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In January, I had the exciting opportunity to attend Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Germany.   Heimtextil is the world’s largest textile and wallcovering trade show. This was my second year attending the show, which made attending the show even more exciting since I knew what was in store for me.  Since Heimtextil is in early January, it is the first show of the year where one can gain a complete overview of textile trends and see the most exciting new products. My initial visit to Heimtextil last year opened my eyes to the vast world of textiles and wallcovering as well as the importance of attending a show such as Heimtextil for me as a designer.  I gained a new appreciation for the technology that goes into today’s fabrics and wallcoverings and learned about new products as well as sustainability and how trends are determined for textiles and wallcoverings. Heimtextil really is the ideal way to start the year with inspiration on textile innovations and trends. I’m excited to share Heimtextil with you, my readers in this blog post. The show kicked off the opening day with a Press Conference by the show organizers which gave us the current state of affairs for the retail market. I must say the findings are frightening as the statistics quoted were not favorable and indicated the reason is due to the new way consumers are shopping which is online. I always enjoy the Press Conference because the speakers give insight into the main themes and events of the show.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of Heimtextil.  It’s hard to believe this show has been in existence for 50 years and I didn’t attend until last year.  I’ve always prided myself on being cutting edge when it comes to my industry but little did I know that I was missing the largest resource show in the world for textiles and wallcoverings.  

In 1971, the first edition of Heimtextil kicked off and set a new standard for the textile industry with more inspiration than ever before for the home and contract textiles industry. Each year the enthusiasm for Heimtextil continued to grow.  This year the excitement was greater than ever with more exhibitors, more attendees and special celebratory events for the jubilee anniversary. 

You can see from the chart above how Heimtextil has grown in the last 50 years.

Since opening in 1971, the number of exhibitors has grown by almost 2,400 exhibitors and the attendees have almost doubled in numbers.  It’s no wonder though, this trade show packs so much knowledge into one event. This year’s event focused on Sleep, Sustainability, Technology as well as Trends.


“Where I Belong”

. Messe Frankfurt GMbH | Photo: Pietro Sutera

The Trend Area is always a highlight for me. This year’s Trend Space was designed by Stilinsitut Amsterdam.  What an amazing job Stilinsitut did presenting this year’s textile trends for Heimtextil 2020.  I find the way the trends are presented at Heimtextil are much more analytical than just choosing colors or greek key patterns and calling them trendy.  This exhibit for trends is developed from research on how we live. Once the determining subthemes have been chosen, the fabrics and colors are chosen to support those trends.

Messe Frankfurt GMbH | Photo: Pietro Sutera

Designer Tour with Anne Marie Commandeur

The main theme for the  Trend Space, “Where I Belong”,  asks viewers to embrace the notion that there is no “one size fits all” in today’s society.  We live in a diverse world with many identities and cultures. Our personalities are multi-layer, our cultures are intertwined and this creates interesting combinations. There is no longer a need to “fit in” to a certain category.

Under the Main Topic of “Where I Belong” there are five identities addressed via the five diverse Heimtextil 20/21 trends.  To further explained these layered identities, in an informative and inspiring way, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam invited four design studios and two photographers to capture the core of each theme. Each creative was assigned a theme which matched their methodology, practice and philosophy, enabling them to bring an authentic and personal aspect to the stories. 

The Trend Space consisted of five worlds as spaces to experience, each was creatively made for with and of exhibitors’ products.  The installations were actively engaging visitors. Each exhibit motivated the visitor to share their experiences by creating dynamic settings all about performance and interaction. While designing the exhibit the designers were most concerned about creating something that would promote sustainability. Every item can be repurposed so there is no waste.

Let’s discuss each subtheme and the characteristics which exemplify each theme. These themes couldn’t be more different yet fit into the overall theme of “Where I Belong.”

