very classical and very specific to the region and this trend “neglects those who are looking for something modern, as well as the western expats who are not into the classic visually-heavy designs”. That is why Sedar is now looking into a line fusing Arabic and western influences.
“What distinguishes Sedar from our competitors is that we use the advantage of being in such a diverse design hub and have various textile design ranges that meet the tastes of everyone — from very plain fabric to modern abstract to neo-classic styles,” adds Selo.
Kalwani agrees saying: “From visiting the UK often, I noticed trends consisting of neutral solids, paired with colourful stripes or florals. Throughout the GCC, I have noticed that large opulent prints such as damask and scroll are popular in velvet and satin.”
As Donnelly points out, with technological advances, geographical location is no longer a limitation in the speed of trend influences and uptake. She explains: “It used to take a few seasons for European trends to filter through to the rest of the globe. But now, we are seeing the uptake of European trends the very next season as they evolve into global trends. This not only applies to people like us in the industry but also consumers in general as they are extremely informed when it comes to interior designs.”
With over three million metres of fabric on the ground in Dubai, York is the largest stockist of textile in the Middle East. As a company that is constantly evolving, York has recently introduced a new logo and is currently developing a new website that will enhance its presence on the market.
“York has been present within the Dubai market for 27 years. We have become a trusted supplier of quality fabric throughout the MENA region. We felt that it was time for us to show this, to both our existing clients and to newer markets. We hope that this campaign shows York as an established and evolved company, with our fingers on the pulse of trend and style,” concludes Kalwani.
Heimtexil trends overview for 2016/2017
Protect — this trend predicts a clean aesthetic, or crisp, understated design. It goes hand in hand with a versatile range of wellness products and detox programmes. As a valuable and rare commodity, silence takes centre stage. The trend is all about protecting our physical, but above all our psychological needs.
Energise — people use technology to boost their feelings of well-being. The borders between being online and offline are becoming blurred. And the digital world is encroaching on our physical world. In this process, light is becoming a new way of creating intangible shapes and highlighting dynamic contours. The colour spectrum pulsates between strong and weak contrasts. At the same time, bright and virtually fluorescent colours vibrate in comparison with darker electric-blue shades.
Nourish — urban and natural landscapes converge and spawn a new, sustainable world. The focus is on making areas green. The colour palette celebrates the beauty of greens, as well as dark browns and greys, in harmony with elements such as the soil and stone. Natural materials are coupled with pioneering design. Handcrafted products play a special part in the process by accentuating the beauty of the source.
Enrich — the focus is placed on opulent and highly decorative elements, which blend cultural references with the past and future. Ornamental ensembles and shimmering, classy materials are eye-catching. Superb, rich colours like plum and crimson abound with metallic gold, brass and bronze elements. A hint of the Orient is blended with iconic patterns, which reinterpret classicism with splendour to perfection.