With 2,658 exhibitors from 62 countries (2012: 2,601*) and growth for the third year running, Heimtextil 2013 kicked off the new furnishing season to a successful start. Around 66,000 visitors from 129 countries (2012: 67,451) came to the International Trade Fair for Home and Contract Textiles in Frankfurt. "Despite the current difficult economic climate, Heimtextil achieved an outstanding set of results and underscored its preeminent position as the world’s leading trade fair for home and contract textiles", said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.
The fair was rated a success by both exhibitors and visitors: the great majority of exhibitors (80 percent) and almost all visitors (94 percent) achieved their goals, a result almost identical to that of the previous year (79 and 93 percent respectively). Martin Auerbach, Director of the Association of the German Home Textile Industry (Verband der Deutschen Heimtextilien-Industrie), Wuppertal, was very pleased with the good start to the season for the domestic industry: "We are highly satisfied with the successful course of business and the positive mood among exhibitors and visitors of Heimtextil 2013. At the beginning of the year, the fair is a reliable indicator of the level of activity to be expected in the home-textile business over the coming months. Thanks in particular to the high level of internationalisation, we anticipate more impulses from abroad again in 2013".
More visitors than last year came from the USA and Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, France, the Benelux countries, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, China and Taiwan. The biggest visitor nations after Germany are Italy, China, Turkey, Great Britain, the USA, France, Spain, the Russian Federation and Poland. Thus, the proportion of visitors from outside Germany amounted to 66 percent (2012: 65 percent). Thanks to its high degree of internationality, Heimtextil is the perfect presentation platform, especially for export-oriented companies.
Heimtextil once again attracted more interior decorators and bed dealers from Germany – more than 7,000 interior decorators and 1,000 bed dealers registered in advance for the ‘Heimtextil Insider’ and ‘Bed’n Excellence’ visitor programmes.
Carpets and wallpapers attract attention
The InHouse Group Denmark, Scandinavia's largest carpet importer and distributor, exhibited for the first time in the very busy Hall 3.0, which also attracts many visitors – including interior decorators. Sales Director Frank Naur Jensen was delighted by his company's first appearance at the show: "To sum up our participation in the show in one word: it's been excellent! We have been particularly surprised by the quality of the visitors. We even concluded deals on the stand with decision makers from all over the world – you don't find that very often at a trade fair. Our search for an appropriate platform for interior furnishings has ended with exactly the right show at Heimtextil." Moreover, the wallpaper segment in Hall 3.1 created a considerable stir. New design developments and appearances by Dieter Bohlen and Luigi Colani, who were presenting their collections from Pickhardt + Siebert and 'Marburger Tapetenfabrik', received a lot of admiring attention. Well-known fabric editors Clarke & Clarke from Great Britain were also delighted by the huge amount of interest: "We have been able to acquire new markets for the wallpaper collections we launched three years ago," reports Mark Kennedy, Export Sales Manager. "As one of the largest textile fairs in the world, Heimtextil is an outstanding platform for contact with both new and existing customers."
‘Design live’: new concept successful
Hall 4.2, the world's largest platform for fabric design, presented the work of some 200 exhibitors in a re-worked environment under the new name of ‘Design live’. Among them, for the first time, was Hewlett-Packard from Great Britain with their new printing techniques. "Coming to Heimtextil has been a tremendous first step in evaluating the market for digital printing and estimating visitor interest in our products. We brought along our latest graphic printing solutions, particularly those for wall coverings and presented them at Heimtextil in collaboration with top designer Karim Rashid," reports David Sharpe, European Communications Manager at HP.
Focus on innovative sleep systems
In the field of home textiles, exhibitors in the heavily attended Hall 8.0 were jubilant about visitor trends: "Numbers during the first two days were markedly very good. We recorded improvements on the previous two years in terms of both quality and quantity. So we rate Heimtextil as one of the best trade fairs of recent years," sums up Hans-Dieter Giesen, Head of Sales at Bierbaum. Altogether, there were ten newcomers to the sector who presented themselves and their products as part of the "New&Next" platform for start-up companies. One such company was ErgoVitalis, who brought some innovative sleep systems to enhance the range of furnishing products at the fair. Managing Director Markus Kroll was very satisfied with their first time at the show: "We have been able to establish some successful contacts – particularly amongst German speakers – and have also had excellent discussions with some of the Asian visitors."
