Progressive material innovations presented digitally: following the cancellation of this year’s fair due to the corona pandemic, Heimtextil is extending its range of digital services and launching a new online materials library entitled ‘Future Materials Library’.
Heimtextil is now showing a selection of innovative materials from all over the world in the digital ‘Future Materials Library’. At the last physical Heimtextil in 2020, visitors had the opportunity to explore the ‘Future Materials Library’ with all their senses. Now, in the online version of the library, visitors can discover the potential of previously unknown textiles at any time. The ‘Future Materials Library’ invites visitors to open their minds to experimental approaches and revolutionary ideas.
The curators of the new materials library are London-based futures-research agency, FranklinTill. “We are transitioning to a materials revolution that will help restore the balance in our relationship to our planet. As part of the Heimtextil Trends 21/22, we present a new selection of materials for interior applications with exciting innovations from all over the world”, says Caroline Till of FranklinTill.
A mix of commercially viable products and developments in an early stage
Imaginative designers and environmentally-aware manufacturers: the Future Materials Library 2021 offers materials pioneers a platform and presents a first-class mix of economically proven and revolutionary developments. FranklinTill has organised the materials in four themes: REGENERATIVE CROPS, REMADE FIBRES, HARVESTING WASTE STREAMS and SUSTAINABLE COLOUR.
An example of a supplier of regenerative crops is the British company Tengri, which obtains rare yak fibres directly from a cooperative of nomadic yak shepherds in the Khangai region of Mongolia. In this way, Tengri enriches the pool of sustainable natural materials that, in addition to yak fibres, includes hemp, nettle and flax.
When it comes to remade fibres, the Finnish pioneers from Ioncell supply a pioneering material: they use an ionic liquid to turn used textiles, pulp, old newspapers and cardboard into strong textile fibres, which are then used to make long-lasting, high-quality fabrics.
The French-Dutch company Tarkett also exploits waste products and gives fitted and used floor coverings a second life. With the aid of ground-breaking technologies, the two main components of carpet tiles – yarn and backing – are separated and a yarn purity of 95 percent guaranteed.
Against the background of 28 million tonnes of food being thrown away every year in Japan, the country’s Food Textile company is dedicated to the reduction of food waste, which it uses to make sustainable dyes. In a patented process, blueberries, red cabbage, coffee and matcha are turned into natural, brilliant textile dyes.
With their different approaches, these textile pioneers provide an exciting contribution to the transformation of the current linear system of production and consumption into a circular model. This is in line with the objectives of the ‘Future Materials Library’, which aims to convince both producers and consumers of the benefits of the circular-flow economic principle.
Resources are running low
Thus, the new Heimtextil materials library tackles one of the main problems of the modern age: the shortage of resources on earth. In particular, textile production creates huge and continuously growing quantities of waste. And, over past decades, the design business has developed a ‘take, make and discard’ model of consumption that is incredibly harmful for our planet. In the climate-emergency era, however, future-oriented designers are learning from nature and working together with it. They endeavour to make use of the power of highly efficient natural circular systems to create textiles and materials that are better for both humans and the planet.
Heimtextil Trends: a guide for the international sector
The ‘Future Materials Library’ is part of the Heimtextil Trends that, for almost three decades, have been offering orientation for the sector by revealing design tendencies for the coming season. Even in the crisis, the Heimtextil Trends remain a vital part of the overall concept of the fair and provide important content for all target groups involved within the worldwide sector. Accordingly, Heimtextil aims to spotlight style-defining design developments taking place within the larger context of lifestyle trends. At the same time, the Heimtextil trend experts scan the exhibitors’ product world and identify unequivocal trends in the sector. In this connection, particular attention is paid to sustainable aspects along the entire value chain – in both the new digital library and live during the fair next January.