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New Trends from Heimtextil

The Heimtextil Trend Table introduces the Montage design concept and four related themes to interior designers, decorators and planners around the globe.

Story and event images by Kenn Busch, Material Intelligence

The Heimtextil Trend Table introduces the Montage design concept and four related themes to interior designers, decorators and planners around the globe.

The first major show for design each year is Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Germany, where over 73,000 retailers, interior designers, decorators and planners from all over the world gather to decide on their textile purchases, collections and projects, perusing the latest concepts and products from over 2,600 exhibitors.

The event is ahead of the curve as a trend barometer and benchmark not only for textiles and design, but also for how color and texture are interpreted by other material categories. With this in mind, the organizers launched the Heimtextil Trends report and exhibit over 20 years ago.

A “Trend Table” of international experts articulates the most important general tendencies and delivers valuable guidance and reliable trend statements to product developers, creative teams, furnishers and designers. Each year a different studio collates the formulated statements and uses them to develop the content presented in the Trend Book. They are finally visualized as “style worlds” in the Trend Show at Heimtextil itself. This year the honor fell to the bora.herke.palmisano design studio, based in Frankfurt and Berlin.


This year's Heimtextil Trend Table: Emma Chiu, LS:N Global/The Future Laboratory, Great Britain; Mark Woodman, Global Color Research, North America; Mayouri Sengchanh, Carlin Int’l./Exalis GmbH; Arie Vervelde, stijlinstituut amsterdam; and Annetta Palmisano, stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano, Germany.

The report, in the form of a book, clarifies and distils the essence of the Heimtextil Trends 2012/13. It includes socio-cultural backgrounds and interdisciplinary inspirations, new color charts and numerous explanations regarding the materials. The show featured lavishly produced trend visualizations created by the bora.herke.palmisano design studio, taking visitors deep into four theme worlds, and showcasing the corresponding textiles and decorations.

The trend forecasts are the result of a multi-level, interdisciplinary and cross-sector analysis. They take account of social and cultural changes as well as the most important influences from architecture, fashion and design. After an intense exchange of views between the seven international design studios that make up the Heimtextil Trend Table, the experts present their own observations and results, and jointly develop a global trend statement.

The 2012/2013 Concept: MONTAGE


Experts tell us we are currently in a phase of fundamental social change, marked by restlessness, curiosity, and a desire for movement and design. The far-reaching events over the past few years (e.g. the banking crisis, mass demonstrations and the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima) have had a huge impact. No one in the world exists in isolation, and no society is an island. Everything that happens at micro-level also has consequences on the global scale.

This realization drives us into action, says the Trend Table, manifesting in a creative drive. The approach to life that then emerges is loud, light, powerful, bold and imaginative. A sense of creative destruction is finally released—with the aim of building something better for today and tomorrow.

With the Montage concept, designers have taken the status quo, rearranged it and created from it something new, something original, meeting the needs of the individual. The Trend Table says this renewed approach to life and responsibility lifts the spirit, and this lightness expresses itself in the intensity with which color returns to our lives and inexorably assumes control.

Powerful and omnipresent, color refreshes the senses and makes strong, clear statements. The luminous spectrum of the rainbow consciously runs through all styles, and powerful, fresh tones are the emotional medium of a grown-up and optimistic view of the world, according to the Trend Table.

Color’s most important partners are light and materials, which it shows to their full advantage. Single spots, flat lighting, audacious glittering and glimmering illumination—light celebrates over-modulated colors inspired by a digital palette, from the realm of computers. Gleaming and glinting surfaces, lavish structures and the whimsical use of curves, corners and edges underscore color’s effect and depth.

Montage is made up of four themes: Color Riot, Dark Lux, Craft Industry and Split Clarity, all of which were presented at Heimtextil in modern, avant-garde projects from the fields of architecture, fashion and design.



Bold, intense and surprising: modernity and purism are realized in a completely new way with strongly saturated colors; over-modulated, quasi-computer-generated tones; as well as refined light play.


