Growth oriented: Heimtextil opens with more than 2,800 exhibitors and a panel discussion spotlighting artificial intelligence in design and textile product development

Frankfurt am Main, 9 January 2024. With over 2,800 exhibitors from 60 countries  and a 95-percent level of internationality, this year’s Heimtextil continues to grow.  At a panel discussion during the opening press conference, the leading trade fair  for home and contract textiles put the spotlight on the significance of artificial intel ligence (AI). How is AI speeding up the design process? Which tried and tested pro cesses have already been introduced in the home textiles sector? What measures  are necessary to prevent copyright infringements? Experts discussed a variety of  ideas and solutions – from tool combinations to integration in corporate guidelines. 

With more than 2,800 exhibitors from 60 countries and a 95-percent level of  internationality, Heimtextil 2024 marks the beginning of the new trade-fair year. And, with  a 25-percent increase in the number of exhibitors compared to the last edition, the leading  trade fair for home and contract textiles continues to grow across all product segments  and attract many different nations. “Our trade-fair brands are back and more resilient than  ever before. Moreover, they offer small to medium sized companies in particular a high  level of international stability. Despite a gloomy economic backdrop, Heimtextil continues  to expand and offer a market overview of the latest global trends in the home and contract  textile sector”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, in  his opening statement. 

At the opening press conference, panel participants Anja Bisgaard Gaede, founder of the  Spott trends & business agency, Danny Richman, AI consultant and inventor of the  AI-based Fabric Genie design app, and Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile  Technologies of Messe Frankfurt, discussed the potential of artificial intelligence for textile  product design. The discussion was chaired by Alexandra Bohn, Style Content Director  of F.A.Z. Quarterly.

Artificial intelligence in textile product design 

ChatGPT, Midjourney, Dallee: powerful tools for text, image and design generation have  been very easily accessible for companies and private individuals since 2023. Today, they  are a fixed part of everyday life and are leading to enduring changes in working  processes. The panel discussion focused on how artificial intelligence is speeding up  creative processes, enabling the rapid production of designs and transcending  time-consuming drawing processes on computers. Moreover, AI offers recommendations  for material choices – based on specific criteria and the desired properties of the final  product, whether for sustainability or in the contract business.  

Heimtextil 2024: trade fairs as aids to transformation 

One of the key roles played by Heimtextil is the investment in knowledge and the  exchange of information with the aim of bringing transformations to life. Olaf Schmidt underscored the rapid growth of AI and explained why Messe Frankfurt is actively  focusing on AI and bringing together international experts in this edition of Heimtextil, with  a panel discussion and workshops in the Heimtextil Trend Space: “AI is fundamentally  redefining the economy, markets and industries. As trade-fair experts, we know how to aid  transformation efforts and reduce levels of complexity. With the global home textiles  industry at Heimtextil in Frankfurt, now is the optimum time to spotlight the potential of  artificial intelligence”, said Olaf Schmidt. The strength of the global Texpertise Network is  also evident in this context: the Network embraces over 50 textile trade fairs in 12  countries and aids the exchange of information about artificial intelligence between many  different markets along the textile value chain.  

Increasing the potential of AI in textile design: easy and inexpensive In his keynote address, Danny Richman presented a tried and tested aid: Fabric Genie,  an AI design application for online shops. Users upload images of their room and describe  their design requirements. The AI then generates proposals from which users can choose  the design wanted. In his address, Richman also referred to the public’s reaction to the  ability of AI to produce unique textile designs. “AI is superior to humans in terms of its  ability to spot patterns in data. At the same time, this potential is easy and inexpensive for  companies to take advantage of. Thanks to AI, it is not difficult to generate backend codes  or to integrate custom-made applications via APIs”, said Danny Richman. 

Artificial intelligence at the Heimtextil Trend Space 

Anja Bisgaard Gaede looked at how companies can get started with AI and which aspects  they should take account of during implementation. In this connection, she discussed not  only technical questions but also the composition of corporate guidelines and protection  against copyright infringements. Attention was also paid to ways in which AI is being used  for textile design, as well as its limits. Gaede explained the importance of suitable prompts  and distinguished between effective and less effective commands. Another focus was on  combining the AI tools currently available. “It is time to forge ahead with KI. But with  caution and with an eye to what is required to be successful in this. Hybrid machine and human interaction as well as collective intelligence are component parts of tomorrow’s  workflows”, said Anja Bisgaard Gaede. 

She also offered a preview of the AI applications and workshops in the Heimtextil Trend Space where visitors can experience and test artificial intelligence and augmented reality  up close. Thanks to the AI-Image-Creator, they have the opportunity to generate unique  textile works of art using a variety of prompts. Parallel to this, another tool offers valuable  factual knowledge in the field of text-based learning. 

Heimtextil 2024: even more textile innovations, materials and design Worldwide business contacts and the place-to-be for the international textile interior design sector – this year, Heimtextil brings textile innovations, materials, interior design  and trends to life more intensively and in an even greater variety than ever before. 

On a total of 17 levels, retailers, wholesalers, designers, furniture and bedding specialists,  interior designers, interior decorators, architects, hotel designers and many other  decision-makers can be sure of finding the broadest and deepest range of home,  household and contract textiles: from decorative furniture fabrics to bedrooms and  bathroom textiles, not to mention functional textiles, wallpapers, carpets, curtains and sun protection systems. 

The leading international trade fair for home and contract textiles has added two new halls  for 2024. The first is Hall 5.1 for the new Carpets & Rugs product segment where 100  global suppliers have rolled out their latest products and design highlights for their first  joint presentation in Frankfurt am Main. The broad spectrum to be seen stretches from  hand and machine woven carpets to dirt-absorbing runners. The second supplementary  hall has been opened this year for the global sourcing segment where private label  excellence meets volume products – with a great range of high-quality industrial and  artisan household textiles (Halls: 10.0 to 10.4) and home textiles (Halls 6.0, 5.0 and 6.1). 

Beyond a range of products unparalleled worldwide, the global meeting place for the  sector is once again distinguished by an indispensable visitor and content programme,  which includes the Heimtextil Trends 24/25. Under the headline theme of New Sensitivity,  they reveal a new sensitivity for the future via three compelling categories ‘plant-based’ ‘technological’ and ‘bio-engineered’. 

The Interior.Architecture.Hospitality programme stands for the latest developments in the  contract sector while the FINDER lists exhibitors with corresponding products.  Additionally, experts guide visitors to selected exhibitors and present highlights on ‘Health  & Care’, ‘Outdoor’, ‘Sustainability & Climate’ and ‘New Work’ within the framework of the  Heimtextil TALKS & TOURS. In the LIBRARY, visitors will find a presentation of functional  textiles curated by an expert jury. 

For the first time in 2024, all relevant knowledge and product offerings on the main topic of  sustainability can be found under the heading Econogy – from Econogy Talks to the  Econogy Finder, an expert-checked overview of certified exhibitors with sustainable  products. Other components of the Econogy offering include the Econogy Hub, the  platform for seal providers and certifiers, and the one-hour Econogy Tours. 

This year, the focus is once again on high-grade knowledge content for the specialist bed  trade and the hotel industry: at the Heimtextil Sleep & More Conference in Hall 11.0,  international sleep experts share their insights and best practices – from bedroom design  and the expectations of Generation Z on hotel accommodation to the use of artificial  intelligence for professional sleep analysis. 

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