Q&A with VP of Fabtex on Red-hot Fabric Trends

HA+D sits down with Bill Friese, vice president of renowned fabricator Fabtex, Inc. to get the latest lowdown on fabric trends for 2011 from colors to clever applications.

1.  What are the current/emerging color trends in fabrics?
Fabric colors, like recycled products, evolve, are modified and find new life meeting current-day needs.  For instance, the Avocado color of the 70’s has transformed into the current Kiwi color. There is an ebb and flow to the popularity of patterns and colors based on designers’ perception of those elements being new or old and the vision for the property. There will always be jewel tones. Natural and earth tones are always important. Trendy colors reflect whatever the designer wants to accent or “pop” in the look of the room.

2.  Is texture and pattern important to hospitality design?
Yes. Texture alone can define a look. Add a pattern or an oversized repeat for a real head-turning, dynamic look.

3.  What concerns should a designer take into account when choosing fabrics for different spaces, i.e. a guestroom vs. a nightclub?
The designer should make certain that the fabric is suitable for the intended fabrication and not focus exclusively on achieving a certain look.  For example, durability is very important for bedding due to the number of times the product is laundered. If time and budget permit, designers should consider producing a prototype of the finished product to evaluate its functionality and ensure performance and durability.  Fabrics that come from offshore are sometimes specified without consideration for the intended use and can result in less-than-desired performance.

4.  Would you agree that changing out a property’s fabric, upholstery, drapes, etc. is an easy means of revamping a property’s “look”?
Yes. Replacing the property's fabric, upholstery and draperies is like a fresh coat of paint.  The overall look of a guestroom can be changed dramatically just by updating the bedding and draperies:
•    Replace a bedspread with a bed throw or duvet for a softer look.
•    Freshen up draperies by adding a decorative sheer.
•    Add excitement to a neutral room tone with decorative pillows in splashes of color and pattern.
One of the most important things designers should remember when adding to or updating a look is value-engineering the fabric selections so their choices fall within the budget of the customer.

Any other advice?

Make sure you have a trusted relationship with your fabric source and fabricator, and seek their guidance on the selection of fabrics to make sure ahead of time that they are appropriate for the end use.

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