Summer 2020 Textiles
Summer blazes on, and the contract textiles industry is heating up along with it – launching standout new collections that we’d love to experience in person. Below, find some of our recent favorites…
We also spoke to Marybeth Shaw, Chief Creative Officer, Marketing & Design at Wolf-Gordon, about her team’s experiences and the textile industry’s challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At first, we looked at our portfolio of bleach cleanable products, and were really focusing on the safety aspect of all this,” Shaw said. “We also have a lot of woven textiles that are useful as well. Now, we’ve had more time to understand and think more creatively about the touchpoints we have with our customers.”
“Customers are still very, very interested in seeing new product in any way you can get it to them. We’re doing a lot of virtual sales presentations now, making sure we’re being super respectful with the length and format of those presentations.”
The challenges in getting face-time with customers and in getting samples out has presented an opportunity for many companies to fill out their digital presence. Wolf-Gordon had fortuitously rolled out a brand-new website in advance of the pandemic in February.
“Over this time, we’ve had sample manufacturers closed down, mills closed down and other road blocks. But we’ve also been able to increase our social media presence and focus more on all the ways we’re interacting digitally with our customers.”
“I am a great believer in the agora – in the getting together. We’re missing NeoCon and all of the other events that bring us together physically. Those events are much more important than just a place and time to launch new products. They’re important places where people come together and where magic happens, and I’m hoping we can get back there as soon as possible.”
Us too! But without further ado…
Nakata and Stroma were borne of a Wolf-Gordon Design Studio focus on designing with Nature. Influenced by exhibitions during 2019 in Milan and New York that analyzed themes of “Broken Nature” (Milan Triennale), “The Marvels of Nature” (Palazzo Reale), and “Nature: Collaborations in Design” (Cooper Hewitt), the Studio reflected on how these current themes could impact our product line. Senior Textile Designer Kathrin Hagge challenged herself to develop two new high-performance fabrics that celebrate the wonder of Nature from dramatically different viewpoints.
Influenced by Gaia, the Greek goddess that represents a personification of the Earth, Kathrin began researching trees and plant life in her development of the two new woven upholstery textiles. Using a wine vineyard as inspiration, she began sketching line drawings based on the meandering pattern. The drawings evolved from linear trails to an all-over pattern. When interpreting the design into a woven fabric, Kathrin found the solid lines overpowering and replaced them with a stitched effect. The result is Nakata, a graceful organic pattern woven in durable polyester.
Where Nakata takes a macro view of woody vines, Stroma evolved from a micro view of a petrified wood fragment. The cellular structure of wood seen under a microscope has a lace-like effect that Kathrin sought to emulate. By constructing the material with twisted float yarns in a mesh pattern bound to a tightly woven ground, Stroma has a delicate appearance while maintaining ACT performance standards.
The palettes of both designs are compatible and manifest contemporary sensitivity to Nature with earthtones, aquatic colors, neutrals and warm harvest colors.
Wolf-Gordon is introducing new products that will hold up to more aggressive cleaning and disinfecting, joining existing options qualified to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. Additions to the company’s RAMPART® wall protection, wallcovering, and upholstery textile lines include a multitude of anti-microbial and bleach-cleanable properties that can help prevent illness and reduce the risk of cross-contamination of infections in commercial facilities.
In order for a fabric to be considered bleach cleanable, it cannot weaken or fade when exposed to diluted bleach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that a solution of 1 part household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) to 10 parts water (1:10) be used for disinfecting. Since bleach will degrade most dyes and weaken many of the yarns used for woven upholstery, textiles that use solution-dyed fibers work best. This is because the color pigments are integrated throughout the fiber, not just on the surface.
“These are two products that truly meet the need for aesthetic beauty and high performance,” said Marybeth Shaw, Chief Creative Officer, Marketing & Design, in an officeinsight interview. “They’re both bleach cleanable and are a mix of recycled material. And we’re excited to continue in this vein; in the fall, we’re introducing two new textiles that are inspired by this same design charrette.”
With sustainability at the heart of this innovative textile brand, Grand Rapids based Camira is extending its eco-friendly textile offering this Fall with the launch of Dolly, a sheepskin on a roll, and Kork, crafted from FSC responsibly sourced cork. Each of these textiles makes a statement in its own right, yet their common sustainable attribute bonds these beautiful products together.
