Wool Lovers Take Heart at Heimtextil 2017

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Braving the snow and ice IWTO ventured to Frankfurt, Germany for Heimtextil, the leading international trade fair for home and contract textiles.

With 70,000 visitors and 2900+ exhibitors from around the world, organisers referred to the fair as “the beating textile heart of the interiors industry.”

Noted trends noted include a move towards more “materiality” in home interiors (more cushions, carpets and curtains and fewer bare walls and cold floors), and “sleeping as a lifestyle”, both of which bode well for wool.

Although dominated by manmade fibres, wool lovers can take heart in the offerings from the exhibitors who did show wool in their collections. While few in number they are an intrepid bunch whose displays were love at first sight.

Steiner 1888’s curtain and drapery brought a breath of fresh wool into Hall 3 with its tufted wool fibres. A fifth generation family business, the company still uses the original mechanical felting hammer from 1888. 

Cecchi e Cecchi – a collaboration between two textile artisans by the name of Mario Cecchi -- showcased woven and knitted wool fabrics and throws, some blended with mohair and cashmere, while the Nordic-inspired Natures Collection presented a broad collection reflecting innovative uses of natural materials.

Hinterveld, producer of premium home and fashion textiles since 1951, paid homage to natural Merino wool and mohair, while Flokati, adoringly declared itself “addicted to wool” for its home and fashion textiles including a children’s range.

The unmistakable characteristics of high quality wool fibre shown through Silkeborg Uldspinderi’s collection of natural undyed wool creations, the focus of their ranges for three generations.

Finally, wool formed the basis of Felice Living’s colourful, modular handwoven carpet system, a handmade product of 100% wool for home and hospitality. Felice’s offering also includes wool insulation solutions.

While organisers were upbeat about attendance and exhibitor numbers, IWTO found the ‘green village sustainability tour’ seriously disappointing. Not a single wool item or stand was included. One wonders how chemically treated manmade fibres can make the green list over naturally renewable, biodegradable wool. Clearly there is work to be done here, and top marks to those who continue to swim against the polyester stream.

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