Cinde Ingram -- Casual Living, June 5, 2012
HIGH POINT, N.C. -
Performance fabrics were gaining attention, mostly from residential furniture manufacturers with indoor uses in mind, at this week's Showtime fabric fair.
"I think people are tired of the neutrals and are starving for brights," said Greg Voorhis, design manager of Sunbrella manufacturer Glen Raven. "We've infused more color into the line."
Pink and melon colors appeared in Sunbrella patterns that push toward the idea of global influence without singling out specific cultural origins. More textures also were woven into the expanding line, which included four new yarns and shades of gravel, flax, maize and huckleberry.
"More and more of HomCraft's base is coming in and wants to see Sunbrella," said Greg Rosendale, Sunbrella specialty account manager, furniture fabrics.
Tom Notaro, vice president of sales and marketing of Sunbury Textile Mills, agreed indoor manufacturers are looking for the performance fabrics it offers in conjunction with Glen Raven. "They are utilizing our products more and more - and not just for outside - we're getting more placements for indoor use as well," Notaro said. "We've had a good marriage with Sunbrella for the last 15-16 years. With what Glen Raven makes and what we design, the looks are more high-end. We've gotten good placements from outdoor furniture makers, too, so I'm bullish on the September casual show. Everything is going really well."
Decorative cording for cushions continues to be popular among outdoor furniture manufacturers, said Bill Gibbons, CEO of Phoenix Trim Works, which also has a license with Sunbrella. Phoenix was introducing a large pom-pom fringe for performance fabrics, which are being used in sunrooms and family rooms of people with children and pets. Its Tuscan fringe combined oranges and hot pinks.
"We're seeing florals in bright and bold styles, enlarging scale and changing colors," said Paula Serna, design manager, The Robert Allen Group.
Big tiles and florals appeared in outdoor fabrics at several showrooms.
"It's an area we keep plugging away at," said Walter Rothschild, president, David Rothschild Company. "It's good diversity for us." The company continues to add detail and textures to its 100% outdoor enhanced polyester fabrics, which offer jacquard looks as well as geometrical and floral patterns.
Natalie Scott, VP of sales and marketing, Outdura, said, "Outdoor is positioned for a good growth year. Looking at our products and placements, we are very optimistic about the healthy environment in the outdoor world."
"Business is good," said Howard Ebert, sales manager at Swavelle Mill Creek. "We're getting a nice reception to our outdoor collections. It's a continuation of what we've been doing, and it tells us overall we're on the right path."
Tom Himes, VP of business development, Microfibres, said his company's fabrics had such a strong response that another showroom had to be added before Showtime. "We've had a good response across the board for our high-end lines," he said. "We're growing the business steadily, year-over-year. As they say: Retail success builds more retail success."
Liora Manne mixed eye-popping patterns to reveal global influences on her fabrics for use outdoors and in.
Orien Textile Corp. celebrated the season’s Tangerine Tango with aplomb. Popular polka dots and the ubiquitous stripe joined solids under the big top.
Outdura works from its strengths in solids and stripes this season with the Bloom Collection.
The Robert Allen Contract/Sunbrella Contract line was well-received at its HD Expo launch, said Donna Rinaldi, manager of Robert Allen Group home furnishings. Orange, aqua and teal are among the rich colors appearing for the contract niche.
Embracing pattern and bold colorways was the name of the game at Fabricut’s S.Harris with Raj Ikat, Aventura Stripe and Sonrisa.
As fashion appears more often in home furnishings these days, Sunbrella presents a sneak peak of next year’s fashion colors. Shown here are rich tones of Empire in Jewel, Origin in Brick, Trinket in Papaya, Mimic in Salsa, Apiary in Berry and Embark in Sangria.
World Wide Fabrics featured the Taza Collection that showcases five designs in seven colorways.
Al Fresco Functional Fabrics debuted its collaboration with designer Erin Flett and introduced 13 custom-dyed colors and nine new designs to coordinate and bring bold pattern inside and out.
Blue Moon Printworks put its cash in the stache with applications that work on outdoor fabrics as well as in.
Indoor and outdoor textiles festooned the models at Showtime’s annual Fashion Show.