In addition to the impressively designed Trend and Green pavilions at Heimtextil, an international trade fair for home and interior design textiles, there were plenty of individual exhibitors worth noting. Many of my favorite projects either looked at traditional craft or nature, sometimes with a whimsical twist — or else drew inspiration from industrial fabric applications, with an eye toward new and sustainable technologies.
1. A 19th Century French traveling salesman's swatch book containing a thousand designs — absolutely amazing and sadly out of my price range at $35,000 from Potterton Books.
2-4. The three young winners of the Israeli Designer's Competition all experimented with interactivity and playfulness in their designs. Esther Yaloz (image 2) used heat-sensitive dyes combined with botanical illustrations to create fabrics that lighten and darken depending on heat. The warmth of lights or even the human touch changes the fabric design. Anat Dotan (image 3) designed a modular fabric wall that can be reconfigured for a multitude of uses. Or Glass's collaged wall and floor coverings (image 4) can be arranged in a variety of ways to create different compositions.
5. UK-based Dash+Miller designs gorgeous and unique woven fabrics for interiors as well as fashion.
6. Berlin-based textile designers Moa Hallgren and Lisa Spengler, who collectively call themselves LUM!, use traditional craft to create dramatic and colorful work.
7. An installation by the Department of Experimental Textiles at Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland — part of an exhibit of student textile design work from universities across Europe.
8. German designer Elisa Strozyk creates unique faceted textiles from wood.
9. A winning entry (in miniature) by Jani Jönsson in the Young Contract Creations Awards — an upholstery competition for creating seating for hotels and other lodging facilities.
10. An upholstered bench, made from industrial materials — palettes and colorful cords.
11. Unique "upholstery" of chairs by the Swiss furniture maker, Dietiker.
12. Playful and interactive wallpaper by Mr Perswall
13. DIY jeweled wallpaper from Graham & Brown may not be my personal style, but kind of had me longing to be a bedazzler-toting 11-year-old again — shown on Barbara Hulanicki's skull-patterned paper.
14. A serene wall of greenery at the Messe Frankfurt Press Center
15. A display of natural fabrics and materials from the Turkish Home Textile exhibit.