More than 270 exhibitors at the event showcased a wide range of window coverings and related interior decorative products, including many product premiers at this year's event. In the World of Window Coverings hall new product releases were highlighted among the hard and soft window treatments, decorative hardware, moldings, trimmings, wall coverings, accessories and workroom, fabricating and installation equipment. On the Hometextil Americas side, the hall was filled with the latest fashion-forward lines of decorative and upholstery fabrics, bed and bath products, and kitchen and table linens.
Comments from a number of show exhibitors proved it was a very successful three days for them. As to be expected at the show, buyers from major national retail chains attended including JC Penney, Sears and Wal-mart.
First and Foremost
This year's show featured plenty of new products, new designs and award-winning ideas.
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions made its first industry trade show appearance in several years with a two-story multi-media exhibit. Hunter Douglas also introduced its new CD-ROM software, Window Fashion Designer, which features all of its many window coverings products, designs and colors for quick access and on-screen window-setting display using the Designer's Vision browser.
Comfortex Corp. used the World of Window Coverings show to premier its newest innovation: a cordless cellular shade system featured, initially, on four of its shade lines. Rather than make cord modifications to reduce the risk of injury or strangulation, the company has eliminated the cord altogether. Also at its booth, Comfortex presented 50 cordless cellular shades to two KinderCare Learning Center facilities in Lake Buena Vista, FL, which provide preschool and child care for more than 300 children daily.
Just as the show was getting underway, American Hardwood Co. learned it had been honored with two product innovation awards by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA). The company's newest line of wood verticals, True Wood[TM] Verticals, was chosen as Most Innovative Overall Design in the verticals category, and Best New Technical Innovation in the horizontal category was presented for its Natural Impressions[TM] wood blinds.
The Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) featured the first winning design in what will be its annual Window Covering Design Competition. Submitted by Carol Sackler, Personal Statements, Marlborough, MA, the winning design featured a soft cornice trimmed with tassel fringe and fashioned with jabots and fan-shaped along the top for added dimension and interest.
For workrooms, Prym-Dritz offered its new Tassel Toppers, a resin cap into which several inches of rolled fringe or bouillon can be inserted and glued to create an instant coordinating tassel. And Cheryl Strickland's Professional Drapery Workroom School featured many winning window treatments. First prize was awarded to a round motorized skylight shade by Ori Katzin, Interior Art & Design, Hackensack, NJ.
All the Extras
There was plenty more besides the product displays on the show floor for attendees to see and do. The industry's largest educational seminar program, Interior Fashions University, included 20 new topics among the more than 60 sessions held. For retailers, new business management topics included battling 800-number businesses; for workrooms, new seminars covered fabricating top treatments using iron-on technologies; and for designers, sessions covered color trends and obtaining media exposure to name only a few.
All of the Interior Fashion University seminars in the program organized by Draperies & Window Coverings magazine were well attended and received high reviews. The faculty of speakers, each with strong industry affiliations, received top marks in each session's immediate follow-up survey.
Special event seminars also were held on Thursday and Friday. These topics included focusing on the global consumer, printing and design techniques for textiles and licensing opportunities available from London's Victoria & Albert Museum.
The Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) held its Certified Window Treatment Consultant course review and examination on Wednesday, March 19. On Friday, WCAA's Third Annual Breakfast Symposium was held, featuring a panel of manufacturing, fabricating and retail experts discussing product pricing strategies and programs. The topic elicited active comments and discussion from those attending.
Also on Wednesday was the World of Home Fashion golf tournament. Exhibitors, representatives and attendees were invited to spend the morning on the links. A typically beautiful Orlando day greeted the golfers as they made their way around the course.
A big hit for attendees was the show's first decorator showhouse. Kay Green Design, Inc., Winter Park, FL, was responsible for the imaginative decor of the homeČa three-bedroom Florida ranch home featuring a large master bedroom suite with walk-in closet and an outdoor whirlpool. Interior designer David Brown created many eye-catching room designs using window and wall covering products, fabrics and hardware from the collections of both Hometextil Americas and World of Window Coverings show exhibitors.