With a firm emphasis on promoting up-and-coming designers, Heimtextil, Europe’s biggest contract fabric and textiles event, is set to impress visitors with one of its most creative events to date, writes JoBeth Phillips ...

Held from 9-12th January in Frankfurt, Heimtextil is a worthwhile jaunt for all those working within the design professions. Here, visitors can source supply of fabrics and textiles for a multitude of uses – including upholstery and homewares to creative wallcoverings and all in between.

Unlike many exhibitions, Heimtextil significantly promotes the work of up-and-coming print designers, allowing graduate creatives the opportunity to directly liaise with fabric suppliers, as well as interior designers and other creative professionals.

Each year, Heimtextil hosts Design Live, a multifaceted feature area which displays the wares of new, young talent alongside better-established textile designers, along with presentations hosted from the next generation of creative talent. Roughly 150 international exhibitors will be presenting creative designs for home and household textiles in hall 4.2, with some new studios to be represented at Heimtextil for the first time.

“We are looking to highlight Heimtextil’s position as the world’s largest platform for textile design. Our visitors will be offered a new contemporary showcase for first-class design work,” says Ulrike Wechsung, Heimtextil’s director.

Additionally, Heimtextil will be hosting its Young Creation Award, which will acknowledge the most creative interpretation of its brief – Upcycling. Students from Aachen University of Applied Sciences and Coburg University, Germany, were tasked with creating striking feature pieces for interiors using recycled materials. The results will be on show for all to view at a special campus area, which will offer interior design, architecture and textile design professionals another source of inspiration.

Identifying up-and-coming trends is one of the most important elements of Heimtextil, which produces an annual trends book in collaboration with design professionals across the world. The Trend Book is readily available to purchase at the event or online, and is relatively independent – making it an essential tool for professionals.

This year, the Trend Book has been conceived with the input from French company 2G2L Fashion Design and Consulting, Japanese designer Dan Project, the US-based Global Color Research, Orbitato studio in Brazil, as well as Germany’s stilburo bora.herke.palmisano, and the Stijlinstituut Amsterdam, which oversaw the project.

The multidisciplinary, global design panel has identified four main trends for 2013/14 – The Historian, The Eccentric, The Inventor and The Geologist. As the names suggest, each trend has been given a personality to reflect the multifaceted content of each individual trend.

The Historian represents individuals that takes pride and adoration in enduring values, mixing the past with the present. Superior craftsmanship with inspiration from the 16th and 17th centuries are hallmarks of this trend – epochs characterised by a wealth of historical art and exquisite craftsmanship.

The Historian is an aficionado of luxury with a sense for the quality and origins of objects. Textiles with a layer-look are part of this, as are net fabrics and artistic embroidery. A variety of different techniques and materials, from lace-making to laser cuts, reveal not only the broad spectrum of historical but also of future-oriented arts and crafts.

The home is brightened by shimmering gold, bronze and copper, as well as sophisticated reflections from material surfaces. The colours in rooms tend to be subdued and dominated by mysterious shadings.

In contrast, The Eccentric has a passion for extravagant discoveries, and appreciates timeless qualities with decorative character. The Eccentric searches for unique items, curiosities and original articles distinguished by exotic or ethnic influences.

Elegantly-made textiles, such as hand-coloured silk, and extremely lustrous, artificial snakeskin, upholstery fabrics in this trend are inspired by suit fabrics and oriental jacquards fall into this trend.

In the home, patterns with ethnic blossoms will be popular, and wallcoverings will take inspiration from textiles. The dominant colours have an Asian touch and interact in an extraordinary way.

The Inventor, meanwhile, enjoys developing things that make life exciting. Concepts that combine function and fun, as well as wellness and pleasures, are popular. This yearning encourages the exploration of undiscovered worlds full of marvels and adventure.

Open to experimentation and trying new things, The Inventor’s more inquisitive approach has a decisive influence on the design process.

Fabrics are brought to life: they sway, flutter and grow as flowery ornaments – extremely sensuous and tactile. The inventor experiments with extraordinary upholstery fabrics, openwork weaves and meshwork.

Foamed textiles create an airy depth and give rooms and furniture a new look. Technical veils, iridescent films and latex are also used. Feather-light constructions play with light and reflections. Lively colours ensure extraordinary contrasts and awaken curiosity.

Finally, The Geologist reflects personalities that are nature lovers, and wishes to protect the earth and its resources. Still adventurous, The Geologist enjoys researching materials and applications, and likes to know the quality and origin of a product.

Fascinated by the irregularities of geological surfaces, The Geologist will opt for natural structures, upgraded by colourful marl aspects and winding, viral patterns, as well as rough graininess, bark-like textures and rustic leather, skin or natural cork.

Blotch-effects bring otherwise sober surfaces to life. Broken, mysterious brightness flashes from the materials, and the colours within the trend reflect the enigmatic dark side of nature. Intensive colours are rounded off by shades of virulent intensity and metallic lustre.

Accompanying the Trends Book is a free-to-view video, which details each individual trend and the fabrics, colours and textures that will be popular within them. It can be viewed via the Heimtextil website, where further information on the show can also be found.