The 2015 edition of Heimtextil recorded an increase in visitor numbers of around 3% in comparison with the previous year, with more than 68,000 trade visitors enjoying high quality products and designs from 2759 exhibitors.

“This has been the most successful Heimtextil for many years and means we have not only extended our lead as the world’s most important event for home and contract textiles but can also confirm the positive outlook for the economic climate,” says Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt.

“The significant increase in the number of affluent buyers once again demonstrates the high power of attraction exercised by our exhibitors and their products.”

There were particularly large increases in the number of European visitors from Great Britain, Italy and Spain. From the Arabian Peninsula, more visitors came from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. More visitors also came to Frankfurt from overseas nations, such as Japan and the USA.

As expected, there was a decline in the visitor numbers from the Ukraine and Russia.

The new ‘Theme Park’ trend area in Hall 4 proved to be a particular highlight. In addition to the main design hubs, such as the ‘Material Gallery’ and the ‘Colour Pavilion’, particular interest was shown in the themed installations, such as the 7m high foot spa for the ‘Hospitality’ segment and a digital textile printer in the ‘Technology Lab’.

Using virtual-reality glasses for the retail sector also offered some new perspectives by showing ways in which retailers can present textiles virtually and thus create a symbiosis between online and offline sales.

Upcycling products are becoming more and more popular – in both the fashion and interior sectors. With the 3rd ‘Young Creations Award: Upcycling’, the show once again presented an award devoted to the principle of sustainability. New this year was the opening of the competition to young designers from all over Europe. And on 14 January, the ‘Young Creations Award: Upcycling’ went to Kairi Katmann from Estonia. The jury of experts was particularly taken with Kairi’s ‘Storytellers’ project, which focuses on the subject of ‘Pre-Consumer Waste’ and artistically finishes web-edging material in a manual process.

Jury members included: Carina Bischof of Upcycling Store Berlin, Corinna Francois of ‘ powered by rooms for free e.V.’, Professor Jan Armgardt of Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Oliver Schübbe of OS2 Designgroup and Professor Auwi Stübbe of Coburger Designforum Oberfranken e.V. In addition to the cash prize, the winner’s product will be included in the Upcycling Fashion Store Berlin.

At the beginning of the fair, Messe Frankfurt announced that next year’s Heimtextil would begin and end a day earlier, on the Tuesday and Friday respectively. With this change, the Heimtextil management is complying with the wishes of many exhibitors and visitors. “For the retail trade, Saturday is an important sales day,” explains Detlef. “In this age of increasing online shopping, it is important that bricks-and-mortar trade retailers can offer their customers first-class products and services. And, generally speaking, the most important day for this is Saturday.”

The next Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main will take place from Tuesday, 12 January, to Friday, 15 January 2016.