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(c) Koelnmesse GmbH
21.05.2019

INTERZUM 2019: TRENDS AND INNOVATIONS FOR TOMORROW'S LIVING SPACES

Every two years, interzum presents pioneering innovations for the design of tomorrow’s living spaces. The world’s largest event for the supplier industry will unveil the latest developments and groundbreaking trends for homes and interior design from 21 to 24 May 2019. International exhibitors will present new materials and functions that are set to have a major influence on furniture production and interior design in coming years. The three exhibition segments – Materials & Nature, Function & Components, and Textile & Machinery – focus on innovative surfaces, sustainable materials and new technologies. Global mega-trends such as digitalisation, individualisation, mobility and urbanisation will also be addressed in the presentations by exhibitors. These are some of the trends and innovations that will appear in the showcases at the forthcoming edition of interzum.

Every two years, interzum presents pioneering innovations for the design of tomorrow’s living spaces. The world’s largest event for the supplier industry will unveil the latest developments and groundbreaking trends for homes and interior design from 21 to 24 May 2019. International exhibitors will present new materials and functions that are set to have a major influence on furniture production and interior design in coming years. The three exhibition segments – Materials & Nature, Function & Components, and Textile & Machinery – focus on innovative surfaces, sustainable materials and new technologies. Global mega-trends such as digitalisation, individualisation, mobility and urbanisation will also be addressed in the presentations by exhibitors. These are some of the trends and innovations that will appear in the showcases at the forthcoming edition of interzum.

Technology and emotion: the diversity of surfaces
The importance of the material dimension of design is growing, and with it attention is focusing on surfaces – a trend clearly in evidence at this year’s interzum. Many consumers today expect their living environments to both look and feel good, and to be tailored to their individual needs and wants. Furniture manufacturers can impress them with attractive surfaces. Design trends in this field are guided by both technological developments and emotional impressions. From super matt to high-gloss and custom, the diversity of new decors and surfaces that will be on display at interzum is almost limitless. New or rediscovered materials and combinations, as well as innovative manufacturing processes, have paved the way for these developments. Digital printing enables unique patterns while soft-touch or anti-fingerprint effects ensure an excellent look and feel that lasts. Alongside an immense diversity of design, the exhibitors in this segment will present a wide spectrum of functional features.

Reproducing nature: a feel in harmony with the look
Reproducing materials remains especially popular in laminated surfaces. Imitating the appearance of very different woods is a trend that shows no sign of stopping and one that appears today in many different forms. “What we’re seeing at the moment is trends going in different directions,” says Klaus Monhoff, Head of Design and Décor Management at the Egger Group. The manufacturer is responding to current demand for striking, rustic woods with a new synchronised pore surface with the look of old wood. Screen printing and digital printing specialist Stainer will have extra-large-format wood decors on display at its stand at interzum 2019. Its six-by-two metre panels with the look of different deciduous woods are suitable for walls and flooring. In the field of digital reproductions, the influence of matt, metallic-look surfaces is growing. The Viscora® Supermatt metallic coloured lamination film by Austrian exhibitor Hueck Folien is an example of this trend, as is a new surface by Egger that imitates the look and feel of finely brushed metal.

Focus on environmentally friendly materials and components
Sustainability is a global mega-trend that remains a current and future challenge for the interiors industry. Consumers want the interior design of their homes to be as contaminant-free as possible, and many are also seeking to minimise their ecological footprints. Eco-friendly materials and furniture components are therefore a crucial point of focus for many exhibitors at the forthcoming edition of interzum. Among them is wood processing company Swiss Krono. It will be showcasing BE.YOND, the world’s first biobased chipboard that meets the most stringent indoor air quality requirements. As a renewable, carbon-neutral recyclable material, wood plays a major role in lightweight design and furniture construction. Austrian plywood manufacturer Sperrholzwerk Schweitzer will have aerowood® on display in Cologne. The lightweight panel is resource-efficient, extremely light and available in any dimensions. “Nature is here” is Proadec’s slogan for its showcase. Its new, exceptionally environmentally friendly edge banding will be on display at the trade fair. Another key area of focus at interzum will be biobased plastics. Among the innovations on show in this category are fittings by Swedish exhibitor Ackurat and a new launch by Oskar Lehmann, whose product portfolio includes cable guides for desks. Sustainability can result in great creativity, as Austrian manufacturer Organoid will demonstrate at its stand: natural surfaces produced from hay or moss are made to sparkle with upcycled Swarovski Zirconia gemstones.

