Textiles material choices are ever increasing while applications are only limited to our imaginations. Textile research is a growing field worldwide with developments emerging everywhere – from industry, studios and academic centers.
A group of researchers at MIT has recently developed a material that reacts to temperature – expanding as it warms and contracting as it cools. The planned application is in athletic wear but there conceivably could be adaptations made for textiles used in interiors. It is not a huge leap to consider the use of such a material in bedlinens that could regulate temperature to the user or multiple users. Or possibly sheers that becomes more opaque as the day wanes, providing privacy as space becomes lit from inside.
Industrial nettings and specialized architectural membranes are among the high-tech textiles developed for construction purposes with others on the way. Students at the Bartlett School of Architecture are looking at an unusual way to use textiles where instead of applying the material to a supporting structure, the fabric itself is constructed in a load bearing matrix. So far, the resin reinforced felt has only been used in the fabrication of a wall and chairs but the idea noise dampening and tactile characteristics of felt offer great potential.
By all accounts, a plush simplicity is still the predominant design aesthetic. However, there is a countertrend of a more maximalist philosophy to interiors that pays homage to world cultures through use of traditional color, pattern and weave. A stand out theme at the Milan Design Week in February this year, was the showcasing of vibrant, nearly discordant layers of texture and print in bright, warm colors in culturally themed displays.
Wall hangings and floors featuring ethnic motifs in traditionally favored shades and furniture upholstered in vintage prints and upcycled fabrics do not easily transfer or scale to most hospitality design layouts. These bold collaborations do however give designers license to branch out from the almost bland industry standard.
Boutique and luxury establishments have embraced this prerogative but we expect to be seeing more expressive, interesting design choices through all sectors. Custom design of rugs and fabrics is now cost effective and incredibly versatile. A unique textile that merges with your existing layout can quickly elevate the appeal of your space while still holding true to your brand. In complete redesigns, options are virtually unlimited with the variety of texture, colors and materials available.
There has been an ongoing shift in the hospitality industry towards creating authentic spaces that represent the core of a brand’s identity. This growing trend towards establishing individuality leaves brands and establishments looking for ways to express a unique identity while continuing to satisfy contemporary tastes.
This shift has led to the evolution of bespoke, personalized spaces that embrace the end user with the comfort of the sensation of a “home away from home” while providing an elevated experience. Textile trends continue to aim towards providing comfort and practicality. Subtle luxury blooms through the background of neutral tones as eye catching accents lend an edge to elegance.
Interior designers are increasingly detailing custom elements to inject precisely the right touch of uniqueness to a concept. Manufacturers are meeting this demand for customization with technological developments that bring an increasing variety of solutions at a range of price points, allowing for the customization and personalization of materials to suit the needs of the various sectors of the industry.
Digital printing offers an extraordinary level of detail and color integrity. Quality advancements of custom printed fabrics offer an increased level of creative control where patterns can be echoed across varying materials for various uses across single or multiple locations to achieve a visual cohesiveness. Precise color matching introduces options for brand color scheme representation.
Custom designed weaves and embroideries can be used for bold design choices in statement elements or as a subtle way of adding a touch of personalization to standard necessary furnishings. Minute details, such as the “embossing” of a logo or crest on linens add a richness of experience when used.
Character is found in what sets things apart. The quality of design is found in the details – or the details within the details.
Color is the immediate focal point of current trends and this year Pantone has declared it to be Greenery, a fresh, zesty shade of green that recalls fresh herbs and spring foliage. The psychological impact of the color – at once invigorating and soothing – on its own makes it ideal for interior spaces but it also symbolizes a deeper cultural shift towards a renewed connection with nature and our responsibilities to it.
The shade Greenery doesn’t hold a monopoly however as the prominent use of varying shades of green and, indeed, actual greenery is immediately identifiable in hospitality spaces worldwide. Greens provide flexibility within a palette by performing both the duties of an accent and a neutral depending on the chosen pairings. This allows for more freedom with interim updates if necessary.
Hospitality décor is still trending towards an understated, contemporary elegance featuring a neutral backdrop for accent pieces and shades. Soft, organic tones reflecting natural materials such as slate, wood, sand, and marble are prominent in upholstery and draperies while dimension is contributed by texture, weave and draping. Floor covers display similar shades but contribute character (and practicality) through use of bolder patterns and color.
The influence of nature is not only aesthetic but is seen in the direction of industry innovation as an important part of brand identity which must now be built on sustainability.
Green is Green
Textile production is a high water use industry. Producers are developing and introducing textiles and production methods that significantly reduce water use and pollution both during and post production. Indoor air quality, is another aspect of concern and with green building certifications (such as USGBC’s LEED) on the rise in the hospitality infrastructure, there is a growing market and thus trend towards low VOC emitting materials and installation.
Clearly, the natural world is truly crossing into our built environment. It’s a trend to feel good about.