Happy New Year!  Well it’s official – I’ve been invited to attend Heimtextil, the world’s largest trade fair focusing on textiles for the home and furnishings sector, which takes place January 8-11, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.  It is a place where retailers, wholesalers, designers, and architects come to source fabrics for window and upholstery,  textiles for the bedroom, bathroom and table, wallpaper.  In addition,  Heimtextil is THE place to preview the trends that will be introduced into the marketplace in the upcoming year. 

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Thomas Fedra

What better way to kick off the New Year but with a major creativity refuel consisting of a plethora of interior design,  textiles, and inspiration?  I have been to Messe Frankfurt, the expansive trade fair grounds and organizer of Heimtextil, but that was almost three years ago for Ambiente, the consumer goods trade fair, which in itself was an eye opening experience.  If that experience is any indication of what I have to look forward to at Heimtextil, I know that I will return home with plenty of inspiration and new ideas.

Why am I so excited about Heimtextil?  It has always been my modus operandi to not follow the curve, but to be AHEAD of the curve, and attending Heimtextil will put me in that position.  There will be larger exhibitors that most in the business are already familiar with, but what I am especially looking forward to is acquainting myself with up and coming manufacturers and lines. While the show can be quite large with a lot of ground to cover, there will be a few areas that I will be targeting during my time at the show.

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Jochen Günther

Heimtextil 2019 Preview – Looking to the Future

The areas of the show that focus on the future is what intrigues me most – trends, inspiration, and technology and these areas will be my first stop once I arrive. 

  • Trend Space -“Toward Utopia” – 2019/2020 Trends
  • Textile Design 
  • Digital Print Technology


There is nothing that gets my creative juices flowing like covering the season’s upcoming trends, and this year’s Heimtextil trend themes, introduced and presented by London-based FranklinTill  will be on display in Trend Space.  

Franklin Till | Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Pietro Sutera

An overview of each of the themes will be highlighted in an area dedicated to enriching the overall experience.   I was given a sneak peek of what to expect at Heimtextil 2019 and there are 5 key design and color trends.   These trends are relevant to today’s consumer and lifestyle, and are built around the idea of achieving one’s own personal utopia. 

Pursue Play

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Charles Emerson

Bold pattern and color combinations are inspired by the 1980s Postmodern Memphis Group movement.  A dynamic and playful use of asymmetry, primary brights and secondary pink and green hues are punctuated with black, resulting in a playful appeal.

Seek Sanctuary

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Andrea Ferrari

Seek Sanctuary consists of a pared back, minimalist aesthetic with simpler forms, softened edges, and a minimal color palette.  Rounded and cushioned forms along tactile textural combinations create a sense of calm and familiarity.

Go Off-Grid

Messe Frankfurt GmbH

Inspired by the juxtaposition of nature and technology, Go Off-Grid is  where nature’s distant lands collide with high-tech man-made materials. Without the newest performance fabrics, survival in the elements is not possible and this dependency of one on the other enables a deeper connection with the natural and the man-made.  

Escape Reality

Messe Frankfurt GmbH

Iridescence and opalescence bring about a transformative quality that recalls the current phenomenon of augmented reality.  The effect of light as it moves across an iridescent surface or even the way it reflects on a shiny surface creates an ethereal and alternative perspective for the viewer, resulting in an escape from reality.

Embrace Indulgence

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Nicholas Worley

Embraced Indulgence consists of a rich and luxurious contrast of colors in a palette that recalls art deco and modernist style.  A subtle brilliance delivered by the natural sheen of silk and thick velvet pile textiles exudes a warm and sensual yet mysterious and indulgent appetite for luxury.

For a more in-depth look at these 5 key trends, view the “Toward Utopia” Heimtextil 2019 Trend video in its entirety:

“Toward Utopia” – Heimtextil 2019 Trends ©Messe Frankfurt GmbH


Visiting this area is a great way to see what will be making its way into designer studios and the consumer’s homes in the future.   

Original artwork is purchased from textile studios who are exhibiting in the Textile Design area.  This original artwork is oftentimes created by hand and is the starting point for what will eventually make their way into manufacturer’s lines.  These designs are translated for print by being put into repeat and broken down into a manageable number of screens for print, unless of course, it is being digitally printed.  What is seen in the Textile Design area during Heimtextil will no doubt make it to other areas of the show next year.    In the Textile Design area of the show we’ll be seeing tomorrow’s designs today!

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Thomas Fedra


As digital technologies improve,  traditional textile printing companies are looking at the benefits of digital printing, which include shorter lead times, customization options, improved design aesthetics, workflow efficiencies and cost reduction.  I always like to keep abreast of the latest technology and printing capabilities to understand what is and is not possible, so even though I won’t be purchasing any high-tech textile printers in the future, I always like to see what is out there and how things are done.  

