At Heimtextil, the special range of textiles for contract use is brought together under the title Interior.Architecture.Hospitality. In 2020, three themes dominated the exhibition and the lectures at Expo: functional properties such as abrasion resistance, sound absorption, flammability and moisture protection, the end of mass taste and the challenges of environmentally friendly production and sustainable materials.
Contract textiles according to four functional criteria
The appeal for visitors of the commercial and contract textiles in the new ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality LIBRARY’ lay, above all, in their functional qualities. The textile materials library, which was on display for the first time, demonstrated the spectrum of modern functional textiles by means of a carefully curated selection of Heimtextil exhibits. These included ‘Sensation’, a flame-retardant velvet (Edmund Bell), as well as Solarflex, a twill with sound-absorbing properties (A House of Happiness – Royal Vriesco), ‘Vogue’, a water-repellent, textured wallpaper (Omexco) and ‘Soft Basic’, a hard-wearing velvet, (Gebr. Munzert). Altogether, the library contained 64 textiles grouped in four functional categories (hard-wearing, sound-absorbing, flame-retardant, and water-repellent). The library can be accessed online throughout the year and offers a valuable tool when selecting contract and commercial textiles.
Diversity as a topic in the contract business
Diversity constituted the overarching theme of the lectures in relation to Interior.Architecture.Hospitality, a range of products and specialist services intended specifically for interior architects and hotel planners. The ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality LECTURES’ were offered in collaboration with AIT Dialog and hotelforum. The lecture topics dealt with an extremely broad range of social and cultural challenges: urban living, short-term accommodation, as well as cultural and media landscapes. And the guided tours, too, were very well received by the trade visitors. Partners from the sector, including AIT-Dialog, AHGZ, arcade, architektur international, bdia and World Architects, took the participants of the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality TOURS’ to exhibitors, carefully selected to fit in with the relevant topics. “The tours are very valuable and a great help, because many people are initially overwhelmed by the abundance of products and services at Heimtextil. On top of that, they offer participants something more personal and an individual view,” explains Jutta Werner from the nomad office in Hamburg, who took people through the halls on behalf of World Architects. “It was very clear that interconnection, transparency, innovation and recycling of materials were the major issues that concerned many – both companies and creatives.”
Trend towards a sustainable value chain
In Hall 4.2, “Interior.Architecture.Hospitality EXPO” presented a selection of textile products and furnishing solutions for the contract business – with a host of innovations in terms of sustainability. For example, Féline, a start-up from the Netherlands with sustainable and highly flexible acoustic solutions made from wool felt. With their product, which goes by the name of ‘minimal art collection’, this newcomer to the market promptly won the coveted ‘Heimtextil Trendscouting by AIT’ award: “Many customers are unaware of just how damaging to the environment traditional felt manufacture is,” explains Renske Vogel, Founder and Managing Partner of Féline. “We did a lot of research before we started and took our time over the development. Now, with our Féline Fresco Collection, we can offer a genuinely sustainable and very modern alternative.” Initially, some 50 interior architects, planners and hotel specialists nominated the leading trend setters from amongst the exhibits at Heimtextil for the ‘Heimtextil Trendscouting by AIT’ award. On the second day of the trade fair, a distinguished jury of experts finally chose the ‘Heimtextil Trendscouting by AIT’ winner and three special mentions (the flax-based wallpaper by Norafin Industries / Extra Organic, the OceanSafe principle and the Square LED from Marburger Tapetenfabrik).