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July 21, 2020 – Published in Design & Decor Summer 2014 issue


Fashionable fabrics


Words: Kenneth Tanti – Interior designer


As in fashion, trends in colours and textures change from season to season, even when it comes to soft furnishings for the home. Upon looking back at client orders that have been placed through the fabric outlets, one can clearly identify patterns and shifts in trends. Having just returned from a huge international fabric fair, I have noticed lots of common trends for this summer season.


Textured plain fabrics with a shimmery finish are definitely at the top of the rank. Infinite options of colourways have become available on the market, with co-ordinates that have a slight pattern repeat to be able to play the game of colour versus texture within the same room. The idea of being very minimal has shifted into a more decorative direction with a noticeably more classical feel, albeit using more modern fabrics and sewing treatments. By no means am I not hinting at any swags and tails!


The concept is to pick a slightly shimmery fabric with a light damask pattern on it, for example. This instantly gives that regal effect to the curtain drape. Then as a twist, sew them with a modern heading of polished chrome eyelets and hang them on a modern curtain pole with grand finials. Leaving them to puddle onto the ground is still suggested, giving you a modern type curtain, done with a classic twist that will complement virtually any type of interior space. Depending on your taste, style and preference you can personalize your soft furnishings, increasing the classical influence by then adding tassels or adding lining or interlining even, to give them a more voluminous effect.


As with almost every other product being manufactured on earth at the moment, fabric are being produced in such a way as not to damage the environment. Eco-fabrics were introduced a few years ago and are definitely on the increase as time goes by. These are produced out of 100% organic materials and are all fabricated and manufactured in natural ways. Their choices are still quite limited as the production costs and effects restrict the types of weaves and variety of colours they can produce. However this year I have definitely seen a huge jump in quality and fabric design and soon the market will be saturated with organic choices for fabrics. Apart from organic fabrics, a new trend on the increase can be seen in the use of fabrics made from recycled material such as plastic using the latest technology. There are whole companies dedicated to just producing these eco-friendly fabrics and with todays awareness they will surely grow.


Floral prints and designs are a growing trend. This can also be seen not just in the interior world but also on various catwalks around the world. When both trends in these two worlds collide it further empowers and strengthens the trend as people can relate to them better. Large floral prints have consumed the upholstery department with armchairs screaming out for attention and cushions that are just yummy, giving that room the heartbeat it requires, making it look great for the summer. Complementary floral wallpaper can further enhance the end result. It’s these little things sometimes that are needed to give that room a bit of pizazz.


Colour trends for soft furnishings have also shifted. The favourite colour that has been surrounding us for decades is beige. It’s timeless and acts as the perfect background for colour accents. However this doesn’t have the popularity it once had and it seems to be making its way out. Not for good but definitely diminishing. What’s definitely creeping in and knocking beige out are the soft and smoky greys on whites. These trends in colours give us that Parisian vintage loft feeling of the softer contrasts between the grey and the white rather than the strong black on white. That chalky tone in anthracite greys that is easier on the eye and softer within the interior space.


The choice of window sheers this season has also been turned up a notch. Their transparent effect and softness give such a magical effect to the room, even with the simplest hanging technique. Hanging from hooks or simple poles that creates flow from floors to ceilings. Adding fabric to the room is always the cherry on the cake that gives that final brush stroke to the painting and sheers can do just that without compromising natural light.


The sky’s the limit. I have also seen a huge jump in the manufacturing of matching, coordinated wallpapers that copy the prints on fabrics. Additionally, I am excited to notice an increase in the selection of outdoor fabrics. In the past the variety of colours and textures were limited. This is slowly changing, giving new life and more options when selecting the right soft furnishing for your outdoor living space. The choices that we interior designers have nowadays to play with are infinite. It really gives us the possibility of expressing what we want to show in the interior space down to the finest of details.



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