Outdoor fabric producers embrace earthy hues, watery shades and even white
Interwoven — the International Textile Alliance’s fabric market previously known as Showtime — launched with a rebranded image this week, and exhibitors were excited about the update.
“I like the new name. I think it works well for the show and Showtime felt a little outdated,” said Teresa Buelin of Outdura.
The rebrand wasn’t the only thing exhibitors were excited about.
After two hard years of fabric shortages, fabric manufacturers came ready to show off new collections — proving their resiliency and commitment to customers and new designs.
One of those companies was Sunbrella, which not only introduced new designs in its Showtime collection this market, but also told Casual News Now that its multiphase $250 million investment is about to pay off.
In 2021, parent company Glen Raven announced a plan to expand production at all levels, from yarn to finished fabric. The total of all three phases amounts to $250 million in investments and will increase the company’s production capabilities by more than 30%.
The company said its new spun-yarn plant, co-located with Glen Raven’s existing facility in Norlina, North Carolina, will begin to increase production by more than double.
In terms of trends and its Showtime collection, Sunbrella’s designs included deep reds and oranges, as well as blues, teals and greens.
“Indigo is a constant as it works well with other blues — almost like a neutral,” said Grainne Coogan, design manager. “We continue to create lines inspired by travel, our global signature, and unique designs.”
Bella-Dura highlighted its Harborview collection, which features a small-scale stripe with a menswear vibe. It has a herringbone ground and a delicate pinstripe that is created by the slub yarn.
The company said neutrals continue to be popular both indoors and outdoors, but they are getting warmer, with colors like camel and straw.
“What is exciting to see is that color is being embraced more now than in the past,” said Greg Thomases, Bella-Dura chief executive officer. “We are seeing more greens. Organic weaves are on the rise and plains are becoming more textured.”
The company recently launched its Bella-Dura Home Cut Program, a collection of 130 of its bestselling and newest fabrics available by the yard and in stock.
Outdura unveiled 173 intros this market — one of its largest debuts ever — with its new Virage series, The company spotlighted the Escape collection, one of four themes in the series. Escape features natural colors and shapes that aim to help people relax, unplug and enjoy nature. “The theme with Escape is mindfulness,” says Mariia Elizarova, Outdura senior designer. “Textures and colors take inspiration from the forest.”
To help show the fabrics in action, the company had a Design Cube display set up in the Market Square Courtyard to show the fabric on furniture, and it repeated the vignette in its showroom.
Ultrafabrics also had a Design Cube in the entrance, where it showed off a bold color that it carried over into its showroom: white.
While white has long been a risky color for outdoor furnishings, new performance properties make it as good a choice because it brings a more elegant, refined look to outdoor spaces.
Ultrafabrics continues to tout its Coast collection, an indoor/outdoor performance fabric that has a subtle pebblelike texture with a soft touch, almost like leather. Its curated color palette includes 16 shades of sand, driftwood, coral, sea glass and sky blues.
Revolution Fabrics debuted several lines at Interwoven, including Revolution Washables, a group of multipurpose fabrics available in several designs, from jacquards to stripes and plains.
The company also added three more quick-ship SKUs, including base cloths and Revolution’s Coastal and Design Oasis patterns.
“We’re looking at a new and unique approach to coastal,” says Anderson Gibbons, marketing director. “Our boucles are also doing well outdoors as people are looking for more texture and they like different looks.”
Valdese Weavers’ recently expanded it InsideOut Performance Fabrics line in partnership with Taylor King and the Seaqual Initiative to include performance fabrics made from processed marine plastic. Christy Almond said the reception to the line has been great, and it continues the company’s green story, as all InsideOut fabrics are sustainably produced.
In addition, Valdese Weavers also introduced 24 new colors in its Samberg collection, which features fabrics that have a heathered look and canvaslike feel.
Sunbelievable debuted 100% acrylic fabrics this market, an alternative to its previous poly and acrylic blend.
Sales associate TJ Finneran said the company added the category because customers have been asking for it. New designs include heavy textures and on-trend colors. Lead times average five weeks (6-8 weeks for ocean freight). The company also has 43 quick-ship options at its facility in Hickory, North Carolina, that it can ship next day.
While Premier Prints didn’t debut collections to Interwoven because its saves those for the winter market, it said its latest Bohemian collection is doing well, as more people are looking for bold geometric designs, as well as black fabrics, even for outdoors.
The company also promoted in-stock, next-day shipping from its facility in North Carolina and said it sends out most other orders within two to three weeks.
“We’re facing the same challenges as everyone else in the industry but we’re working through it,” said Michael Hodges, swatch department manager. He also said the company has stocked up on gray goods, especially for outdoor, as it aims to keep its momentum.
Despite the challenges that fabric makers have faced over the past few years, Interwoven was proof that the industry continues to move forward. With creative ideas and resilience, it may even be on track to come out the other side even stronger.