  1. Heritage Luxe – Preserves of historic legacies. Love of Luxury and splendor, decoration and embellishment. Finding beauty in history and nature through ornamental patterning and alluring surface enhancement. The trend mixes century-old architecture with contemporary elements. Fabrics are loaded with references to the past.
  2. Multi-Local – Represents a globalized world, celebrating inclusivity over appropriation, honoring traditional craftsmanship and adjusting the world’s gaze to embrace exchange, creative integrity and diverse identities. Indigenous style meets global influences. A celebration of the crafted and decorative pattern, from tribal and folkloric to geometric and abstract. With design influences from Asia, Africa and the Middle east working together to express cultural fluidity. Fabrics are pumpkin, pepper and honey, cooled down by aqua, navy and pink.
  3. Active Urban – Prioritizes performance with interiors that are functional. The theme draws color inspiration from sports and it also taps into virtual reality. Urban dwellers confront the challenges of the fast- paced, shape-shifting, man-made environment by searching for utilitarian, adaptable solutions. they value tech performance while making smart use of available and renewable resources. Functionality is prioritised while looking cool and working well remains key. Fabrics range from hyper synthetic, to cottons, to flat surfaces to plump textures.
  4. Pure Spiritual – Idealists seek perfection and purity, restoring equilibrium by connecting with the uber-natural. They embrace technology for good while shifting between realism and mysticism in pursuit of a personal haven. To address a renewed bond with nature, organic matter, raw materials and pure textiles are selected which show nature’s traces, organic structures and irregularities. Textiles made from organic materials as well as materials that mimic nature.
  5. Maximum Glam – Celebrates tech glam. Instagrammable self-expression. Pleasure Seekers revel in layering theatrical influences and glamourous showtime aesthetics forging a fantastic marriage between the crafted and digitally rendered. Textiles show a “more is more” attitude through a mash-up of glam, gradients, and spectrums, fake fur, pile and fringe, jacquard weaves and fantastic prints.

Check Out This Cool Video which explains the Trends “Where I Belong” at This Year’s Heimtextil 2020 Show!

Interactive Exhibits of each trend area at the show which participates could experience the trends.

Heritage Luxe featured a sculpture by Bart Hess
Multi-Local with Fabric totems that represented the trend
Active Urban featured a skateboard ramp with live Skateboards
Pure Spiritual area featured a sculptural yurt designed by artist Bruce Shapiro
Maximum Glam was represented by Pole Dancers who performed on a spinning platform under metallic silver orbs

As you can see from the above photos each area was an interesting way of allowing the participants to not only see fabrics and colors but to connect with a trend in a way that one would not forget the concepts represented.

The ReMade area of the show was an eye-opener for Sustainability

Another interesting area of the show was the “ReMade” area. This area was created to show how today’s waste could become tomorrow’s raw material. This is a very important concept as we are overusing our natural resources and need to find ways to rethink and reclaim wastes. From single-use plastics to pre-loved clothing, designers are embracing ways to use these waste streams to create new materials. This area displayed items created from plastic, hair, plants, and many other items that were refabricated as fabrics, flooring, building materials and much more. It’s the wave of the future. Thoughtful design such as this is what will save our planet. We all need to be thinking in terms of repurposing, reuse and redefine.

There were many forums and tours show visitors could enjoy. One of the options was a Green tour, led by Max Gilgenmann, a consultant for sustainable textiles and fashion, who guided show-goers to selected green exhibitors. Other tours were led by world-renowned architects who shared their personal favorites among textile innovations for the contract sector.

I found the Sleep forum extremely insightful. The focus was on the latest findings, current research results and textile innovations for a good night’s sleep in the fields of Sleep & Sustainability, Sleep & Hospitality, Sleep & Sport and Sleep & Digital. This was a conversation which begun at last years Heimtextil and was carried over to this year’s show as the importance of sleep is a topic we all need to discuss. This year’s latest theme was Sleep and Interior Design. I hope to share more on that in a later post. To learn more about the Sleep forums Click Here!

There were design dialogues, Textil Technology Talks, Hospitality Lectures, Style Forums Printed Interior Decoration Lectures and much more. The only part of the show I found difficult was trying to decide which events to attend.

All in all, Heimtextil 2020 was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I highly encourage you to put next year’s show on your calendar.

Click Here to visit the Heimtextil website to learn more!

If you are interested in the exhibitors who exhibited at Heimtextil, a full list is available on their website.

Thank You to Messe Frankfurt for inviting me to this year’s amazing show!

This is Heimtextil 2020!

All photos are property of Messe Frankfurt with photo credit to Pietro Sultera

Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by Messe Frankfurt but all ideas and opinions are my own. I only participate in events and write about events that I find would be of interest to my readers.

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