NeoCon Top 8: The Best New Textiles and Wall Coverings

​We wrap up our NeoCon 2017 coverage with the textiles and wall coverings — both vibrant and understated — that stole the show for us.

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

We wrap up our NeoCon 2017 coverage with the textiles and wall coverings — both vibrant and understated — that stole the show for us. If you missed our previous reports, go back to view our top picks in Privacy and Acoustics, Flooring and Finishes, Tech and Specialty, Furniture and Seating.

Carnegie and Creation Baumann: Entrada

The two brands have partnered on a new acoustical drapery product that reads like a study in construction and deconstruction. Entrada is a striking laser-cut and stitched felt panel that helps absorb sound whether used as a drape or hanging panel suspended within a space as a room divider. Although it resembles genuine fine wool, the felt is actual 100-percent Trevira CS and passes stringent fire codes.

Creation Baumann for Carnegie: Net Works

The biggest buzz surrounding Carnegie this year was a rather intriguing upholstery collection designed by architecture and design firm Gensler. Called PFRM, it draws on, of all things, modern activewear ranging from “athleisure” apparel to footwear. At press time, images have not yet been released, so you’ll have to wait until August to see what these designs look like. But we promise it’s an exciting, energetic and youthful line.

In the meantime, check out this other collection inspired by high-performance activewear. Creation Baumann’s Net Works is a sheer drapery series particularly reminiscent of mesh fabrics on athletic footwear. Three designs are offered: Space is a square net fabric in 10 activewear-inspired hues that change with movement and the shifting of light; Globe is a larger-scale open knit in six modern or sporty colorways; and Link is an open-spaced knit in seven tones accented by a delicate fine black yarn.

Designtex: Play Date

Keeping in mind children — or the young at heart — Designtex created this grid-printed ferrous wall covering with an accompanying set of magnetic colored shapes for visitors to design their own temporary works of art. It’s a move geared toward hospital waiting rooms to help ease anxiety and fear in young people, but it can also be a fun addition to other high-traffic environments where interactivity and play are encouraged, from education settings to offices.

HBF Textiles: Raw Materials

In this continuing collaboration with designer Elodie Blanchard, the textile brand launched six new fabrics — from graphic and textural to fashion-inspired and basic — that beautifully coordinate with one another while adding a touch of residential-style warmth and casual familiarity to commercial environments. Sideways, for instance, sports a twill-like pattern and soft hand with a slight gradient effect, while Scribble XS and Scribble XL take their patterns directly from the designer’s stitched and painted abstract artwork. Thoughtful color palettes — both neutral and bold — render this a truly versatile upholstery collection.

Luum Textiles: Navigate

At a time when offices are using felt accessories and wall coverings to dampen noise, manufacturers are getting creative with this category of material, laser-cutting ornate patterns and adding pretty stitch details, among other moves. Case in point, Navigate — part of Luum’s new Focus In collection — features a fine grid stitched into a variegated 100-percent-wool felt ground. We particularly love the eye-popping DayGlo green (also shown at top).

Maharam: Alphabet Sheer

Back when Alexander Girard was the design director for Herman Miller’s textile division, he conceived a striking, geometric typography pattern for hand-printed wallpaper. It may be nearly seven decades later, but Alphabet, as it was called, is still timeless and iconic today — and now it’s been translated for drapery. Utilizing an industrial silk-screen process, Maharam has recreated the design as a burnout sheer fabric with the letters appearing transparent against a white ground for a stencil-like effect.

Unika Vaev: Luxe

If you’ve been considering vinyl for its cleanability and durability but want a more sophisticated aesthetic, Unika Vaev might just have the solution for your project needs. Part of the new Marshfield Collection, Luxe is a high-performance, multipurpose upholstery vinyl that’s suitable for both interior and exterior environments, with an appearance more akin to silk. This is achieved in two steps: An embossing roller imprints a fabric texture onto the surface, and then a subtle metallic overlay is printed on top of this. A final surface layer is added to permanently seal the resulting color, shimmer and design. Ideal for health-care and hospitality applications, Luxe is available in 24 colors.

Wolf-Gordon: Infinite Neutral

A new take on “neutral,” this woven fabric plays a neat visual trick: Inspired by oil painting and color theory, the textile’s designer Morgan Bajardi mixed variations on primary colors (totaling 30 different thread colors) to create complex gray and beige tones that offer dimension with a bit of an ombré effect. This also enables the fabric to complement and enhance just about any other color in the same surroundings. The 100-percent-polyester upholstery fabric is constructed with 30 percent pre-consumer and 16 percent post-consumer recycled content and features a GreenShield spill- and stain-resistant treatment.