Dolly, made from 100% British wool fleece, retains the raw beauty of wool in its purest state. A classic textile reinvented, Dolly is expertly created in Yorkshire, England – where Camira is manufactured. With each individual fiber knitted into a soft, supple backing, this beautifully different fabric has craftsmanship at its core. With a deeply thick pile and lustrous tactility, Dolly is available in three colorways – Jacobs, Herdwick and Shropshire.
Named after the breeds of sheep, each colorway retains the natural coloration of the fleece; untouched by dye, the authentic depth of color is embraced, with every fleck visible to see. Blending the authentic properties of sheepskin with the flexibility of a rolled fabric, Dolly is a truly modern upholstery option guaranteed to bring irresistible warmth and comfort to commercial spaces. This sheepskin makes an iconic interior statement; timelessly cool, impossibly soft, and daringly fun.
A modern take on a rustic material, Kork blends natural beauty with a stylised aesthetic. With its raw composition softened by its sleek tactility, the organic pattern inherent to the bark of the cork tree is showcased through its delicate coloration, making it the ideal material to bring a hint of biophilia to any interior. Crafted from FSC responsibly sourced Portuguese cork, this application for vertical surfaces truly encapsulates designing with nature.
Rapidly renewable, the Cork tree is unique in its ability to provide wood for use in manufacturing simply by stripping its bark. Able to be harvested every seven to ten years, each tree can live for over three centuries – ensuring a continuous and environmentally-friendly source of material.
With each tree absorbing over five times as much carbon dioxide once its bark has been harvested, the production of cork is an effective means of reducing harmful CO2 levels, with forests in Portugal alone offsetting 10 million tons every single year.
Available in 7 subtle hues, Kork is a delicate addition to any interior space. Retaining the natural beauty of the material’s origin, each shade has been developed in harmony with its composition – with muted neutrals complemented by deep, rustic tones, the color palette evokes its forest origins.
The Up Collection, designed by Kelly Harris Smith, captures the essence of city life through durable, highly cleanable textiles and recycled fibers. Living in the city, pattern is all around Kelly Harris Smith. Patterns, textures, and color shifts are constantly changing throughout the day. ‘I look up a lot. I’m an avid cloud watcher and architectural façade enthusiast, but I’m also looking down as I’m walking around, noticing brick patterns, seemingly unglamorous utility covers, and sewer grates.’
Kelly Harris Smith is a designer, creative director and entrepreneur specializing in natural and sustainable materials for commercial and residential interior design. Kelly’s award-winning designs are distinctive for their pattern, color, and innovative functionality. Whether she’s designing textiles, interior architecture installations or running Minni, a community creative space offering art + design classes for young children, Kelly begins her process with a thoughtful analysis of how people will interact with the product and the environment. Recognition includes the “Emerging Product Designer Award” at NYCxDesign, being named one of The Boston Globe’s “25 Most Stylish Bostonians” and having exclusive designs included in the MoMA Design Store. Smith trained as an architect at Northeastern University and resides in Boston with her husband and two young children.
Uptown takes inspiration from the often-overlooked industrial patterns of a city. Utility covers, sewer grates, and chain link fences define the vocabulary, while micro patterning within geometric shapes narrate the imagery of a daily walk around the city.
Upstart mimics the streaks of rain on the bus windows of our morning commute. The intentional spacing of the droplets creates an overall texture for this matelassé construction.
A modern take on traffic signs, Upscale leads us through the bustling cityscape. The urban arrow suggests movement with a bold shift of color and an exaggerated play on scale. Upscale is a nod to the irony of finding order within chaos.
Upbeat is an understated tight grid with tonal, subtle layers of color. Upbeat speaks to the evolution of color and shadow throughout the day and the appreciation of texture up close vs. far away. The inspiration sparked from the observation of scaffolding mesh from different angles on cloudy vs. sunny days.
Uptick reinvents the classic twill with bold stripes creating a dimensional rhythm. Varying hues and pops of color express a joyful sophistication in this linear pattern.
HBF Textiles also recently introduced its Everyday Textures Collection, featuring classic, textural staples with readily available inventory and targeted price points. Everyday Textures includes six new textiles with a focus on recycled materials and bleach cleanability: Blink, Checkmate, Look-see, Poppy, Walkabout and Zippy.
Creating healthy and hygienic interior spaces is at the forefront as circumstances dictate a reevaluation of our surroundings. As the industry considers new ways of navigating interior environments, Carnegie understands there will be new requirements, new criteria and new regulations that designers will have to contend with. With this in mind, Carnegie’s focus has been to create upholstery products that help alleviate these concerns. Its newest upholstery offering, the Prerequisite Collection, delivers against the most pressing performance and cleanability concerns.