Color Riot sets the scene for a new kinetic lifestyle feel, emerging from a synthetic artificiality into the everyday world; the energy-laden, vibrant tones radiate with self assurance. The ease with which color, light and material are combined is stimulating and infectious. An ultra-modern and grown-up style puts color in a contemporary context.


Intense colors grab attention and spread optimism, radiating out in varied, highly saturated tones. They are fresh, bold and penetrating, and the light-play has no boundaries. Shadows, overlaps, reflections, illusions, Technicolor and chameleon effects, as well as unusual patterns encounter intense, monochrome surfaces that celebrate color in its purest form.

High-gloss, coated, colored laminates, overlain, fluid and flexible materials emphasize the luminance of monochrome-colored surfaces. Technical materials seem to radiate light outwards from inside. New aspects include optical fibers, changing and iridescent effects, Plexiglas, transparent leather and recycled materials.


High-quality and clear fabrics give luminosity to the rich colors. Here the dominant elements are clean felts, smooth wool, technical knitwear, double weave, foam backs and bonding, laminated surfaces, real leather and leather looks. Of fundamental importance for the impact are the quality, strength and longevity of the sophisticated materials.


Color blocking, wide stripes, all-over geometrics, graphic motifs with thermoplastic 3D effects, lacquer prints and geometric patterns with overlay effects—these unexpected designs have a clear and straightforward look despite the playfulness and delight in experimentation.  

Picture a montage of the unexpected and unusual: faults, discrepancies, anomalies, irregularities and aberrations. Diffuse and hazy geometrics encounter vibrant patterns. Familiar designs are modified, overlain and reassembled, bent and warped. Visual faults are strongly eye-catching. The computer world informs this area with digital designs, photo prints and hologram effects.



Welcome to the dark. Attracted by the silvery moonlight, dark mystical beauties move through an elegant, contemporary world. Modern vamps give expression to their dark side. They are strong, emotional and reflective. They satisfy their desire for beauty with glossy, high-quality materials. Their style is sculptural and their decorations perfectly shaped. Masculine strength is combined with luxurious elegance. From their cool, modern charm emerges a bizarre fascination.


The shadows of the night bring forth a dark, mystical and elegant range of colors. They are dominated by a deep black that demonstrates its expressive force on all glossy materials. The cosmic world of colors is rounded out by dark tones of burgundy and blue. Metallic champagne and tarnished gold give a modern touch.


Overstitched shadow prints and embroidery in distorted patterns give a contemporary feel. Silk, matelassé, panne, velours and velvet with reflective surfaces radiate a cosmic brilliance. New dimensions are explored with transparent fabrics, jacquard inspirations and lavish decorations, such as paillettes with shimmering surfaces arranged as if at random that seem to catch the moonlight.

Rubberised materials, liquid looks, gloss and high-gloss finishes in fine leather, synthetic leather and latex rub shoulders with felt and smooth, long-haired furs. Fake furs display interesting swirling effects and patterns. Innovative synthetics, high-quality polyesters, laminates with 3D effects, striking textured designs and metallic yarns set exciting new styles.


Clarity and severity give these lavish textiles their modernity. Silk with graphic stitching and embroidery as well as straight-line appliqués contrast with irregular reliefs and structures that provide decorative touches. Iridescent, shimmering and transparent materials with vibrant surface modulation convey something mysterious.

Striking effects make decorative objects unusual and modern, while rich materials combine in simple shapes. Deep gloss, metallic shimmer and lavish materials are seen in almost all areas. Brocade fabrics with a vintage look receive a new, contemporary feel with tarnished gold tones. Paillettes in unusual shapes, different sizes and irregular arrangements show remarkable refinement.



The warm spectrum of an Indian summer informs this palette of luminous, natural colors. Handcrafted and handmade items combine with mechanical and industrial influences to form a self-assured, contemporary style.

The combination of the traditional, handcrafted and handmade with the industrial and mechanical characterizes the look of Craft Industry. Tradition, naturalness and craftsmanship are brought to life with local, ritual, down-to-earth emotive vigor. Objects worth preserving are reused, restored and adapted. Stylistic influences and inspirations come from native rural and folk traditions. Used and worn items have a rough and stylish charm. The demonstration of clear, simple techniques and creation processes forms a refined counterpart to digital reality.