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Thomas Fedra

Heimtextil 2019 for Interior Design

Heimtextil 2019 Preview
Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Thomas Fedra

What I consider to be the meat and potatoes of Heimtextil will be the areas focusing on the textiles that make the most impact and where designers spend most of their time and money :

  • Wall Decoration
  • Decorative and Furniture Fabrics
  • Window and Interior Decoration
Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Thomas Fedra


Wallpaper has become a HUGE market in the United States.  While many argue that wallpaper is currently making a comeback, it has actually been back for a while and the demand is continuing to rise wth no sign of reaching that plateau.  Heimtextil will include the world’s largest international range of wallpaper and I am looking forward to seeing some up and coming lines to add to the growing arsenal of lines that I am already familiar with.  With today’s digital printing capabilities and a growing number of wallpaper substrates, it will be interesting to see what else is available.  I’m always looking for the new and innovative and I know that Heimtextil is the place to find that.

Miss DIY Kerstin Smith and Olaf Schmidt, VP Textiles and Textile Technologies
Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Pietro Sutera


Most residential interior designers will be attending Heimtextil to see the vast array of decorative and furniture fabrics available through manufacturers from around the world.  Upholstery makes up the majority of fabrics that the average residential interior designer specifies for their projects and where most designers spend their time when designing with textiles.  The number of fabrics used in any one space can vary, especially if you like to mix your prints and textures and use a lot of pillows with contrasting fronts and backs like I do, so that number can quickly add up, which is why this such an important area for me to focus my time.

Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Thomas Fedra

Americans are usually quite safe with the color palettes they use, while I am not – I love a vibrant mix of color and texture used in an unexpected yet sophisticated way.  Oftentimes I find it difficult to find fabrics in deep, saturated hues, so this one of the many things that  I will be looking for while at Heimtextil.  


Window and Interior Decoration is an area dedicated to the interior designer and decorator where all products related to window treatments are found in one hall.  Fabrics designed specifically for window treatments, drapery hardware and drapery systems are consolidated in one hall to make it easier to source everything for window in one place.

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH | Photo: Jochen Günther

Other Areas Not to be Missed

There are other areas of Heimtextil that are not to be missed, and these are the up and coming areas that are still gaining steam.  Specialty segments of the market have become important and Heimtextil makes sure that these areas are thoroughly covered.

  • All About Pets Area
  • Green Village
  • Interior.Architecture.Hospitality


Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Jean-Luc Valentin

The interest in performance textiles has been on the rise in recent years and the demand has shown no sign of stopping in the near future. We know how the consumer feels about their pets, and as they become a larger focus in the home and designers continue to become better educated on what fabrics are out there and how they perform, I only see this market segment becoming stronger.  Heimtextil has an entire hall dedicated to pet friendly textiles and accessories.  


Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Jens Liebchen

Living in California, textiles produced using  environmentally friendly and socially responsible methods is often requested by designers and consumers alike.  It is refreshing to see that the awareness of  sustainability goes beyond California and is very much a global concern.  Refer to the Green Directory for a list of green manufacturers worldwide and a guide to quality mark organizations and green certification bodies.


Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photo: Thomas Fedra

This area is specifically targeted interior designers in hospitality and showcases innovations and current market trends in textile contract furnishing.  More and more, newly minted designers are gravitating towards careers in hospitality as opposed to residential design.  The democratization of design as a result of the accessibility that the end consumer has to “to the trade resources” is largely responsible for this.  I have also experienced a surge in requests for contract grade textile from designers, so I will take the opportunity at Heimtextil to explore what is available so I can relay that information along to the designers I work with.

Experience Heimtextil 2019

I have only covered a fraction of what is available at Heimtextil and in addition to what is covered in this Heimtextil 2019 Preview, there are several other areas of interest that you need to be made aware of.   Bed linen and bathroom textiles, smart bedding, table linens, and an entire building dedicated to manufacturers from Asia are some of the other key areas being presented at Heimtextil.

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH | Photo: Jochen Günther

There is no better way to keep up on the market than by experiencing it in person.  Heimtextil is right around the corner, taking place from January 8-11 at Messe Frankfurt and it is not too late to make arrangements to attend. For more information on how to attend, please visit Heimtextil.

While attending Heimtextil next week, I’ll be covering the events straight from the show floor so if you are unable to attend in person, follow along on my social media channels where I’ll be updating my feed and providing live coverage of my findings and trend observations as they unfold.  

Below, I leave you with images and inspiration from last year’s trend presentations.  Get ready to be inspired!


Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Photos: Pietro Sutera

See you in Frankfurt on the Heimtextil show floor on January 8!

Heimtextil 2019 Preview - Messe Frankfurt GmbH | Jeanne K Chung | Cozy Stylish Chic