Adaptable solutions: individualisation is the new standard
The mega-trend for individualisation is a theme that runs throughout the exhibitors’ presentations at the forthcoming interzum. The desire for solutions that are as individually tailored as possible is transforming consumers’ expectations of their lives and homes. This shift has prompted many exhibitors to present new products that allow interiors to be adapted to personal requirements. The new Innovus collection by Portuguese wood-based materials manufacturer Sonae Arauco is one of the products that promise design freedom. With five new finishes and around 100 new decors, it opens up a multitude of possible combinations and applications. The Marino collection by Spanish exhibitor ServiCanto is similarly versatile and can be paired with different types of surfaces. A unique interpretation of classic wood surfaces makes the new product on show from Italian manufacturer Alpi a standout. Its Gamperana Triplex veneer collection is a collaboration with designer Martino Gamper. Instead of appearing in isolation, the veneer sheets are grouped in threes, paving the way for highly original compositions. Praveedh Décor, based in Mumbai, India, has expanded the colour spectrum of its acrylic prelaminated boards: its new product OpuLux Fantasy is available in multicolour designs that can be adapted to customer preferences.

The new openness: the merging of living worlds
The boundaries between the different areas of the home have been eroding for some time. The increasing fluidity of transitions is having an effect on systems, fittings and lighting. Many exhibitors at interzum 2019 are focusing on flexible design elements that act as the foundation for a consistent home architecture. One example of this trend is the new Schüco Openstyle system, which allows spaces to be flexibly joined or subdivided in line with requirements and the current living situation. “OpenUp” is Vauth-Sagel’s slogan for its interzum appearance. The storage specialist will premiere solutions for all areas of the home at the fair. Highly flexible also sums up the presentation by Hettich, a specialist in functional fittings: “We are simplifying diversity,” says Uwe Kreidel, Managing Director. The company will present multifunctional new products for different living situations in its product showcase.

The art of omission: increasingly invisible components
Increasing flexibility and multifunctionality in furniture is going hand in hand with rising standards for the design of technical solutions. “It is a matter of principle for us that a movement system must enhance the overall design of the item of furniture,” says Albert Trebo, Managing Director for Sales and Marketing of Grass, based in Austria. In this context, the miniaturisation of fittings technology and components such as control and lighting elements continues to play a major role. At interzum, Kesseböhmer will present a new flap fitting that is significantly different to the previous standard solutions on the market in its dimensions, design and functions. Lighting systems manufacturer Hera is also devoting its energies to miniaturisation. Its stand will feature luminaires that can be integrated into furniture almost invisibly. German start-up ambigence, based in Herford near Bielefeld, is taking advantage of this year’s interzum to present a completely new product category. It starts from a simple principle: instead of seeing the furniture panel and fittings as two separate components, they are conceived as a single unit. “Furniture is freed from limiting fittings by integrating functions into the space inside the furniture panel,” explains Norbert Poppenborg, Director Marketing & Business Development.

Micro living: greater comfort in limited space
A further global issue that many exhibitors at the forthcoming interzum are addressing is increasing urbanisation. With growing numbers moving to cities, living space is in increasingly short supply, especially in major conurbations, and rents and house prices are soaring as a result. This trend calls for optimal utilisation of the available floor space and components to provide more space per square metre. The latest solutions here include intelligent storage solutions, such as Kesseböhmer’s urban smart kitchen. “By employing intelligent fittings technology, the collection sets out to make optimal use of the storage space on small floor plans and to provide an overview of the contents, as well as easy access to them, with voice control as an option,” says Managing Director Burkhard Schreiber. A special event area at the trade fair will highlight the development potential that the intensifying shortage of living space presents: a number of exhibitors will showcase new concepts and solutions in the Tiny Spaces – Living in Compact Homes Piazza. To accompany the piazza, star architect Yasmine Mahmoudieh will present her experience of working with tiny spaces and discuss the future requirements that will apply to this field in a talk on Tuesday 21 May 2019.

