Interwoven exhibitors reveal outdoor fabric trends

At the recent Interwoven event in High Point, conversations focused on more than just product. The state of the industry was on everyone’s mind, particularly in the outdoor category. 

The pandemic had a lasting effect on the fabric industry in that it brought new players to the game. Economic conditions out of anyone’s control caused trouble for some fabric mills, and this became an opportunity for others. 

Talking to Anderson Gibbons, vice president of marketing for STI/Revolutions Fabrics, he says that competition between fabric producers is one of the best things for consumers, retailers and designers. The reason? It breeds innovation.

It’s never good to put all of your eggs in one basket, and that became clear when Covid hit. Now, with the number of options available and the amazing fabrics mills can create, retailers and manufacturers are sourcing fabric from a larger pool of suppliers, and it helps everyone involved. 

The trends seen at market backed this up, as exhibitors displayed performance fabrics that imitated indoor designs. Indoor textures, however, were the star of the show. 

At InsideOut, the theme of the year is Archival Revival, and fabrics ranged from heavily textured plains using novelty yarns, to special-weave details that lean more traditional. 

“We have also been making new yarns a priority,” says Jill Harill, director of marketing. “Recently, we’ve added a larger plush chenille and a novelty boucle we’re calling our Kaleidoscope Yarn consisting of three different sized yarns and colors. This season, we are excited to introduce a larger polyester yarn that resembles a thick cotton yarn that is giving us another tool to create drier, chunkier constructions.”

In terms of trends, she says she’s seeing a lot of pattern-on-pattern and mixing of styles — traditional plaids being paired with block print designs, stripes layered on stripes, heirloom tapestries mixed with ikats.

InsideOut’s Sundberg

Sundberg, a highlight of the line, features a heavily textured plain utilizing a new heavier chenille yarn that is incredibly soft with all the durability and performance needed for an outdoor space.

Outdura’s Sales Manager Chris Caldwell says textures are not going away any time soon, as they work nicely in indoor/outdoor spaces that consumers want today.

“Textures bring a new dimension,” he says. 

Para Tempotest

Also playing on the trend of textured fabrics with a soft hand, Para Tempotest displayed its luxury Capstone collection. The fabrics in the line were previously only available as custom orders, but now the company is stocking it in 46 soft-colored SKUs. 

Sunbrella’s spring indoor/outdoor 2024 lineup introduces nearly 160 new SKUS, including 25 distinctive patterns inspired by artisanal influences, inviting textures and rich, earthy colorways. The collection is driven by a vision to infuse spaces with tranquility through captivating color narratives that are both inspired and approachable.

Bella Dura

At Bella Dura, bold colors were front and center, from blue to green, dark gray and coral. Pinks are coming in, according to Director of Marketing Barbara Rogers, as are stripes. The variety of designs, she says, helps the company reach consumers with different style preferences in all regions of the country. 

“Many customers want color,” she says. “But it’s important to offer an option for every consumer.”

Interwoven isn’t as strong of a market for outdoor fabric companies purely because the times of the market don’t align with the casual category’s needs. But it does invite indoor buyers to find new performance fabrics with unique designs, patterns and textures, and exhibitors had no shortage of those this year. 

Alex Milstein

Alex Milstein is the editor in chief of Casual News Now as well as a contributor and social media coordinator for Home News Now. He previously served as senior editor of both Casual Living and Designers Today. Prior to that, Alex covered technology for Furniture Today, with a focus on augmented reality, e-commerce, and 3D visualization.

View all posts by Alex Milstein →

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