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Heimtextil 2018: A look at what made 5th edition of home décor event stand out

Opening its door for its 5th Edition, Heimtextil India and Ambiente India, welcomed more than 150 companies to participate and showcase their new designs and collections. Setting the trend-o-meter globally, for home textiles and interior goods, the fairs are the largest worldwide. Organised by the Messe Frankfurt Trade Fair India, the event observed collaboration of who’s who of the home textile and home décor industry. Various globally renowned names such as D’décor, Aditya Birla, and Reliance were actively the anchor stalls of the fair. The offerings were everything that included beds, curtains, throws, sofa covers, etc.

Sustainability and multi functionality were the mega trends that were pre-dominantly seen around the fair. The coming together of traditional crafts and artworks with a mix of modernisation was the general vibe around the fair. Effort was made by the participant brands in bringing the best products under a certain price category, as both- import and export markets demand value for money.

Home décor requires largest aggregation of textiles and at this fair, variety of the available options was unparallel. Team Apparel Resources decoded the visible trends in the material and technique offerings.

For soft goods, functionality of the material has always been the most important factor, and not just a fad in the market. For instance, a laser cut designer material for curtains would not be successful in the Indian market as they can be easily torn. On the contrary, there are some enduring styles in décor which will always be sought after, like the combination of sheer and solid materials.

Fifty shades of sheer were a breath-taking sight at the fair. Small and large patchwork of heavy materials throughout the fabric was popular juxtaposed against muted shades.

As heavier fabrics are making a comeback in the market, the blackouts were extensively visible throughout the fair, majorly for curtains and upholstery. Made with 100% polyester, not only are they functional but also give silk-like lustre at a much lower price, which is exactly what the consumer wants. These fabrics, when paired with heavily embroidered floral-patterned curtains, break the monotony and add a certain degree of pep to the household.

Globally, there has been an increase in reported fire outbreaks, endangering the public. The innovative Flame-Resistant material in home décor was in-trend as an outstanding option. Flame retardants ensure applicable fire safety levels for various natural and synthetic fibres. Synthetic microfibers were a trend this season since they can mimic most fabrics and are also stain resistant.

All About Sustainability

Awareness Campaigns of the increasing global environmental distress weren’t unheard of here. The trend of ‘going green’ is increasing its stake every year. At the fair, almost every manufacturer had a dedicated section catering to consumers interested in greener material. Offerings in the category of organic cotton or other preferred cotton varieties like Better Cotton, Fair Trade and recycled varieties were available. These materials were usually white and in shades of lighter colours like tones of beige, lavenders, pinks etc, mostly suited for cushion covers, throws etc.

Another high on radar material is Khadi, the revolutionary hand-spun yarn originating in India. No more just a ‘poor man’s cloth’ this material has been adapted into items such as cushion covers, bed linings, throws, mats etc. Khadi might be high on sustainable agenda, but an array of textures, detailing and bohemian motifs available in Khadi are an add-on to its glory.

Technique is the foundation of an artwork which was solid at the fair. From the reflection of the Indian diaspora to the self-evolved techniques of independent artists, a diverse variety of craftsmanship was on display.

Make In India

The fair evidently paid homage to the evergreen crafts of India. These traditional yet contemporary products offer a raw yet rich cultural vibe to the surroundings.

Soft goods techniques featured the ‘tie-dye Ikkat’ and largely conventional paisley prints. With textures going big this year, double warp & weft Ikkat and extra weft technique for Banaras brocade were hard to miss details. Showcased design collections were in collaboration with clusters of Ghyasar, Banaras, Bhuj and Pochampalli. The unprocessed raw feel of these goods makes them comfortably tactile.

Tune In Texture

When raw became the new smooth, weaves became popular. The shift towards hand crafted goods was evident at the fair. More designers presented products that used handloom weaves celebrating the traditional craft style.

Along with the traditional weaving styles, there were numerous new techniques used. Like the ombré weave which involves dying the yarns and then weaving to make an end product, giving a raw and edgy look.

Other popular techniques were hand knotting and carpet technique, supporting the folklore theme. With travel being a big influence in home décor, a rise in variety of thicker weaves could be traced back to the beauty and royalty of the Indian history and heritage.

Bring Out The Bling

With the 80’s back in fashion, home accessories couldn’t stay away. Gold foiling was popular amongst all the soft goods variety. From geometric patterned shapes to floral designs, distressed effects, and patchwork all had inches of lustre in them. These were especially popular on muted shades of pink, lavender, and beige.

An alternative technique used was 3D foiling. It made the fabric more reliable i.e. it could not be torn easily. Following the same path as gold foiling, this technique uses an amalgamation of gold copper and silver substances.

Burn It Out

As the burn out effect is gaining popularity, almost every stall had its own versions of the art. Also known as Devore, the method created semi-transparent pattern of geometric shapes like circles, vivid abstract designs, and distressed patterns against more solids and woven fabrics. A negative-positive concept had also been used by most designers.

Embroidery: Then And Now

Embroidery is a timeless trend where home décor is concerned. Evidently, the fair witnessed a huge variety of adaptations of this craft. Woven manipulations were done with polyester, silk, and cotton threads. Also, zari yarns were used on commodities adding the bling factor.

As the forest and tropical designs in soft goods hold strong, embroidered designs of leaves, branches, and trees were big this season. The all-season multi-sized floral motifs on solid colours were extensively available for curtains, cushion covers, and even sofa covers. As traditional goods are gaining momentum, the Kashmiri and Phulkari embroidery added tradition to the forest and tropical influences.

A very distinctive technique was the combination of woven manipulation with burn out effect. Working the negative-positive concept, available goods had regions of embroidered areas over solid background, giving a burn out effect.

Appliqués Are Here To Stick

Even though appliqués are a bit yesteryear’s trend, the home décor industry is not over it yet. The fair witnessed a blow up of hand and machine made experimental appliqués on cushion covers, curtains, bed covers etc.

Designs inspired from popular tropical and forest motifs were available vastly. Also, small animated objects such as engines, toys, car patchwork for kids was majorly visible at stalls. Quote appliqués in a darker colour on a beige background could be spotted at the fair. Heavy fabric geometrical patchwork on sheer solid fabric was available at almost every stall.


Adding a tactile surface interest and dimension, surface embellishers are back in trend and are here to stay. At the fair, various experiments with different materials were conveniently obtainable.

Globally, sequins on fabric is one of the biggest trends this season and was equally loved on soft furnishing goods too. Be it design motif or random placement, or covering the entire surface, these good were easily the glitteriest items at the fair.

Ruffles and smocked details concentrated on cushion covers was an eye-catching element. Ruffles were attached in straight lines or used as 3D floral motifs on surface, giving it a very classy appeal.

Bohemian culture has seeped in home décor accessories. Today, tassels and fringes are not just seen as added trims but also as design elements. Addition of tassels and fringes on muted shades was fairly popular at the fair.

With so much on offer in 5th edition of Heimtextil India and Ambiente India 2018, one can expect that exhibitors made the most of it and seized the day with a great number of business propositions.