Mattress production: efficiency provides enhanced sleeping comfort
Diversity is also on the increase in the world of mattresses. Materials are becoming more and more innovative, and processing standards are nearing perfection. Industry quality leaders therefore need to position themselves carefully. Many interzum exhibitors have focused their attention on developing efficient production and new processes that provide enhanced sleeping comfort. Schreiner Machine Service (SMS) represents various machine manufacturers on the European market. At the event, it will announce a world first in the manufacture of spring cores that allows customers to produce innovative mattresses while cutting their production costs. Production optimisation is also a focus for Brother, a specialist in automated sewing solutions whose product showcase will feature its BAS-370H model. The freely programmable bridge type electronic pattern sewer saves floor space in the production line when sewing large areas and enables fast sewing. Spanish company Visdeltex is heading in a similar direction with a new system for fast and automated quilting of bed and divan tops.

interzum 2019: the platform for new ideas
It is the supplier industry that has demonstrated time and again in the past how innovations can transform the market and the standards expected of living environments. The innovations on display at the forthcoming interzum will determine the materials, surfaces and technologies for the design of tomorrow’s interiors. A showcase packed with exhibitors’ latest ideas and solutions is lined up visitors.

 

(c) Messe Frankfurt
14.05.2019

Prize winners of the “Textile Structures for New Building” have been chosen

Eight projects receive awards in the "Textile Structures for New Buildings” competition. For the 15th time, the competition for young talent during Techtextil will honour innovative approaches and excellent material solutions from the world of textile construction.
 
The winners of the student competition “Textile Structures for New Building” have now been decided. An international jury of renowned civil engineers and architects has awarded six prizes and two commendations. On the occasion of Techtextil, which will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 14-17 May 2019, the student competition organised jointly by the international association TensiNet as sponsor and Techtextil will award prizes for the 15th time for innovative ideas for building with textiles and textile-reinforced materials.

Eight projects receive awards in the "Textile Structures for New Buildings” competition. For the 15th time, the competition for young talent during Techtextil will honour innovative approaches and excellent material solutions from the world of textile construction.
 
The winners of the student competition “Textile Structures for New Building” have now been decided. An international jury of renowned civil engineers and architects has awarded six prizes and two commendations. On the occasion of Techtextil, which will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 14-17 May 2019, the student competition organised jointly by the international association TensiNet as sponsor and Techtextil will award prizes for the 15th time for innovative ideas for building with textiles and textile-reinforced materials.

‘We're really pleased that, together with the international association TensiNet, we are once again able to sponsor students who have submitted work of a very high quality. Presenting these awards during Techtextil also gives young students and professionals at the start of their careers the chance to come into contact with other universities, the textile technology industry and the construction industry’, explains Michael Jänecke, Director Brand Development Technical Textiles & Textile Processing at Messe Frankfurt.

The submitted works covered a very wide range of services and variety of topics and focused among other things on material applications, building designs, utilisation concepts and environmental solutions as well as assembly and construction concepts.
All prizes and commendations will be presented at a Techtextil ceremony on 14 May 2019 at 4 p.m. as well as during a special show in the foyer of hall 4.2.

Micro architecture
One prize was awarded to the project ‘Airdapt’. Rebecca Schedler from the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin developed an adaptable kinetic wall system that offers the possibility of dividing large rooms into smaller working areas that can become more or less transparent and more or less sound-absorbing depending on requirements.

