ACROSS the POND: Heimtextil Fabric Trends, Focuses and Favorites

ACROSS the POND: Heimtextil Fabric Trends, Focuses and Favorites

The Heimtextil Fabric Market, which takes place January 10-13, 2017, is full of innovative fabric and textile themes that push the boundaries, metaphorically and physically. For those looking to attend the show, which features an “Explorations” theme, the mart has provided a breakdown on the trends attendees can “explore” along with action items retailers can take to improve their products and their workspaces.

New Intelligences

Global innovation is gaining traction, and is doing so on an unprecedented scale. New fields of exploration are opening up for the taking. We are on the brink of great change with advancements such as self-driving Google cars and voice-activated assistants like Siri.

  • For your products, the sky is the limit in terms of creativity and imagination.
  • Embrace some of the more positive aspects of Science Fiction as a vision of the future. This can be used in products and marketing.
  • Put a focus on how consumers will interact with your product while in the early stages of creating.
  • Artificial intelligence can be used within your brand’s processes, and can even enhance the product and/or its interaction with the rest of the world.

Nature, Differently

With the depletion of natural resources and a heightened awareness of the footprints that humans leave on nature, many are coming up with new ways to interact with the world around them. Modes and methods of consumption are changing as people revisit their view on nature.

  • Return to the simplicity of quality. Reduce the product down to the essentials in a way that makes sense.

  • The “less is more” approach can improve the flow and look of your retail space. 

  • Recycle or upcycle product range with a more contemporary design to refresh without enlarging your environmental footprint.

  • “Green” doesn’t have to be synonymous with“overhaul.” Make some simple tweaks to better the environment, while making improvements to your products.


With processes getting streamlined and limited choices being offered to clients, the yearning for something new and unexpected has grown at an unprecedented rate. In a world full of data and analytics, brands are afraid to take uncalculated risks. It’s time to bring forward something unexpected.

  • Translate digital randomness into unique fabric patterns.
  • Harness the power of digital/analytical knowledge to create a story of innovation and digital product creation.
  • Investigate non-predictive models for both product creation and marketing.
  • Focus your events and marketing campaigns to use randomness as a way to re-enchant the purchaser and re-energize your space.
  • Make data-mining an extra layer to your success; do not forget the importance of human intuition or expertise.

Disruptive Exploration

The Millennials and those in Generation Z put a focus on entrepreneurial lifestyles and it results in newfound creativity. This also tends to result in a new way of thinking ways of working.

  • Utilizing crowdsource strategies in the workplace promotes creativity and collaboration.
  • Take a break from tradition and offer innovative models.
  • Be bold in order to meet the expectations of these generations, who, “know what they want, and they want it now.”
  • Discover new methods of working, even if that means working on the go or at home.

Your Image

Forget societal norms. The new norm is now self-expression, and the millions of ways that can take shape. Instead of displaying a self-intimacy, we are showing an unabashed self-extimacy where we display our private selves openly.

  • Participation is the name of the game; create products that involve your customers.
  • Explore the “demographics” of your products: play with the colors, size, shape and to make it more fun.
  • Consider offering product adaptation, where resized objects still retain their style and function.
  • Adapt narratives to individual consumers using humor to appeal to the ego.

Your Emotions

Humankind is being moved to an era where emotional expression is at the forefront. Everyone wants to know how to unlock happiness, and that desire has even opened new fields of scientific study. An emotional connection with décor makes sense—the home is a reflection of its inhabitants and their lifestyles.

  • By displaying visually exhilarating décor through the use of LEDs and an immersive environment, it allows consumers to make the emotional connection to their surroundings and therefore your product.
  • When you utilize the latest textile creation technologies, you encourage others to also explore.
  • Technological advances help to re-enchant consumers and make the experience a more pleasurable one.
  • Making a space visually appealing is in a sense, the gateway to allowing other emotions to be engaged with the surrounding décor.

The Infinitely Small

Whether it’s in terms of environmental footprints or living spaces, the current trend is “the smaller the better.” Consumers and scientists alike are fascinated with condensing, compressing and shrinking. Not only are small houses becoming more popular, but scientists are working to create revolutionary materials for the future.

  • Deploy eco-friendly processes. Integrate them into your products and work flow operations.
  • Think DNA: customization and personalization are huge selling points. Humans share 99% of their genes with one another. Make sure to celebrate that 1%.
  • Living spaces are getting smaller as more and more consumers rent their homes. Keep this in mind while creating new products.
  • Sustainability is a fluid word that gets used in a wide variety of occasions. See how this word fits into your work model.

Space and time

Progress is moving at such a speed that there are times when the lines between real and virtual are blurred. Space and time is getting closer and more attainable every day. This trend focuses on discovering new designs that are out of this world.

  • Overcome jet lag with bright retail areas at night by creating fun and festive events to keep energy up in the evenings.
  • Consumers are fascinated by the ideas of space and time. Support local artists who work with these themes.
  • Explore the pull of light by using LED lights in your products and spaces.
  • Give the sense of “zero gravity” through architecture that plays with perspective and even causes disorientation though the mixture of random patterns.

For Designers Today, Bridget deals with content - writing her own and editing guest material. Managing the production of website content, she works closely with social media and digital materials. Keep up with her blog series, where she navigates the world of design through the lens of a Millennial shopper.