A colleague just called me to provide input on an article she is writing about technology fabrics. It was a fun conversation, because ofthe potential to dream about the future.
I began by telling her about a product we came across at TheTrend Curve™ called SensiTile™, a tile that responds to movement by creating ripples on its surface—and it is powered by daylight and ambient light. Then I told her about new peelable paint by Akzo Nobel that works for products like cars and windows. This is great stuff with endless potential.
Finally we moved on to home textiles. There is so much happening with technology in this category!
Renee Bennett, one of The Trend Curve’s™ contributing editors, has taken a keen interest in performance fabrics for years. At the last home textiles market in New York, she was most impressed with SpringsIndustries’ new Sleepology Collection, and wrote about it as being directional for home. It features:
- Wamsutta Embrace—a 100% cotton flat sheet and pillowcase and cotton-rich fitted sheet with stretch (95% cotton/5% Lycra® stretch fiber) for deep mattresses and to assure it stays in place.
- WamsuttaComfortZone—an 80/20 cotton-rich sheet set with CoolMax technology that wicks away moisture to create a more comfortable night’s sleep.
- WamsuttaCareFree—a 360 thread-count premium cotton in a twill weave with a WrinkleGuard finish that resists wrinkles, shrinkage and fading.
- Wamsutta Endure—sheets with a Teflon® finish that repels moisture and resists stains for busy households with children and pets.
- WamsuttaRest Easy—sheets feature an 85% cotton/15% Amicor fiber weaving combining function with comfort, whose allergen-reduction properties prohibit the growth of dust mites, one of the most common and hard-to-control household allergens.
Furniture companies are also jumping into the performance fabric bandwagon. Upholstery that will not stain or that resists mold and bacteria (even in outdoor applications), are changing not only the expectation sfor longevity for a sofa, chair or toss pillow, but also where and how you can use them. Just as importantly, these features suggest the potential for future color trends as well (to paraphrase Raymond Waites, these fabrics mean there isno longer a reason to be afraid on neutrals—so will easy-to-understand and easy-to-decorate-with neutrals begin to challenge color’s hold on the market?).
In the end, features like high thread counts or lots of picks will still be important, but the focus is slowly shifting to better constructions, improved finishing techniques and performance enhancing features that are remaking the way we live with fabrics in every application.