Macro architecture
The first prize in this category goes to Hugo Cifre from the Universidad Europea de Madrid/Espacio La Nube and Miguel Angel Maure Blesa from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid for the project ‘Bubble’. This pneumatically supported walk-in cuboid has a square layout and a height of approx. 4 metres. The entrances are elegantly integrated into the geometry and become effective when the cuboid is under slight positive air pressure. Attracted by the unusual object, visitors are literally ‘sucked into’ the interior.

Second prize goes to Thitiwut Pakdee, Surakist Hunpaisarn and Chonticha Wimonchailerk from the Thai Thammasat University for their work ‘Membrane Shelter for Shipyard’, which provides a membrane canopy for the site of a former shipyard in Ayutthaya (Thailand) to protect the plant from direct sunlight, wind and rain. The concept was inspired by the sails and waves of classic shipbuilding.

Ruichen Tang from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid has been awarded third prize for the entry ‘Tensegrity Cloud’.
The visual lightness of the ‘basic modules’ formed by this design, which consist of a textile-covered steel frame, is supplemented by a structural advantage, namely that the forces within the overall self-stabilising system balance each other out.

Urban Living – City of the Future
Based on this year's special Techtextil theme, Masa Zujovic, Isidora Kojovic and Nevena Jeremic from the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture (Serbia) will receive an award for their ‘Voro-Membrane’ design. What at first glance seems convincing as an aesthetic solution for providing shade in public street spaces is based on the mathematical pattern of Voronoi structures. The resulting exciting interplay of light and shadow could be further explored in an urban context and applied to a wide variety of situations.

Material innovations
In this category, Magdalena Wierzbicka from the Dutch Piet Zwart Institute has been awarded a prize for her project ‘Woven Spaces - Porcelain Textiles’. Here, the jury honours the fact that the contribution draws on the Thuringian tradition of porcelain lace from the late 19th century and transforms it into a modern design language.

Commendation
The project ‘A Catalyst for Urban Renewal’ by Galen Rochon from Canada’s Dalhousie University – School of Architecture receives a commendation. In this design for the Prince of Wales Bridge in Ottawa, an industrial monument that has lain unused for 20 years, various possibilities were shown for hanging double-curved membrane surfaces in the existing, regularly structured truss construction and stiffening them if necessary.

Commendation
The design ‘XCape’ submitted by Lobke Beckfeld from the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin also received praise. It presents a hybrid vehicle whose space is generated by variable folding configurations and can be used in a variety of ways.

Prizewinners can look forward to prize money totalling 8,000 euros.

(c) FESPA Global Print Expo
07.05.2019

FESPA GLOBAL PRINT EXPO 2019: PRINT MAKE WEAR FAST FASHION-FACTORY

  • The Print Make Wear fast fashion factory feature at FESPA Global Expo 2019 in Munich (14-17 May 2019) will double in size compared with its launch in 2018 in response to positive visitor feedback.

The feature was introduced at the flagship FESPA event in Berlin in 2018 to meet the needs of visitors interested in the opportunities in printed fashion textiles and garments. Taking the form of a live production environment, Print Make Wear addresses every step in the garment production process. This begins with planning, design and prepress, progressing to printing, drying, cutting, sewing, welding and embellishment and finishing with packing and retail display.

  • The Print Make Wear fast fashion factory feature at FESPA Global Expo 2019 in Munich (14-17 May 2019) will double in size compared with its launch in 2018 in response to positive visitor feedback.

The feature was introduced at the flagship FESPA event in Berlin in 2018 to meet the needs of visitors interested in the opportunities in printed fashion textiles and garments. Taking the form of a live production environment, Print Make Wear addresses every step in the garment production process. This begins with planning, design and prepress, progressing to printing, drying, cutting, sewing, welding and embellishment and finishing with packing and retail display.

At FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 the expanded feature will allow more space to showcase an even more comprehensive range of garment printing technology solutions and consumables, as well as incorporating a staged area for presentations and debates and a catwalk for fashion shows. The visitor experience will also be enhanced with two separate guided tours, one with a focus on direct-to-garment production and the other tailored to visitors interested in roll-to-roll production.

