HIGH POINT — The International Textile Alliance Showtime fabric market kicked off with its new, earlier date last week, moving the show up several weeks from its former December timing.
Although this date change, first announced by the ITA in March, created sampling issues for some resources, the market did not suffer for a lack of new product as manufacturers brought out hundreds on new SKUs and made waves with major business announcements, tech innovations and more.
Among them was Covington Fabric and Design’s full launch of its collection with design personality Hilary Farr. Best known for her role on HGTV’s “Love It or List It,” Farr’s Love It collection was initially previewed at Braxton Culler during October High Point Market on the designer’s furniture collection.
The collection is made up of 63 unique SKUs in shades that spans from neutral grays and browns to a refreshing fuchsia and blush assortment that made a big impression. Standout patterns included Lounge Lizard, a texturized lizard skin look available in several shades, and Come Together, a detailed embroidery that depicts scenes of people paired with animals and a patterned floral that plays on Farr’s theme of celebrating merging arts and cultures.
“I wanted to give people some color options to play with,” said Farr. “You have your neutrals here, but then you can throw in one of the brighter colors and just have a lot of fun with it.”
Also playing up color this round, Culp grouped its new and existing patterns into color inspirations, highlighting everything from a deep green color story to a more natural brown theme. The biggest hit, according to Culp design and sales consultant Kay Lawrence, was a grouping of blush pink the company calls Rose.
“The color isn’t really new, and it’s been kind of popular for a while, but it’s really gotten a lot of attention this market,” said Lawrence.
Throughout this market, pastel shades such as Culp’s blush pink were popular.
At Premier Prints, a minty blue and blush pink pairing found its way onto several new print varieties, doing especially well on new and existing animal skins. Skins, according to the digitally printed fabric resource, have remained among its bestselling offerings for several seasons, prompting more introductions this round.
Mergers and acquisitions
At Richloom Fabrics Group’s brand, a similar pastel blue found its way onto new color groups from the company’s outdoor Solarium brand, too.
Color stories were hardly the big news at Richloom though as the company spent much of this event celebrating the official acquisition of N.C.-based Chambers Fabrics.
Richloom, which began its relationship with Chambers Fabrics about six months ago as a strategic partner, announced the completion of the acquisition on the first day of Showtime. For Richloom, the move represents an opportunity to begin producing more domestically, and COO Michael Saivetz has confirmed that customers can expect to see fabrics produced as a part of the acquisition from all of Richloom’s brands at upcoming Showtime events.
“Domestic product will complement our existing network of globally sourced fabrics, offering our customers a diverse choice of fabric applications,” said Saivetz about the new domestic production opportunities.
American Silk Mills celebrated acquisitions this market, too, as the fabric resource showed off the first results of its partnership with parent company Sutlej Textiles. Called ASM Loft, the collection boasts a sophisticated look and feel with complex yarns and constructions at a lower price point (body cloths run between $9 and $14 per yard, while jacquards top out at approximately $15 per yard) thanks to the production capabilities of Sutlej’s India-based facilities.
Working off the idea of creating casual luxury, according to American Silk Mill Creative Director Susan Hedgecock, the collection’s color palette includes a spectrum of organic hues such as blush, thistle, linen, graphite, sage and indigo. Those colors can be found across a range of textured plains and classic patterned pieces.
In addition, American Silk Mills introduced its highly detailed Anthology collection of refined velvets, epingles and silks spread across three color palettes. Inspired by the company’s extensive archives, the fabrics feature Chinese Chippendale and Japanese stylized florals, classic damask patterns and more.
Also celebrating partnerships this market was commercial performance fabric brand Bella-Dura which launched its residential performance line: Bella-Dura Home. Debuting with more than 50 patterns in multiple color ways, the brand offers its commercial strength in residential-focused designs such as multi-toned plains and more decorative looks with reimagined leaf, line and stripe work.
In colors, a full range of neutrals is offered with special attention paid to blues, especially a smoky teal highlighted by Sarah Keelen, director of design for outdoor and performance for Bella-Dura’s parent company Swavelle.
“Blue is kind of our signature color at this point,” said Keelan. “These shades bring something new to the table.”
Valdese Weavers had a lot to celebrate and show at this market as well, as the company launched an expansive color customization program for its Crypton Home Fabrics pieces and announced that the Crypton Companies would be continuing its exclusive partnership with the company, allowing Valdese Weavers to manufacture Crypton Home Fabric through 2024.
In addition, the company showcased a hand-woven look, called Fiber Workshop, across its Circa 1801, Dicey Fabrics, Home Fabrics by Wesley Mancini and Valdese Weavers brand design teams. The collection made use of natural materials and several other unique materials and designs to create an artisan look.
A brand-new yarn for the company called “the artisan twist,” which is being made at the company’s N.C.-based facility, is featured prominently throughout.
At Valdese Weaver’s performance brand Insideout, a performance leather look caught a lot of attention. It offers a realistic hand in a variety of colors like navy, natural brown and more that pair well with the brand’s other performance textiles.
In real leather, JBS Couros focused on a cleaner story with its new Kind Leather. Made using 46% less water and 42% less chemicals than the traditional tanning process, Kind Leather offered people a unique new option this market.
At Moore & Giles, the semi aniline Regency made a splash as a scratch-free option in a span of furniture-friendly browns, blacks, grays and cream shades, and at Crest Leather, the company’s new showroom was big news this market. Making the move from the temporaries to a permanent showroom on the third floor of the Home Fashions Resource Center, Crest Leather showed off a lightly buffed, slightly distressed aniline leather called Old English.
Elsewhere in the resource center, STI’s Brentwood Textiles brand featured unique, phrase fabrics with crossstitch-like wording created for pillow placement. Designer Kathy Dotterer said she started creating the pieces custom for clients and is now looking to move them into larger production.
At Sunbrella, pillows were a focus, too, as the performance fabric brand rolled out a range of engineered pillow prints.
Complete with cut-and-sew lines, the designs coordinated with Sunbrella’s other indoor-focused introductions this market and included textural line work, a continued play on the handmade look and contrasting black-and-white color palettes that paired with gray and brown mixes.
The new product offering got a good initial reaction from customers, according to Greg Voorhis, executive design director at Sunbrella.