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HITTING MARKET HEAD ON.

The New York Home Textiles market is underway; showrooms are abuzz with buyers and beautiful product is abundant. In Part 2 of HFN's special market sneak peak, we focus on fabric, themes and more. Look to us for the hottest new trends, the full fashion scoop and innovative ideas in home furnishings.

Fabulous Fabrics

It's all about the hand; anything soft with a lush look will dominate all categories of home textiles. Just like apparel, consumers have to live with the items they purchase and want something that not only looks good but feels good. Taking a cue from ready-to-wear, novelty and high-end fabrics such as silk, fur, velvet, suede and leather are asserting themselves as base materials, trimming and embellishment. Cotton, another "must have," is also being finished to be softer and dreamier than ever before. Other important looks and fibers include chenille, fiber blends that feel like silk, rip-stop nylon and tapestry.

Velvet

Once thought of as something worn mainly for holiday and special occasions, velvet is going everyday. With its delicious feel against the skin, consumers are starting to understand and demand this fabrication in items they put in their homes and surround themselves with every day. Velvet offers a rich look and a nice drape and is easy to live with, especially in current colorations and updated designs. With velvet ideal for throws and decorative pillows, manufacturers are picking up the trend and running with it. Look for velvet to be the star of seasons to come.

Furry Things

Once again, starting with apparel, the faux fur craze is filtering down to home textiles. More manufacturers are incorporating fur (both faux and real) into their designs, and consumers are embracing it. Granted, certain applications stretch the point (see the faux fur shower curtain in the photo), but fur is warm and soft and does make quite a statement.

Sumptuous Silk

Nothing says high end better than the sleek, sophisticated and luscious feel of pure silk. Whether raw or charmeuse, this fabrication has always been thought of as rich. Consumers recognize this and want to surround themselves in luxury.

The Ones to Watch

What else is happening in home textiles? The following is a sampling of colors, designs, motifs and concepts that promise to influence what consumers will be looking for -- and buying -- in Fall '99.

Brown Is Back

This color has had its ups and downs. Popular in the '70s, out in the '80s and just sort of "around" in the '90s, brown is making another comeback. Neutrals such as tan, beige and cream from past seasons will continue to be strong. However, now the color red will influence the brown range, causing it to take on a spicier, richer look. The depth of earth and coffee browns will play into the consumer's desire to get back to nature, as well as work as a base for the food-inspired spice color range. Livable and understandable, brown is back . . . again.

Plaid

New colors and variations in pattern give this old stand-by a fresh, updated look. Manufacturers are opening up designs, creating the appearance of boxes; scaling down designs for a cleaner, lighter plaid; or combining miniboxes and stripes and using colors from the spice, neutral, gray and green groups. Incorporating white is also a way of putting a modern spin on a traditional look.
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Author:Rothstein, Shari Lynn
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Apr 12, 1999
Words:557
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