The technologies showcased within Print Make Wear 2019 will include direct-to garment digital and screen printing presses with both automatic and manual presses printing on water-based inks, the roll-to-roll digital technologies will include dye-sublimation as well as other textile print technologies, with the support of brands including Adobe, Adelco, EFI, HP, Mimaki, Vastex MagnaColours, Easiway and Premier Textiles.

The garments produced and modelled within Print Make Wear will carry a striking series of exclusive designs on the theme of ‘Elements’, with the tagline Inspired by Nature – Powered by Print, which have been created specifically for FESPA by photographer and illustrator Jasper Goodall. FESPA is also working with young fashion designer Aminah Hamzaoui, who is collaborating on the design of the garments being produced using the roll-to-roll technologies.

FESPA Head of Events, Duncan MacOwan comments: “Year after year, independent market insights and visitor feedback reinforce the rising levels of interest in textile printing, while our own FESPA Census in 2018 indicated that sports apparel and fast fashion are two of the most dynamic growth applications in our community. Visitor response to the first Print Make Wear feature last year was extremely positive, with more than 2,000 visitors taking part in our expert-guided tours.”

He continues: “By increasing the floor space dedicated to this feature in Munich we can accommodate visitors more comfortably, enrich the overall experience and elevate the educational content. We’re confident that, whatever their level of knowledge or investment in garment printing, visitors to Print Make Wear 2019 in Munich will leave with a deeper understanding of the opportunities to optimise production, improve sustainability and boost profitability.”

Print Make Wear is free to attend for registered visitors to FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 and the co-located European Sign Expo. Guided tours can be pre-booked at https://www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com/features/print-make-wear. The feature is part of a programme of free educational content which also includes the new Colour L*A*B* colour management showcase and conference, Printeriors and a comprehensive schedule of live seminars in the Trend Theatre.

For more information about Print Make Wear, visit www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com/features/print-make-wear. To pre-register to attend FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 visit https://www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com/ and use code FESM906 for free entry.

 

 

(c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
30.04.2019

SUSTAINABILITY A MAJOR TOPIC AT TECHTEXTIL AND TEXPROCESS

"Sustainability at Techtextil" and "Sustainability at Texprocess" are the two topics by which these leading international trade fairs for technical textiles and non-wovens, and for the processing of textile and flexible materials, will be explicitly turning their focus for the first time onto their exhibitors' approaches to sustainability. To this will be added a broad complementary programme on this topic. Among those contributing will be major players in the industry, such as Kering, Lenzing and Zalando.

"Sustainability at Techtextil" and "Sustainability at Texprocess" are the two topics by which these leading international trade fairs for technical textiles and non-wovens, and for the processing of textile and flexible materials, will be explicitly turning their focus for the first time onto their exhibitors' approaches to sustainability. To this will be added a broad complementary programme on this topic. Among those contributing will be major players in the industry, such as Kering, Lenzing and Zalando.

Fibres made of recycled polyester, bio-based high-tech textiles, waterconserving dyeing and finishing processes, functional and work clothing, using little or no solvents and adhesives: in the field of technical textiles, and when processing textile and flexible materials, more and more firms are adopting approaches to greater sustainability. Through "Sustainability and Techtextil" and "Sustainability at Texprocess" the leading international trade fairs, from 14 to 17 May, will be demonstrating exactly these approaches taken by their exhibitors. In addition, numerous event formats will be taking up the topic of sustainability at both fairs.

Fair guide for selected exhibitors
In the run-up to Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors at both fairs were able to submit their approaches and evidence of their work on every aspect of sustainability to the fairs' organisers. An independent, international jury of experts on sustainability assessed the submissions, in accordance with the relevance and validity of current national and international product-sustainability labels, such as currently mainly Bluesign, Cradle-to-Cradle, EU Eco Label, ISO 14001, GOTS, GRS as well as SteP by Oeko-Tex.

Overall, 47 firms were selected, including 44 exhibitors at Techtextil and three at Texprocess. Visitors who are interested will find the selected firms in their own Fair Guide, which will be available at the Fair, via filter function under "Sustainability" in the online visitor search facility, and on both fairs' apps. In addition, the exhibitors so selected will be publicizing their participation at their exhibition stands.

