Varied looks don't crowd picture
By Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, 3/30/2001 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK-Soft window coverings manufacturers are all in agreement about what will dominate the spring market-it's organza. No, wait, it's lace. On the other hand, it's texture. Maybe it's a more casual look?
There is no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of different looks will be on display during market. But which one will dominate is the question.
Carl Goldstein, senior vp, S. Lichtenberg & Co., believes organza is the hot fabric this time around. The New York-based manufacturer is displaying a 100 percent nylon organza this market in a light to mid-tone color palette of white, eggshell, sage, burgundy, berry, navy and taupe, he said.
"We're using 100 percent nylon for that iridescent look," Goldstein said. "We think nylon will be the biggest fabric for the organza. The polyester looks too close to plain voile."
Lichtenberg is displaying both a solid and printed organza line. Traditional florals, some contemporary looks, "but not ultra contemporary," said Goldstein, and small motif leaf patterns remain the popular designs for this line.
Although Cheryl Johnson, manager, Croscill Window Fashions, agreed shine would play an important factor this market, she felt any fabric which displayed shine or texture or both would be the trend-setter this market.
"Things like plisses, puckered jacquards or fabrics that have shiny boucle yarns will be the big things this market," Johnson said.
The New York-based Croscill Home will also be displaying an organza line, but jacquards are the big story in its showroom.
Lighter colored jacquards such as sage, linen, champagne, cocoa and bronze are the most popular colors in Croscill's assortment. The deeper burgundy and classic hunter shades are downtrending, Johnson believed, and are giving way to yellowed dark green and red shades as well as a rich classic gold.
"I think jacquards are here [to stay] and it's a big story for us," Johnson said.
Adding another turn to the soft window coverings road map was Steve Castella, vp of design, Guilford Home Fashions. Castella said he believes lace is making a comeback, and the New York-based GHF has plenty of it.
"We're pushing it this time around," Castella said. "A lot of it is new and clean and has a contemporary feel even though a lot of traditional designs are used."
Taffeta, both Castella and Goldstein believed, will also make a large splash during market. Both men said they say plenty of the plain, but tightly woven fabric during January's Heimtex trade show. GHF, Castella said, is showing a taffeta line in solid, embroidered and contemporary lines, all with embellishments, while Lichtenberg is showcasing a semi-sheer construction.
Perhaps summing up what this market has to offer best was Wendy Keryk, president, Window Division, Richloom Home Fashions.
"I couldn't imagine it being about a particular fabric. There is just so much out there, how can you just focus on one? Talk about depriving the consumer."
Richloom, also based here, was designing a majority of its lines around the belief that consumers are turning their eyes more toward 'casual opulence' and not necessarily toward certain constructions, or textures. Whether it was fabrics with high luster metallic looks or those with more flat, matted looks, all are in demand.
Consumers, Keryk also believes, are gravitating toward better goods that are more lifestyle driven than ever before. Better fabrics with a softer hand, Keryk said, would be the products of choice when it came to decorating the window.
"I think the retail market is trending back up a little bit," Johnson said. "That's excellent because now we, as manufacturers, can offer better fabrics."
"There is definitely room to step up the price," agreed Keryk. "I think the consumer is ready to pay a little more. We're not talking about going up 10 notches, but definitely a little more."
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