Great launch for bed linen
As one of the many fashion labels, the Spanish fashion brand Desigual saw new sales opportunities in the context of home textiles and came to present themselves and their products to the Heimtextil public in Hall 11.0 for the first time – with considerable success: "I have never seen such a crush of customers: we were talking to people non-stop. After just three days we had counted more than 2,000 customer contacts, including with many decision makers, who had concrete purchasing intentions. It has been a very successful trade fair for us; there is no doubt that we shall take part again," revealed Mehmet Kardesler from Desigual Sales Division, Germany. Ricardo Lemos, too, Member of the Board of Directors of António de Almeida & Filhos, which belongs to the important Grupo More Textile from Portugal, was in an extremely positive mood and emphasised the great importance of Heimtextil: "It has been outstandingly well received. True, we didn't have more visitors at the stand, but the really important people, the decision makers, were there. That makes the show a more professional affair and we don't waste time with inconsequential discussions. There was great interest from the USA in particular: representatives from the big chain stores were all there. As far as we are concerned, Heimtextil is the major trade fair, and we invest most in it. It gives us a platform on which to introduce our new products."
Spectacular trend presentation
As well as its potential for generating orders, the trade fair also provided a convincing road map in matters of design. The spectacularly staged trend show – designed and realised by the Stijlinstitut Amsterdam – proved to be a much-visited highlight of the show. Pedro Hernando, Director, Buying Department of Europe's largest department-store chain, El Corte Inglés, was equally thrilled: "We came to Frankfurt with a 20-strong team. We see here a broad selection of products and a high concentration of manufacturers, which serves as the basis for our orders; no other trade fair comes close. Our designers were particularly interested in the Heimtextil trend show, which is an important source of inspiration for them and provides a clear overview of current design trends."
The most important trend to emerge involved products that are created by a process of 'up-cycling' from waste materials: several companies showcased carpets produced from textile residues. And the competition for young talents, held for the first time, the "Young Creations Award: Upcycling" also picked up on the topic and introduced some market-ready product ideas. A large number of the sustainable textile products, moreover, also bore witness to the continuously increasing popularity of textiles produced in ecologically acceptable and socially just conditions. 128 exhibitors qualified to be listed in the 'Green Directory', the index of sustainable home and interior textiles – more companies than ever before.
‘Contract Creation’ spotlights new textiles for the contract business
The interdisciplinary ‘Contract Creations’ special show spot lit the latest textile innovations for contract-business visitors from the fields of architecture, interior design and property development. There, manufacturers presented special products and services, experts discussed the latest developments in the market and competitions showed outstanding corporate achievements and product solutions. The ‘Contract Creations’ programme proved to be extremely popular among architects and interior designers from home and abroad. "For me as an architect, it is important to see the latest product and technological innovations. Heimtextil is a great source of inspiration for the inside of a building", says Gus Wüstemann, proprietor of the firm of architects of the same name in Zurich and Barcelona.
Heimtextil in downtown Frankfurt
Consumers could also see the latest furnishing trends on the Saturday of the fair. For the ninth year running, the ‘Heimtextil goes City’ consumer campaign attracted well over 2,000 customers and home-textile aficionados to downtown Frankfurt. Under the motto ‘Saturday is Trend Day’, 25 interior decorators, bed dealers and public institutions showed highlights from the fair and trend-oriented decoration ideas.
The next Heimtextil, International Trade Fair for Home and Contract Textiles, will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 8 to 11 January 2014.
Further information about Heimtextil can be found on the internet at
Information about the textile fairs of Messe Frankfurt held around the world can be found at www.texpertise-network.com.
 Basis: Society for the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics (Gesellschaft zur freiwilligen Kontrolle von Messe- und Ausstellungszahlen (FKM)), Berlin, figures for 2012
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