Members of the international jury of experts: Chairman: Max Gilgenmann, Consulting Service International Ltd. (Germany and China); Claudia Som, Empa (Switzerland); Jan Laperre, Centexbel (Belgium); Heike Illing-Günther, Textile Institute of Saxony (Sächsisches Textilinstitut e.V., Germany); Karla Magruder, Fabrikology (USA); Lauren Zahringer, SAC Social Apparel Coalition (Netherlands).

Techtextil Forum featuring theme of sustainability
Taking "Towards sustainability" as its motto, the Techtextil Forum on 14 May between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be providing a series of contributions devoted exclusively to sustainable textile innovations. Chaired by Braz Costa, managing director of the Portuguese technology centre CITEVE, among the topics on the programme will be: textile recycling (TWD Fibres, Velener Textil), sustainable construction with wool (Minet S.A., Romania), sustainable textile coatings (Centexbel), biopolymers (RWTH Aachen University), traceability of GMO-free cotton (Hohenstein Institute) and low-cost, bio-based carbon fibres (Jules Verne Research Institute, France).

Techtextil Innovation Award
For the first time the Techtextil Innovation Award will be presented to two firms in the category of sustainability. The winners will be announced and the awards presented on the first day of the fair during the opening ceremony. During the whole time of the fair visitors will also be able to find out about the prize-winners and their award-winning projects at the Techtextil Innovation Award Exhibition Area in Hall 4.2.

Texprocess Forum with branch of Fashionsustain Conference
Through a branch of Fashionsustain Berlin, Messe Frankfurt's conference on every aspect of sustainable textile innovations, the Texprocess Forum on the morning of the 14 May will be devoted exclusively to the theme of sustainability in the textile and fashion industries in all its aspects. The first keynote, "Sustainable innovation – a matter of survival", will come from Micke Magnusson, co-founder of the Swedish start-up We are Spindye. Next, posing the question "Is Sustainability the Key to Textile Innovations?", will come a discussion by leaders in the industry such as Clariant Plastics and Coatings, Indorama, Lenzing, Perpetual Global, Procalçado S.A., Kering und Zalando. Fashionsustain will be chaired among others by Karla Magruder, founder of Fabrikology International.

Innovation Roadshow features sustainable footwear production
Next at the Fashionsustain Conference fibre manufacturer Lenzing, knitting-machinery producer Santoni and shoe-component manufacturer Procalçado S.A. will be presenting the Innovation Roadshow, entitled "The Future of Eco-Conscious Footwear Manufacturing." The roadshow will be supported by the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network. It will feature examples of the sustainable production process of a shoe, thus demonstrating how a fundamental change to sustainability can already be a reality in the fashion and textile industries today. The panel will be chaired by Marte Hentschel, founder of Sourcebook, the B2B network for the fashion industry.

Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles
23.04.2019

Interview with CEO Stefan Ruholl (Schmitz Textiles): We are Textile

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

Schmitz Textiles is a family business that has been offering textile solutions for indoor and outdoor applications for more than 90 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company, what makes you unique?
As an almost fully integrated manufacturer in Germany, we have advantages that many other market players are likely to envy. We can respond flexibly, technically and with good service to the needs of our customers. Under the drapilux brand, we distribute intelligent design textiles for the contract sector, outdoor and sun protection fabrics under the swela brand and textiles for the automotive segment under the still young label mobiltex. All brands benefit from the broad know-how in production and product development. A few years ago, Germany as production location may have been regarded more negatively as a pure cost factor, but today we see this as valued by our partners as a clear strategic advantage.

In which product areas do market and partners particularly challenge you?
And with which product innovations in the field of technical textiles do you think you can move most?

