By Wesley Mancini

This article originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Rug News andDesign, which may be viewed in its entirety here.

Excited about attending the April Furniture Market? Here’s a sneak peak at what upholstery trends you’ll be seeing.

Tesauro has a fiber content of rayon, linen, and cotton. While the design is based on an 18th century damask, it has been contemporized with a subtle ombre in the ground and home spun feel. Piacenza, a small lattice, coordinates with the damask while using the same fiber content. A coarse stripe, Fermo, with its thick cotton content, follows through with the natural fiber trend.

Fabric trends continue to evolve beyond tradition even though they might be “historic in origin.” With innovative weave structures, textures, and current art, fabrics look fresh. Color, as always, is the single most important aspect of any textile.


Taranto is a novelty pattern that draws from the punctuation marks of a typewriter (you’ll see more novelties emerge next season). Pozzuoli is a small scale non-mirrored stripe that is contemporized with a curvilinear movement while highlighted with an ancient ottoman empire ”crescent moon.” Cescena is a multicolored all over geometric. All three fabrics, while yellow in feel, are woven with off-white, neutrals, and grays. I call this color combination “Goldfinch.”

One trend that continues to be relevant across the board is the “Natural” story. Whether the fiber is natural or not, the perception has to be “natural” as opposed to manmade. Linen looks to continue to dominate the fabric world.

“What’s old is new,” this trend is about a subconscious remembering of your childhood and the comforting warmth of your matriarchs. This concept takes very familiar textiles, like crocheted Doilies or Lace and updates them for the modern age.

Yellow is a color trend that is beginning to emerge. This color cast has been removed from neutrals during the past years. We have gone from warm (yellowed) beiges to cooler grays and redder neutrals. This absence has opened the doors for yellow to pop back into the forefront. This color will be shown as accents only (not solids) in order to make this fashion color more livable for the consumer.

Veneto, while inspired from a traditional nomadic motif, is shown here in color “Majolica.” Orange has made a strong impact over the past several years and continues to be a fashion forward color.

Multicultural inspiration continues to be a strong trend especially from Central Asia (Rajasthan, Uzbekistan, etc). While the Suzani medallion motif has run its course with over saturation, other less familiar motifs are coming forward. These tribal textiles typically are embroidered, ikat, and/or appliquéd in structure in their original tribal form.

The comfort of tradition inspired by historic rug motifs continues to be a mainstay. Heavy weight tapestries, with coarse cotton yarns, give both a sense of quality and durability. This construction goes well with leather and yet the luxurious quality has a look of comfort and ease.

The next trend is the revitalization of “florals.” While textile design historically has been dominated by floral designs their absence has been noted by many. Taking flowers and creating innovative art and weaves, while using unexpected colorations can give this genre a fresh face.

While we are living in a new world, we must not forget where we’ve come from. It’s apparent that today’s fabrics are fresh and new, yet the glimmer of historic fabric reference prevails.

Ancona is based on a historic Aubusson rug. The color ”Tea Rose” mixes neutrals with a touch of pink, illustrating how a fashion color can be soothing and livable.
Zenlae, a bold, masculine, and assertive design motif, while based on historic reference, brings an elegance to any room, as well, is leather friendly.
Cucciolo, which means "puppy" in Italian, has buckles and straps with silhouettes of various pedigree dog breeds.
Potenza, is an explosion of paint creating an abstract “poppy” like motif, this coupled with matelasse leaves contemporizes what was once a stale category, the floral.

All fabrics shown are from the Wesley Mancini Collection at Home Fabrics.

Previous articleM Topalian 19th c Heriz
Next articleShipping Costs for Rugs
Wesley Mancini has been involved in domestic fabric design for the past 28 years with the Wesley Mancini by Home Fabrics line of upholstery. He also designs decorative trimmings and drapery hardware for Classical Elements. Recently, he and Due Process Trading Co. signed a long term arrangement to create an ongoing rug line carrying his name as well. He has earned: the HomeTex Award, The Grand Trillium Award, the DuPont Creative Leadership Award, as well, is the only National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient for fabric design. All fabrics copyright 2012 Wesley Mancini. Wesley Mancini designs for the furniture industry and does not sell retail or to the trade. For more information about the fabrics shown contact: