Alexa Boschini

Trending in textiles

June 21, 2013

A few weeks ago I attended my third Showtime, the semi-annual fabric fair held in High Point. I'm always excited to see the colors, patterns, textures and other creative elements on display, first and foremost because I appreciate the design, and also because it's often a great indicator of what we might see at the next High Point Market in upholstery and soft goods.

At the December show, I noticed an influx of bold, bright colors and sharp geometric patterns. This time, colors were more subdued and patterns trended a bit softer. Overall, designs were more restrained but no less striking.

Here are a few of the key trends I spotted at Showtime's June outing:

‘Livable' colors

One phrase I heard repeatedly among the exhibitors at Showtime was that the fabrics they showcased were "very livable." Rather than vibrant, playful tones, many of the designs emphasized colorful but softer, quieter shades that are likely to stay in style for a while.

Rather than electric lime or bold emerald, greens veered more toward mid-tone, earthy shades. Coral and persimmon appeared in lieu of true, bright red.

"We totally stepped back this time," said Chris Hutcheson, vice president of Lacefield Designs. "We brought in some ethnic patterns, but they're very clean. We did some geometrics, but more sophisticated. We did some color, but more subdued."

One color family that was particularly prominent was...

Darker shades of blue

A "Lapis Lazuli" trend display within the Suites at Market Square trend bank proved to be accurate. Deeper shades of navy, indigo, lapis and cobalt permeated both contemporary and traditional designs.

PK Lifestyles' latest Williamsburg collection, Entry to the Grand Bazaar, melds inspirations from 18th century documents and antiques from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation archives with colors found today at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, among them deep, saturated blues.

Variations of blue also made their mark in the Robert Allen showroom. "Right now a deep navy is big, and pops of turquoise chambray," said Paula Serna, design manager with The Robert Allen Group. "It's more saturated, but muted. It's almost like a filtered look. It still has this freshness, but it's kind of subdued."

Softer geometrics

Some angular geometrics were still present at the spring Showtime, such as chevron and honeycomb designs, but overall geometrics trended smoother. Circles, arches, quatrefoils, ogival motifs and other rounded shapes added interest to designs without overwhelming.

"Geometrics are still a big part of what we're seeing this season," Serna said.

Updated traditional

Many designs incorporated traditional elements with a refreshing new twist. For instance, Sunbrella updated a classic pattern on a neutral canvas by outlining a sophisticated quatrefoil design with bright pops of color such as orange, purple and aqua.

Abercrombie Textiles depicted new interpretations of classic patterns like houndstooth by enlarging the scale. "You're taking traditional and making it more relaxed," said Wendy Haithcox, director of design for Abercrombie.

For my complete report on trends at June's Showtime, check out the July issue of Home Accents Today.


 Lacefield DesignsLacefield Designs opted for more subdued colors with its Showtime introductions, such as this coral shade in lieu of red. Abercrombie TextilesAbercrombie Textiles showcased several fabrics that updated classic looks, such as this large-scale houndstooth design.
 PK LifestylesVariations of blue were on display throughout Showtime, including in these designs from PK Lifestyles’ latest Williamsburg collection, Entry to the Grand Bazaar. Robert AllenThough angular motifs still made their mark, geometrics trended more rounded, as with this design by Robert Allen.