Trade Fair Season Kicks off

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Regional Wool, Bedding Innovations and Wool in Acoustics Trending as the Trade Fair Season Kicks off 

Hendrik Vermeulen Couture and Ronel Jordaan Decor at Wool Week Sandton IWTO Wool News Fair Season The trade fair season got underway last week with Heimtextil, the largest international trade fair for interiors textiles. Wool industry exhibitors in the home and contract textiles sector meet with most  European and many of their international customers at Heimtextil, and this year’s show saw an excellent turnout from the industry. 

Held 12-15 January 2016 in Frankfurt am Main, this year’s fair also saw a higher than usual presence from the Americas, alongside a strong participation of Asian buyers, largely from China, Vietnam and Korea. Exhibitors from Europe – in particular Turkey, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium – were also up from 2015, according to Heimtextil organisers Messe Frankfurt.

Strategically located in the Galleria between halls 8 and 9, Woolmark once again organised a well-designed wool area featuring four Woolmark licensees in addition to a shared Woolmark and IWTO stand, a popular meeting point for everyone involved in wool.

We were happy to be the centre for all things wool at Heimtextil Frankfurt,” said Stefan Franke, Account Manager at The Woolmark Company. “It was a successful fair for our partners as well as ourselves.”  

Regional attractionsRonel Jordaan Interior Fair Season IWTO Wool News

Supported by a general trend towards the traditional and time-honoured, designers in attendance foresaw more textiles being used in interiors in the future, coupled with a strong demand for wool.  There was also an increased focus on regional wool. Wool industry exhibitors such as DBC Wool of Belgium (brand Lanado) and Baur Vliesstoffe of Germany (brand Swisswool), for example, emphasized the value of regional wool and regional processing. Traceability was a factor here as well.

In general the feeling at the fair was that business is good for wool. There was notable interest from new customers who had not yet worked with wool, but were turning to the fibre to add more value to their products or to establish a premium line.

Bedding innovations

The demand for natural products continues with bedding in particular attracting a number of innovations directed at consumers who are thinking more about what they are sleeping in and whether it is good or bad for them. Product innovations included new natural treatments for anti-dust mites and anti-bacterial, pleasantly-scented filling for bedding. One product of interest was sliver knit bedding decorated with designs that were printed on to the sliver knit. Wool bedding manufacturers were seen to be expanding ranges by adding bedding for children. It was good to see, after an absence of several seasons, the mattress manufacturers back at Heimtextil.

Wool wadding has already seen an increased interest in the garment sector. Here, wadding for mattresses bound by thermosetting were also experiencing an increased uptake. Wool balls for wool bedding were also highly in demand, in addition to the heightened interest for natural products in bedding, the wool balls make it easier for customers with less experience in working with wool to integrate it into their products. 

Campaign for Wool Picture IWTO Wool News Acoustics trending

Wool industry members also reported that wool for acoustics is becoming increasingly important. Contemporary architecture’s widespread use of concrete, glass and steel may result in stunning looks, but these materials spell disaster for acoustics. Wool in form of carpets and increasingly wool felt panels are being integrated into the interior designs of offices and public spaces. In addition to the acoustical benefits, wool panels offer great colours and the ability to filter air pollution and odour.

Overall this was yet another successful Heimtextil fair and a good start to year 2016 for the wool industry. 

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