BY BARBARA T. NELLES
In upbeat ticking showrooms at Interzum Cologne in Germany May 5-8, mattress makers were there to buy, fabric suppliers told BedTimes.
“We are finally back to where we were 10 years ago!” said Apollonija Spela Honigsman, research and development manager for Bodet & Horst in Elterlein, Germany. “Four years ago buyers were very depressed, all they wanted was cheap, cheap, cheap! Two years ago it was a mix—some were spending more. At this show, 90% are looking for something special, for new things—they want to be successful.”
In knits and wovens, there were innovations in appearance and performance—and many ticking showrooms were funhouses of new technology.
From one-piece knits with the look of cut-and-sewn covers to knits whose texture and design motifs could pass for a jacquard to wovens with many of the characteristics of knits, there was much to take in. Textile companies sought to entice high-end bed makers with fabrics that promise just about anything—they regulate temperature, deodorize, energize, rejuvenate—and some even improve your love life.
Color and style mashup
Charcoal gray with white stole the show.
“The current taste preference, especially in Europe, is for neutral designs in contemporary patterns, especially in all shades of gray—many blended with blues,” said Kristel Bisschop, sales representative with Monks International, based in Wielsbeke, Belgium. “It started about 16 to 18 months ago and is still very strong.”
But at Stellini, which has headquarters in Magnago, Italy, there also was the bold Grand Jacquard collection of modernist, super-sized, 90-inch design repeats—in vivid color or in striking black and white.
Knit supplier Innofa, with headquarters in Tilburg, the Netherlands, ventured into dramatically contemporary black-and-white and charcoal-and-white designs. It also showed a group of very smooth, modernist knits meant to resemble woven ticking.
Sunds Textiles A/S, with headquarters in Sunds, Denmark, showed off its cut-and-sew capabilities with a collection of buns, concept beds and toppers that used stretch knits in all shades of gray with white.
“We have 1 million square feet of knitting and sewing production space all under one roof in the Ukraine,” said Steffen Rømer, Sunds vice president of sales.
Entex bucked the gray trend with lots of color.
“We want to appeal to young people—optimism is our goal,” said David Gomez Francis, Entex export manager. “We are introducing ticking with two, three and four colors; knitted fabrics that are full of color and fun. In southern Europe and America, they’re not afraid to use a combination of colors.”
According to Tunç Akyürek, area sales director for Istanbul, Turkey-based Aydin Tekstil, his company had a very busy show and drew customer kudos with colorful fabrics, thanks to an investment in new equipment that allows for the use of three or more yarn colors. Aydin is slated to open a new factory in September, he added.
Boyteks, with headquarters in Kayseri, Turkey, won an Interzum Intelligent Material & Design award for its new Cooler collection, (See story on page 42), which focuses on sleep temperature. Its boldly colorful Romance knit collection is said to “heat up the bedroom” with Valentine’s Day red accents—good airflow story and soft comfort.
At Pointex, which has headquarters in Campi Bisenzio, Italy, columns of the company’s thickest new knits hung from the ceiling. The fabrics are highly sculptured and designed to never need quilting.
Colorful piece-dyed ticking is uncommon except at Sociedade Textil, a vertically integrated fabric producer based in Guimaraes, Portugal. The company showed a collection of medium-tone colorful knits that it says do a good job of preventing cover discoloration, which sometimes happens where foams meet fabric.
Also for bed borders, nonwoven producer Pratrivero, with headquarters in Pratrivero, Italy, showed sedate furniture upholstery-inspired stitchbonds, as well as customizable textiles for nonslip foundation panels. It also exhibited some wild color and shine with a glitter-filled stitchbond group.
The use of subtle shine adds interest and dimension to knitted fabrics, said Sylvie Vandenameele, head of design with Lava Textiles, based in Wielsbeke, Belgium. She grouped the company’s offerings into four trend categories with classical to contemporary inspirations, each of which included metallic yarns and colors that ranged from clear blues and reds to earth tones.
From wash-and-wear, removable mattress panels on concept beds that showed off Bekaert Textiles’ cut-and-sew capabilities to one-piece knits that give beds a cut-and-sewn look without all the work at Innofa and Bodet & Horst, ticking companies focused on readymade solutions to lower production costs and raise end-user satisfaction.
Innofa showcased its one-piece Engineered Covers collection, which launched at ISPA EXPO in 2014.
“We’ve fine-tuned Engineered Covers to the required looks of the market and placed them with many important players,” said Johan Cleyman, managing director of Innofa USA LLC, with headquarters in Eden, North Carolina.
“Manufacturers get so much value for their dollar because these covers are far less labor-intensive to work with. You can create a good-better-best look simply by adjusting the sweep of the contrasting ‘border’.”
Stellini introduced woven, premade borders that look quilted, tufted, cut-and-sewn or all three—but they’re not.
“This is how they come off the weaving loom, just like that, and ready to go on bed borders,” said Valentino Stellini, managing director.
Bodet & Horst unveiled Boxspring, a one-piece knit collection offering the look of a sewn cover with contrasting border and panel areas. The company said it developed a special knitting machine to produce the fabric.
The company explored other new technologies to assist mattress makers and consumers. It presented the refined, final version of Checkpoint, which debuted at Interzum Cologne in 2013. It’s an optical-indicator yarn for pillows, toppers and mattress pads that turns from blue to yellow when a fabric needs laundering.
DesleeClama’s new Double Sided collection is a hefty knit with two usable, different sides, enabling manufacturers to create multiple looks with a single fabric.
Double Sided was one of three of the Zonnebeke, Belgium-based company’s fabrics to win an Interzum Intelligent Material & Design award. The company’s Biaxial mattress fabric won a Best of the Best Interzum award. It’s a knit with long-lasting, 50% stretch in each direction and is the perfect fit for adjustable beds.
Lava Textiles launched patent-pending Triple Jersey Knit technology that it says yields a fabric that rapidly disperses and dissipates moisture, humidity or spills. The company also touted its highly successful High Definition knits, which are produced on special knitting machinery that use very fine yarns to produce a soft and intricately designed fabric.
Computer-aided design systems have come a long way since they first appeared on the scene in textile design departments. Custom applications allow for creativity and complete flexibility in design and easy communication between designer and customer.
In a showroom cloaked in one of its three Interzum award-winning fabrics, DesleeClama unveiled the third generation of its cloud-based iDC Designer Software.
“We decided that we need to be designing the entire mattress for our customers,” said Craig Dunlop, president of DesleeClama North America, with headquarters in Inman, South Carolina. “Beds are no longer a border and a panel. There can be eight to 10 pieces of fabric in a single mattress—it’s art. The new version of iDC allows for extreme design functionality and complete visualization of the finished product.”
At Waregem, Belgium-based Bekaert Textiles, the Imagine App design tool was center stage—along with a snack bar staffed with friendly Bekaert employees wearing “At Your Service” aprons. The Imagine App allows designers to experiment with textiles, colors, designs and quilt patterns, creating 3-D images that can be exported for customer viewing.
In four corners of its showroom, Bekaert displayed creative concept beds that must have sprung from the Imagine App in the hands of a talented designer. Appropriately, one “bed” was viewable in 3-D, but only when visitors donned a virtual-reality headset.
Read each section of the complete Interzum Cologne report for mattress manufacturers:
(You are here) Art meets tech in ticking showrooms