Cinde Ingram -- Casual Living, January 24, 2013
The Showtime fabric fair revealed a range of bright colors as outdoor furniture fabrics continue to be invited indoors.
"We're pushing a little more color out there in accent form," said Greg Voorhis, design manager of Sunbrella fabrics manufacturer Glen Raven. "Neutrals and grays will continue to be important, but they will be balanced by really bright color accents. We're also making a strong push into the artisanal, handmade, one-of-a kind type look."
Glen Raven remains active in adding solid, base cloth options, said Greg Rosendale, specialty account manager. He noted nine colors that have joined its offering over the last two years. Glen Raven worked with designer Richard Frinier as it focused its Renaissance story of recycled fabrics, which contain flecks of color from their original form and so each lot is slightly different and naturally diverse. Lintex addresses the light-weight side while Burlin appears in a heavier, thick, chunky form.
Abercrombie Textiles introduced Ecovation fabrics, made from 100% post-consumer recycled clear plastic bottles. "We're getting a fabulous reaction to the whole idea of recycled polyester as well as to our colors and designs," said Debbye Lustig, director of sales and marketing. "These fabrics have a great soft hand, which is not what recycled fabric has been known for. We're taking the inside out rather than the outside in. We're very proud to be American made and to be partnering with Uni fiin this venture." Uni fi's Repreve brand is recognized for recycled fibers, now appearing in both the residential outdoor and hospitality furnishings segments. Each yard of Ecovation fabric saves an average of 40 plastic bottles going into landfills, Lustig said.
Abercrombie continues to offer its American Summer Collection of polyole fin fabrics as a great value product, she added.
Outdura introduced seven new collections and five colorways - hibiscus, iris, lime, emerald and tangerine.
"We've had a great response," said Natalie Scott , VP of sales and marketing. "We're all about color this season; we're addressing colors where we had voids. We're big on texture, too. It's a fashion-forward line. We're excited, and we think it's one of the freshest Outdura lines we've ever had because of the new yarns we've added."
Covington Fabric & Design expanded to the outdoors and introduced 68 SKUs of fabrics, constructed of solution-dyed polyester with polypropylene welts. "Some of the designs can coordinate and some are made to stand alone," said Chari Voehl, design director. Covington's coordinated designs include nautical-inspired prints of starfish, barrier reef and Caribbean, Tide Pool and Zig Zag plus Marley, Ziggy and Reggae Stripe patterns.
"We're about color," said Charley Peck of his wife Liora Manné's fabrics. "Unabashed color," Marketing Manager Tom Byrnes added. Peck said the company's Lamontage process allows flexibility in manufacturing to suit specific project needs, whether large or small. The shipping and delivery process is faster now because the product is made in the USA, Peck said, "We've got that up and running."
Blue was the dominant color trend across the market, particularly a deep indigo blue and a bright aqua blue.
"Our green has been really popular, along with a teal color. We've found there is a lot of interest in the ombré look," said Joan Worthy, sales representative, designed fabrics, Phifer Incorporated.
Charles Zaberto, VP of Solarium, said blue can be a hard sell because there are so many shades available, but it's a color many buyers want to explore. Poufs, floor cushions and outdoor throw pillows provide ample opportunity to incorporate bright pops of color against more neutral furniture pieces, he said.
"Everyone loves blue. Everyone wants to see the blue, in particular mixing the kiwi with the blue... We're getting a fantastic reaction to it," Zaberto said.
"We're focusing on blue and linen looks," said Filippo Uecher, U.S. market sales director, PARA. "I think the next color trend will be blue and orange."
Though beige and chocolate brown were still on display, gray appears to be emerging as the new neutral of choice. Nellie Derocher, senior designer, Victor Group, said gray was a strong neutral shade for the company at Showtime, from light gray to charcoal.
"(Gray) has sort of replaced brown, I think. Gray with yellow, gray with blue," said Donna Rinaldi, senior manager, sourcing and studio management, The Robert Allen Group.
Overall, exhibitors reported a successful Showtime and predict a busy 2013 for outdoor fabrics.
"I see very good things happening. I think 2013 is going to be a good year," said Howard Ebert, sales manager, Swavelle Mill Creek. "Our collection has been very well received. We've increased our product categories, and the product within those categories."
"We've been selling performance fabric for more than 20 years," said Jim Ennis, president and CEO, Vision Fabrics.
"We service the small- to mid-size manufacturers and decorators in our cut yardage program. We can now offer higher-end jacquards. It's a growing market segment for us."
"People are really responding to our color," said Derocher of Victor Group. "They're responding to the pattern and our finishes. The soft ness of hand is big."
A trend lounge in the Suites at Market Square showcased the market's top color trends with creative displays, including
|Johnny Jones and Natalie Scott present Outdura’s fabric lineup for the 2014
season to furniture manufacturers and designers.|
|An array of dresses put the fashion
in fabric at December’s Showtime.
This creation highlights two
prominent colors at the market
– purple and green – using fabric by
|Designer Stacey Hamner presents new neutrals and sophisticated stripes as
Phifer debuts its fabrics at Showtime.|
|Bright color accents and trim add interest as fabric buyers enter Glen Raven’s
showroom to see the full Sunbrella collections|
|Al Fresco Functional Fabrics showed off Tesoro del Mare by Karen Robertson,
a fabric collection resulting from its partnership with the nautically inspired
|Playful, contemporary designs were prevalent
throughout the market, such as this modern fl oral
motif by Solarium, a division of Richloom Fabrics
|Much like at the fall High Point Market, shades of
blue were the colors of choice at Showtime. These
indoor/outdoor pillows by Liora Manné display two
popular palettes – indigo blue paired with contrasting
lighter hues, and aqua blue paired with spring
|Phifer, a new exhibitor at Showtime, dressed up its
brown and beige palettes with appealing patterns,
such as these leaf and stripe designs.|
|Devo, a lattice pattern from Victor Group’s Terrazzo
line of outdoor fabrics, showcases a gray color
scheme and angular, geometric pattern|
|Seaside, a fresh, bright blue color appears in
Covington’s playful Tide Pool pattern.|
|Ikat, chevron and small geometrics were among
the popular designs at David Rothschild Company,
shown here in an on-trend aqua blue.|