Choosing Textiles

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Choosing Textiles

As we enter the Spring season, we see the return of color especially in fashion. Textiles are constantly innovating, and so it is essential to select the textiles that are right for the application you are using it for.
With every planned textile application there are questions: what fiber? which yarn construction? what method of manufacture? what finish?
As an Interior Designer, my awareness of these choices will determine the answers and ultimately the suitability of the chosen textile.
One of the more recent factors in consumerism is the necessity to conserve energy. Textiles can provide important thermal insulation, which also benefits the consumer that is environmentally aware, or even just those not interested in throwing money out the window!
The desire for less noise, less glare, less "artificiality" in the built environment, adds points to the choice of textiles, especially for areas traditionally treated with hard-surface finishes. Carpeted areas combat against noise pollution, provide insulation and contribute visually to a feeling of warmth, or coziness/homey feel. Manufacturers want to engineer "hard wear" or "easy care" carpet.
*I like to find out how the company that will install it takes care of the old removed carpets. Do they recycle it? Do they recycle the carpet padding? Encourage this practice by giving your business to those that are responsible environmentally.*
And, as we all know draperies can provide cooling from the sun and even sound insulation.
Textiles for interiors are exhibiting strong fashion trends, and is significant since textiles are relatively easy to change. Which is important for homeowners or commercial clients that want to continually have an up-to-date image. Textiles are easy to handle so this change is feasible, not prohibitively expensive, yet monumental in effect.
  • COLOR: offers enormous design potential, textiles are a major vehicle for its introduction to an interior. Don't be afraid of color!! differences in tone and hue are unlimited.
  • AESTHETICS: includes the textile design itself. Design fundamentals as well as pattern skeletons, repeat, and pattern layouts.
  • TEXTURE: all material has texture. It is, in essence, a pattern of lights and shadows caused by elevated portions of the surface. It is most apparent in a coarse fabric, but texture may be smooth or rough, soft or hard, level or uneven, shiny or dull, in any combination and any degree.
  • PATTERN: like color can reflect many moods. It can become an integral part of the textile as it is constructed, or be applied to a finished surface Pattern is a specific arrangement of shapes and colors that distinguishes it from all others. It may be immediately eye-catching-like a bold floral or geometric-or so subtle as to be almost missed-a tone on tone chevron. A motif is a pattern unit, which may be a polka dot or an entire scene. Repeated over and over, it forms the pattern repeat, which may be as small as a centimeter or as large as one and a half meters.
Stripes, checks and dots are ancient, common patterns, yet are as effective and popular today as ever and lend themselves to a myriad of interpretations in scale and mood, from subtle to psychedelic. Geometrics, florals, scenic, paisleys, brocades-the range of patterns is limitless.
To primitive people color was an elemental experience, today it is psychologically meaningful (mood, pop culture, etc)
A Rainbow of Symbolism:
  • RED: health and vitality.
                 BRIGHT RED: passion
                 DARK GREYED RED: evil
                 PURE PINK: delicacy, festivity
                 WARM MEDIUM PINK: innocence, calm
  • ORANGE: enthusiasm, zeal
                 LIGHT ORANGE: intensity
                 DARK ORANGE: ambition
  • YELLOW: inspiration
                 MEDIUM YELLOW: goodness, wisdom
                 STRONG LIGHT YELLOW: stimulation
                 DARK MEDIUM YELLOW: love of humanity
                 GOLD: luxury, glory, distinction.
  • GREEN: sociability
                 YELLOW GREEN: youth, freshness
                 MEDIUM GREEN: honesty, practicality.
  • BLUE: idealism
                 STRONG BLUE GREEN: restlessness, nostalgia
                 GREYED BLUE GREEN: placidity, repose
                 DARK GREYED BLUE: kindness, sincerity
                 LIGHT MEDIUM BLUE: peacefulness
  • PURPLE: magnificence
                 STRONG BLUE-PURPLE: sterness
                 LIGHT PURPLE: fragility, softness
                 MEDIUM PURPLE: poise

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