In each of our fields of activity, we are confronted with comprehensive challenges. At drapilux, for example, we have to meet strict safety requirements in the context of fire protection certifications for the use of our materials on cruise ships and have invested massively in this subject. The sun protection sector is characterized by high demands on color and light fastness combined with optimum resilience - here we were able to gain a major technological advantage with the change from acrylic to polyester qualities years ago.
With the new, award-winning development of our convertible top fabric for mobiltex, also based on polyester, we were able to realize product properties that are completely new in this form in this segment.

For which socially relevant topics do you see particularly great need for innovation in the upcoming 10 years
and what is your assessment that the textile industry will be able to offer solutions with its products?

When we look at the next ten years, then it is surely the topic of sustainability that is already omnipresent today. At the moment we are living in a phase where we want sustainable products on the one hand, but, on the other hand, the willingness to pay higher prices for them is not yet pronounced and people tend towards staying with conventional products. This will change. Sustainable products from companies that really live sustainability in the dimensions of ecology, economy and society will win the race. The textile industry offers the best conditions to turn this vision into reality - albeit under investment in production and research and development.

Today, product and technology innovations mean to a large extent digitalization of production and business processes.
New business models often aim at verticalization and demand the path to batch size 1 - what does this mean for Schmitz Textiles?

For an industrial company with a B2B focus, such as Schmitz Textiles, "batch size 1" must be answered with a certain bandwidth. However, in principle, this topic is not new to us, for example in yarn dyeing, we can couple micro-installations for larger batches - and conversely control correspondingly smaller batches through our process chain. In the digital printing sector for the contract business, we are very individually and customer-oriented positioned with a minimum quantity of 25 meters. For our sister company and customer markilux we are supplier for their "Color on Demand" offer for the individual awning cloth with a choice of 1625 RAL colors. With an industrial production scale, you can hardly get much closer to "lot size 1".

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and with that the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed.
Which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy about having made it in retrospect?

If we look further back, about ten years ago, the decision to invest in digital printing and to build up know-how and our own production capacities was the right one. Having passed through these learning curves enables us today to expand our offer into the outdoor market without major problems. We are currently more convinced than ever that by entering the automotive segment with the still young mobiltex brand, we have established a new, important keystone for the long-term future of Schmitz Textiles.

The textile industry has been growing steadily worldwide for decades. The consumption of chemical and textile fibres more than quadrupled between 1975 and 2016. In terms of sustainability, there is, to put it mildly, a mixed feedback for our industry.
What is Schmitz Textiles concentrating on in order to fulfil their social responsibility?

If textiles are produced exclusively in Germany, the regulatory framework already requires a certain sustainable orientation. But of course, there is also room for maneuver. In order to meet the high demands of a sustainable and environmentally friendly production, we operate a very high expenditure. For example, all dyestuffs and textile auxiliaries are first checked for compliance with laws and regulations and for environmental and occupational safety aspects before they are used in-house. In addition, voluntary measures were implemented in the area of production long before legislation came into force, such as regenerative thermal post-combustion for the post-treatment of process exhaust air from finishing plants. This ensures that no harmful emissions are caused by exhaust air, waste water or noise. Many projects have also been successfully implemented for energy recovery from process waste water and process exhaust air. All process waste is either returned to the production workflow, recycled or professionally disposed of. A contribution to environmental protection, that should not be underestimated, is the use of synthetic fibres (here: polyester), which can be modified with much less chemicals than natural fibres and are much more durable.
 
The next Techtextil is just around the corner. What are your expectations at the Frankfurt trade fair?
We are a young but at the same time an almost 100-year-old company, having emerged from the corporate reorganization of Schmitz-Werke GmbH + Co. KG on January 1, 2018. Consequently, we are exhibiting for the first time as Schmitz Textiles GmbH + Co KG with our three brands mobiltex, swela and drapilux. We want to present ourselves as a textile competence center. However, the automotive textiles theme will be somewhat in the foreground. We are exhibiting a complete convertible roof with our mobiltex 388 soft top fabric, which was nominated for the German Innovation Award 2019 by the German Design Council, and we are confident that we may accept an award at the end of May.

 

Source:

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

As part of its Newsline, Textination will give innovation leaders of the industry a special place to talk about success, experiences, forecasts and trends.