The European fabric fairs for the fall/winter 2009-10 season took place against a background of difficult trading conditions. Some Italian fabric manufacturers reported a drop in sales of around 30% in the first four months of 2009, and a fall in exports to the USA of up to 50%. With one exception, the depressing economic climate was reflected in the size of the fairs in terms of exhibitors and visitor numbers. Companies are restricting their travel budgets and sending smaller buying teams to these events. Buyers are placing smaller orders while they wait to see how trade develops. The one exception was Munichs Fabric Start, a fair which has been gaining steadily in importance in recent years. In this business environment, it might be expected that fabric manufacturers would play safe and restrict their investment in new ideas. But that is far from being the case. The most striking impression to emerge from the two main European fairs, Milano Unica and Premire Vision, was the creativity and innovation of the products on show. One interesting change is that fabrics are gaining weight. For some time, fabric manufacturers have been striving towards lightness and airiness. But now, fabrics—woollens in particular—are becoming more compact, firmer and heavier. Another strong trend is an old idea: country tweeds in traditional patterns and colors, a style summed up as "the British look," are very much in vogue. UK mills which specialize in producing modern versions of these classic fabrics were among the most upbeat of exhibitors. Moreover, UK mills are being given an advantage over their European competitors by the weakness of sterling relative to the euro.
News categoriesAll News >
Amazon to launch first exclusive home line, and more of the latest
Karl Lagerfeld debuts limited-edition home collection
Windsor Smith develops social-enterprise furniture business
Highlights of events at NYDC's What's New, What's NextSpecial Events | 4:31Highlights of events at NYDC's...
Setting the Table with Chef Ryan HardySpecial Events | 3:54Setting the Table with Chef Ryan...
Architecture and Design Film FestivalPublic Design Show
TableArt Sale - 50% off select tabletop items!Sample Sale
Book Signing with John B. Murray hosted by Karen Elizabeth Marx of Hearst Design GroupStore/Showroom Event
Circa Lighting hosts Veranda book signing
SilverLining Inc celebrates at seasonal cocktail party
Art Salon at Sherle Wagner
Meet Sandow's Robot-Powered Designer Tool Ready to Disrupt the Home Industry
How Brad Ford Cultivated a Community of Modern Makers
BDDW’s Tyler Hays is the Uncle of the Maker Movement
Why the Home Industry's Retail Strategy Isn't Working
- In Print
- Tag Sale
Fall Design Week Featuring Gift & HomeAmericasMart Atlanta
Lights.com Home Lighting CollectionLights.com
Pennoyer Newman Modern & Industrial CollectionPennoyer Newman