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  • The color of contentment

    Sponsored by Upholstery Journal magazine

    If using an outdoor fabric indoors brings to mind a red-checked picnic tablecloth upholstered onto Queen Anne dining room chairs, it's time to step outside and smell the colors.

    Gina Wicker of Glen Raven, which makes Sunbrella, notes a few trends from the International Textile Market Association's Showtime semiannual trade show in High Point, N.C., in June 2008.

    "Textures and basics seem to be very prevalent," she notes. "We saw a lot of interest in warm/cool combinations."

    Examples include gray, which typically comes across as icy, combined with buttercup; charcoal gray and cocoa (which, Wickler notes, complements today's black finishes and accents); and soft green or ginger/clay combined with cocoa.

    From a pattern perspective, she adds, people are looking for fresher, more upbeat styles, such as "traditional Jacobian floral or frame damask colored in a contemporary way," and replacing navy, forest green and burgundy with clay, peridot, cocoa or charcoal gray.

    Sarah Hardy, manager of Michael's Custom Built Inc., an upholsterer in San Rafael, Calif., notes a trend away from earth tones to crisp white and bright colors, such as lime green, bright orange and hot pink.

    "In times when the economy is not good, people tend to look for patterns and colors trending to a happier place," Wickler says. "People gravitate toward things that make them feel good."

    Jeff Jamison of Shuford Mills, which makes Outdura, says he's seeing a trend toward woven jacquards, medallion weaves and dobby textures. "Texture is very big right now, whether by weaving technique or novelty yarns," he says. "Anything that goes in the home in terms of style is expected of us."

    From "Bring outdoor fabrics indoors," which appeared in the October/November 2008 issue of Upholstery Journal, by Janice Kleinschmidt, a freelance writer and editor based in Palm Springs, Calif.