How The Future Of Fabric Is Determined By A Small Italian Textile Fair

How The Future Of Fabric Is Determined By A Small Italian Textile Fair

A small group of insiders travel to Cernobbio, Italy, each spring to decide the direction of the textile industry. They’re there for Proposte, a trade show for textiles that spills out of the little town’s convention centre and into seized local businesses. Mills advertise their products in leased-out gelato shops and optometry storefronts. Proposte is difficult to find outside the fabric industry because few interior designers attend, and even fewer have heard of it. The Proposte from the previous year is largely responsible for what you see at a fabric showroom today.

Everyone travels to Proposte, which is one of its distinctive features in the field of high-end fabrics. From design directors looking for manufacturers to boutique businesses like Rose Cumming, this comprises industry heavyweights like Kravet. You go if you can meet the minimum order requirements for their next hit to cruise ship fabric specifiers.

Trade Agency

In 1997, I went for the first time as a Schumacher staff designer. As editor in chief of The Textile Eye, I’ve been there in recent years to scout trends, and this spring, I travelled as a guest of the Italian fabric production Trade Agency. I’ve always regarded Proposte to be the ideal venue to immediately gauge what’s occurring in the top tier of the fabric industry, whether I’m coming as a journalist or to conduct business.

The density of sellers—the textile mills—is equal to the concentration of purchasers. A group of mills initially developed Proposte from the surrounding Brianza region to present italian fabrics production to an invited audience. The fair has expanded significantly since it first opened its doors in 1993. This year, it included 40 mills from nations ranging from India and Turkey to Austria and Belgium, along with 22 mills from Italy. (A few American mills periodically exhibit at the fair, but the American textile industry is sadly a shell of what it once was, and it doesn’t have a significant presence at Proposte.)

How Fabric is Made

One of the most common misconceptions regarding the textile sector is that global firms like Fabricut and Schumacher create all of their materials from scratch. In actuality, mills perform a significant amount of design work. Many employ a large number of textile designers, often buy textile artwork. And subscribe to trend services to help with inspiration. They also have recognisable design aesthetics and distinctive talents.

The task of brands is frequently to simply choose the materials they like and arrange them into a coherent collection. So which they then offer to designers. Mills sends finished fabrics to Proposte. The Italian fabric production suppliers that sell to the trade in the United States are variously refer to as “jobbers,” “converters,” .And just “suppliers” because we don’t have a standard title for them.

Scott Kravet, the chief creative officer at Kravet, claims that the fabric houses are refer to as “editors” in Europe. Kravet is a frequent visitor to Proposte and is use to selecting the best matches for his variety of collections from among tens of thousands of products from thousands of suppliers each year. “Occasionally, when you enter a booth, you see something wonderful. Perhaps you find a stunning silk from one of the mills—a brocade or brocatelle—that is ideal in its current state. There is a brief high.

Audaces - The right side of the fabric: how to recognize it

Outsider and Insider

By definition, fabric brands are brands that want to leave a positive impression on their clients. On the other hand, individual mills usually maintain a low profile and are largely unheard of by interior designers. At Proposte, each person has a unique strategy, though.

High-end printing and weaving are often produced in small to medium-sized facilities. Each of which has a particular area of expertise. The knowledge and skills used in these enterprises are frequently passed down from one generation to the next through long-standing family firms. Awe-inspiring products like foil-printed velvets, singles woven on vintage looms. The hammered silks, and hand-finished trims are just a few examples of what these manufacturers are capable of.

Every nation has its fabric traditions, which are all available at Proposte. They are famous in Belgium for their knowledge of weaving velvet and linen. India is a global leader in intricate decoration and needlework. The UK has storied print shops and woollen mills, whereas Germany is a leader in contract innovation and fabric production. A few mills in Turkey excel above average and produce magnificent sheers and upholstered goods.