Sky, mountains, lakes, forests and the intense brilliance of an Indian summer are the inspirations for a warm, sunny and lively range of colors. They are contrasted with industrial, metallic tones of coal, copper and old gold. The powerful glowing red is reminiscent of breathtaking sunsets in the Midwest.


Craft Industry is made up of lively surfaces with an array of irregular textures and structures. Objects with authentic images, materials with vintage character, and muted distressed and used looks take centre stage here. In addition to nappa and suede, the style features waxed and felted surfaces, roughened and brushed wool types, rich embroidery with a vintage look and Lurex effects.


The “Trash Cube” stool by Nicolas Le Moigne (above) uses waste from the Eternit company, which would otherwise have been discarded. The “Hemp Chair” by Werner Aisslinger (below) consists of 100 percent natural fibers and can be produced on an industrial scale.


Muted, used looks have a natural and unstyled effect. The generally vibrant fabric surfaces demonstrate subtle shrinking effects, creased finishes, faded looks and sun-bleached aspects. Tumbled materials, washed flannel, crash looks, quilted fabrics, blistered effects and waxed jean fabrics with a slight sheen also inform the style. Quilts and natural and local materials are increasing in importance.

Craftsmanship determines the innovative and unusual designs. Patterns emerge from creative techniques in finely honed processes. The dominant elements are combined or offset checks, unusual patchwork images, interrupted patterns, stripes and checks with partial pile effects, hand-stitched looks, intarsia work and intricately inserted patches. Geometric designs include check patterns, diagonal stripes and vivid, stylized ornamentation.


Robust, classic and decorative fabrics with expressive color effects and designs convey a natural “folk” look. Handwoven structures, melanges, tweed, and irregular yarns for coarse finishes give the expressive materials their character. Wool, handmade fulled cloth, wool checks, Shetlands, cord, hairy finishes and flame fabrics give a refined, rustic effect. The style is accentuated by embroidery and embossing in nappa leather, deep-pile fake furs from real hair and skilfully shorn designs.


Split Clarity is relaxed, comfortable and pure, and things work by themselves. There’s nothing superfluous here. Less is more. A focus on the simple, functional and essential informs the clean, modern style. The all-pervading cool freshness is interrupted only by the natural warmth of wood. Power, calmness and purity are expressed in the harmony of opposites; soft and hard, round and linear, light and compact, and graphic and bulky come together. Sustainability, quality, high-tech and new materials are at the center.

The duality of clarity is reflected in the nature-inspired range of colors. The minimalist and restrained compositions are mostly interrupted by just a single expressive tone. Bright, almost icy shades reveal their luminosity in the dark contrasts. Cool, metallic nuances are complemented by a warm wood tone. The intense lemon yellow, icy mint, soft stone-grey, white and black are particularly striking.


Functional, technological and intelligent materials respond to the environment. They isolate, reflect and protect from UV rays and dust. The latest high-tech ideas create comfort. Function and style are combined with vibrant surfaces, metallic effects, minimalist structures, 3D effects and volume through vivid surface modulations.


“Technological evolution” is the best way to describe it; new manufacturing methods enable the creation of ultra-light, shiny materials with a fleeting, unreal and almost immaterial effect. A cool, metallic sheen; a delicate smoothness; frozen, icy structures; and technical mixes with clean finishes underscore the ethereal impression. Flat, geometric shapes give materials a 3D effect. Vividness is created here with the play of light and shadow in laser cuts, folded and pleated objects, changing surface patterns and opaque prints on transparent materials.


An extremely wide variety of materials and fabrics play with transparency and opacity. Linear patterns and fine stripes create a clear, contrasting and severe style. The diverse compositions give a consciously constructed and architectural feel.

The focus is on the varied nature of the materials. Here you’ll find metallic and reflective surfaces, natural clean images on fabric, almost monochrome patterns, transparent materials, vibrant but subdued surfaces as well as warm, calm wood tones and grains. Textiles have a new look when their extreme lightness is combined with volume and a soft feel.