Reconnect: Home Fabric Trends 2011-2012

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Ten months before the Heimtextil home textile design fair began last week in Frankfurt, a group of designers and and trend forecasters from all over the world met to discuss global design trends. Their compilation of visual ideas pulled from the worlds of design, fashion, and art culminated in a gorgeous exhibition at the Heimtextil show, predicting textile trends for the next two years.

Curated by The Future Laboratory, a London-based trend forecasting agency, the exhibit broke down fabric trends into four categories, all tied together by the show’s title, “Reconnect.” The title was chosen based on current trends that look both backward and forward, embracing a connection with the past, cultural and ethnic traditions, nature, and classic design combined with new technologies and experimentation. Overall, the fabrics in the show emphasized a sense of simplicity, playfulness, luxury, and sustainability.

These are the four trends defined in the exhibition:

UTILITY: Based on industrial and workwear materials, the utility trend focuses on sustainability through new technology and pared down essentials. Fabrics include felt, cotton, unbleached and waxed canvas, denim, linen, and industrial textiles.

WILDERNESS: Defined by a return to nature and folk arts, the wilderness trend embraces a raw and handcrafted aesthetic with fabrics like wool, aged leather, natural fibers, and chunky knits in a neutral palette.

MIX MASH: Bright and whimsical, the mix mash trend is made defined by bright colors and bold patterns from a variety of cultural and ethnic traditions. Complicated crocheted, beaded, and woven fabrics embody the trend, as well as printed geometric, ethnic, and even kitschy patterns.

SOBRIETY: Exemplified by fabrics that exhibit quality, craftsmanship and a minimal aesthetic, sobriety embraces a return to traditional design. Fabrics include plaids, herringbones, wool, cashmere, suede, and leather.