Designed to have the appearance of a woven fabric, Dotty print and Boomerang print printed silicone hybrid upholsteries will make you look twice. Featuring unprecedented printing clarity with all the benefits of silicone, these two new patterns are sure to make a statement, all while boasting superior cleanability, durability and sustainability.
Carnegie’s new coated fabric Colorado takes on the appeal of timeless leather. With over 200k double rubs, Colorado has the beautiful look and feel of distressed leather while maintaining the performance properties of a DMF-Free coated fabric.
Finding its pattern inspiration in classic architectural form, Paragon’s angular geometry becomes the perfect vehicle for extensive color exploration and play. An expertly balanced layout lends this pattern a wonderful sense of structured movement. Rooted in mid-century modern color combinations, Paragon’s rich emerald green, deep gold, dark burgundy, burnt orange, and vibrant teal co-exist with softer shades of mint, peach, and citron. Soft grey, taupe, and creamy white are used to anchor the colorways and set off their more vibrant accent tones.
Inspired by the energy, form and movement associated with urban transportation, Around is a mid-scale, multi-colored Crypton fabric with a dynamic sense of movement. Around has a curved linear motif that shifts colors as the contours intertwine in a looped patterning, which catches the eye as being colorful and engaging yet soothing as well. An elegant balance of organic and geometric design is created through the repetitive curvature of the motifs. Around is offered in 13 SKU’s, including a contemporary smoky grey and orange, an amethyst with citrus accents, an onyx with lighter shades of grey, a cobalt with grass green and ice blue, and a teal complimented by lime green and white.
The new performance-driven Destination Collection beautifully balances abstract and structural elements. “Inspiration for designers comes from keeping their eyes open and their minds ready to reflect,” noted Dorothy Cosonas, Creative Director KnollTextiles. “The Destination Collection takes its cue from what surrounds and envelops us in both architecture and nature.”
The Destination Collection has four bleach cleanable upholsteries, including Stripe It, a full-width repeat épinglé construction suitable for outdoor use that is also antimicrobial. KnollTextiles is the first to develop an all loop épinglé pile construction upholstery that has bleach cleanable indoor/ outdoor capabilities. And Stripe-It is antimicrobial. Inspired by the structure and linework seen in modern architecture and by the precise rows of colorful tulip fields, Stripe It is a complex blend of these two very different yet similar ideas, combining line, color and texture. The five colorways of Stripe It all have a unique layout of 16 yarn colors, which gives them each a distinct voice. Your eye travels across the fabric. In every section you can stop and take in the beauty and interest of the design.
Utopia is a budget friendly indoor/outdoor, bleach cleanable velvet available in 20 colors. It is woven as a tight low pile/low sheen velvet and has minimal mark off on the face. It is also suitable for use as an acoustically neutral wrapped panel fabric.
Based on the simple and orderly arrangement of shapes found in architectural facades, Vice Versa is a small scale, multi-color geometric pattern. An important aspect of this design is the repeat, which is expertly balanced by the horizontal, vertical and soft diagonal shapes.
The idea for Retreat was developed through a study of the rough and varied textural layers of tree bark, and the resulting textile is a calming midscale organic design. Retreat’s textural richness is achieved by weaving a combination of slub and heathered yarns giving it a dry, yet sophisticated hand and linen-like look.
Glance is KnollTextiles’ first bleach cleanable indoor/outdoor double-width drapery. Whether specified for indoor or out, the simple weave structure, understated palette and soft dry hand of Glance creates a timeless backdrop.
Signal HHI compliant privacy fabric and three embossed vinyl wallcoverings in a nuanced palette. Signal is an HHI compliant privacy fabric with a combination of subtle pinstripes with a soothing ombre. It was designed so that the weight and value of color would read equally on the face and back, creating a well-balanced surrounding.
Drift is a wallcovering mimicing the gestures and linear shifts found in windblown sand. The curved lines ebb and flow across the surface, intersecting and diverging to create shadow and texture. Pearl or metallic inks highlight the linear pattern cross currents and enhance the curvature of the emboss that is proprietary to KnollTextiles.
To create Fragment, another new wallcovering, a custom emboss roller emulates the layout of the stones and mosaic tiles on the surface of a textile. A random mix of smooth and textured squares create an allover small-scale pattern that is enhanced with pearl or metallic inks that allow Fragment to shimmer at all angles.
Trek, a third wallcovering, has a deep emboss inspired by the appearance of stacked stones within architectural facades. The design layout is carefully balanced to feel organic while maintaining a geometric rhythm.