Focus - May 2011

Getting Fancy
By Wanda Jankowski

Recession-weary consumers demanding “something special” on which to spend are prompting an increase in ways to incorporate lace, embroidery and other embellishments affordably

A half dozen years ago, over-the-top embellished looks, including the “bling” of Swarovski crystals, were seen in abundance at markets and industry trade shows. But as consumers craved more transitional and modern designs, the decorative touches began falling away, replaced by cleaner styles that emphasized texture and color. When the recession hit, cost also factored into the paring down of adornments.

In the past six months, however, in spite of continuing difficult economic times, consumers seem to be longing for more glamour and visually interesting details, albeit at affordable prices.

Today’s best-selling styles employ a wide variety of techniques, both new and time-tested, to enable goods to “get fancy” and attract consumers’ attention while offering great value. For example, crochet is used in controlled patterns rather than overall for a cleaner, more modern look. Embroidery takes on a bold look executed with thicker yarns. Flocking and appliqués bring dimensionality into the mix.

Lace, the grand dame of fancy looks, is being updated with new motifs. Recently, Heritage Lace introduced curtains and tabletop items that incorporate crisp silhouettes drawn from nature, including dragonflies, birds, flowers and vines. The fresh designs can complement traditional or transitional home décor.

Modern German Lace offers traditional style lace goods, but also creates edgier designs that showcase the intricacies of lacework in a new way that holds particular appeal for younger generations. With roots in the style of German designer and embroiderer, Miro, its Design Graz Collection presents lacemaking in a contemporary style. Rendered in polyester silk, the tabletop items are also easy care.

Embroidery remains a widely used way to create visual interest and a sense of luxury in home textiles. Venus Home points out that embroidery cost is a function of the design size, number of stitches and number of embroidery heads on the machine.

Venus Home frequently creates embroidered looks that involve diagonal or asymmetric cascades of embroidered patterns in varied stitch and color configurations, such as in the Rhapsody ensemble shown.
Ellison First Asia’s Nico shown on the next page features a drop that has been simultaneously embroidered and quilted.

Anali Exquisite Needlework’s forte is translating original designs into refined “thread paintings,” which can take months to digitize and color. The effects of the recession have not influenced the company to change the types and quality of embroidery it creates. The company’s philosophy is that its clientele expects a certain look—it’s part of the brand—and will continue to value it, basing their choices on aesthetic quality rather than price.

Anali also believes executing its machined needlework in the U.S. is not only an advantage in the mind of consumers, but also allows it to have total control over production and make product as orders are received, insuring quality.

Phoenix Home Fashions believes it has become known as a go-to manufacturer who can create effects and solutions that may not be available elsewhere. It reveals that techniques such as open-stitch embroidery, smaller repeats, monochromatic weaves, piecing and innovative surface treatments can be skillfully used to create stunning looks at moderate price points.

Recent Phoenix Home Fashion bedding introductions reflect its capabilities in employing varied embellishing techniques: Rain Forest features embossed and printed velvet, Dahlia incorporates flocking, Dolce is adorned with black lace on a polyester silk with a dupioni texture and Noir is a woven with a pieced look.
Although there are many homes textiles that incorporate attached embellishments, such as beads, tassels and novelty buttons, the pressure on suppliers to create striking designs affordably has produced a range of new ways to manipulate the texture, stitching, construction and coloration of the yarns and fabrics themselves in order to produce embellished looks today’s consumers will adore.

Nature Motifs In Lace
Bristol Garden from Heritage Lace features silhouettes from nature on a sheer background. Available are a 60-inch wide valance, tiers and panels as well as placemats, a 45-inch round table topper, and 14- by 36-inch and 60-inch runners in white or café. The machine washable products are made in the U.S.
Royal Treatment
Yves Delorme has created a limited edition Royal Wedding boudoir pillow sham, and guest and hand towel set to commemorate the marriage of William and Catherine. Each piece includes embroidery and the Yves Delorme swan logos. The items are available for special odrer and at select Yves Delorme stores nationwide.
Capturing DesignTrends
Galaxy, a contemporary design from Avanti Linens, capitalizes on the design trend toward using metallic threads. The towels are available in black, granite and white. Avanti’s new website at avantilinens.com showcases its wide array of embroidered and embellished decorative towels. ?
Bold Statement
Peacock Alley’s Eucalyptus Collection benefits from soft chenille embroidery using thick yarns and wide stitches on a misty blue ground. The polyester bed scarf, decorative pillow and shams are made in the U.S. of imported fabric.
Selective Placement
Venus Home strategically cascades the floral motif across the solid background in its Rhapsody ensemble. Selective groupings of embroidered patterns can be just as or even more eye-catching than overall designs.
Bells & Whistles
Croscill Home’s Premier ensemble projects opulence through its intricate stitchery, braided borders, tassels and crystal bead trims.
Subtle Coloration
Anali’s Plat Rossignol towels showcase the company’s ability to fine tune color shadings and stitch placement to create beautiful “thread paintings.”
Tapestry Looks
The Segovia design from Trump Home™ by Hallmart Collectibles features the repeat of an Old World style medallion in midnight black and brushed gold. The pattern is inspired by the Trump-owned Mar a Largo estate in Florida. The ground has a brushed effect that creates the feeling of antique fabric from a royal palace. The bedding is further embellished with chenille gimp, bell tassels and imperial cording.
Interesting Appliqué
Italian Countryside from Croscill Home features an appliquéd look further adorned with embroidery.
Combining Techniques
Nico from Ellison First Asia is a matte sateen in dove grey with an onyx grey drop. The embroidery on the drop is simultaneously embroidered and quilted, and then appliquéd onto the platform. Decorative pillows employ a range of techniques, including embroidery and pieced strips.
In The Details
Anali’s hallmark is its attention to detail when it comes to refinement of motifs and color selection. Note how the subtle shading of the fish scales in these Koi pillows adds a send of three-dimensionality to the fish. The gentle curves of their bodies capture a true sense of sea creatures in motion.
Today’s Lace
Modern German Lace offers lace goods with traditional motifs, but also with more edgy contemporary patterns, as seen in this Graz design. The embroidered guipure lace is made with 100 percent polyester silk and is available in light ecru, ruby red and copper.

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