Expert opinion on the latest trends in carpet couture.

Carpet Couture is every bit as exciting and cutting-edge as clothing fashion, with Innovations@DOMOTEX 2014 proving the point by showcasing the latest trends in carpet design, materials and craftsmanship. Frank Moffat, Chief Executive of Belgotex Floorcoverings, gives his forecast on forthcoming carpeting fashions.

Q: What were the most significant trends for carpeting you noticed at DOMOTEX 2014?

A: From a “fabric” or textile fashion perspective, there were two dominant trends: Texture – with plenty of interesting tactile combinations; and Lustre or sheen – offering subtle reflective qualities that play with colour and light.

Texture
• Texture has always played a key role in carpeting but this year it was even more pronounced. Manufacturers really emphasised the feel.
• Irresistibly touchable – everything from luscious, plush softness to 3D surfaces and hard/soft combinations – the scope was incredible.
• Just as fashion designers combine tweed with silk or chenille with chiffon, we are seeing the same kind of scope appearing in carpeting now.
• From deep, cut-pile Saxony to tightly woven, even embroidered options, manufacturers are using different yarn technologies, deniers and materials to achieve interesting textural effects.

Lustre
Subtle sheen and polychromatic colour treatments were very evident from numerous manufacturers worldwide. No more opaque, monochromatic tones – now the trick is to add a hint of shine or translucency that plays with the light. Manufacturers have added a gentle glisten to carpets, providing an added dimension and tonal contrast with a touch of opulence.

Q: Speaking of colour, what are the hot and happening hues?

A: The grey undertones were still popular as well as the trusty natural or organic earthy shades, but there were hints of rich olive, aubergine and gold coming from the alternative materials used in the manufacturing process.

South Africans tend to favour the traditional, neutral palettes of beiges, browns and creams which is why Belgotex has updated its colourways with cooler grey undertones, while still offering the full spectrum from warm to cooler shades that customers can view on Belgotex’s facelifted website.

Q: What do these trends mean for Belgotex? How will you be translating these for the SA market?

A: Soft, silky and sensuous, with a hint of sexiness. That is a good description of the ranges that can be expected from Belgotex shortly. Belgotex prides itself on its reputation for innovation and quality, which is why there will be a launch – coming up very soon.

Carpets with glorious softness will recreate that inviting comfort, warmth and safety, countering the harsh reality of hurried lives, stark economic outlooks and sterile working environments.

Q: How prevalent were environmental issues at DOMOTEX 2014?

A: Europe is far more advanced in terms of environmental issues like recycling and this was evident even in the scope of materials being used (and re-used) in carpet production.

Several producers combined interesting materials such as wool with bamboo, cotton and nylon, biopolymers made from vegetable matter and handmade rugs made from recycled bicycle tyres and even fan belts to achieve texture. There were options for organic, natural materials and engineered or recycled yarns too.”

South Africa still has a way to go in that regard, but I believe collaboration with our sister companies in Europe, Brazil and Australia will aid those synergies too.