Many predictions were made about the show prior to Domotex Hanover taking place on 12-15 January after a two year absence. The ever-busy rumour mill led to many regular exhibitors not showing this year and the event was indeed a rather reduced affair in terms of stand numbers and halls filled. Funnily enough this worked in Domotex’s favour.
Talking to the many buyers and the exhibitors present towards the end of the show, the overall verdict was positive. With less space to occupy the halls were busy with visitors for the four days and the show had an energised air about it. After two years away many people were pleased to be back to the event and its role as a social gathering for the rug industry should not be underestimated. Buyers came to spend money and this could be done with greater efficiency: less halls to walk, less time wasted on browsing, more time to spend finding the fair highlights. The exhibitors at the show reaped the benefits.
The stands of ABC Italia and Rezas were forever busy with a long line of interested parties, so much so it was hard to find a moment to talk to the brands. ABC had some fun designs combining tribal motifs and patchwork shapes depicted in bright colours while Rezas was sure to provide a rug for every occasion, paring elegant patterns with minimal colour palettes.
Kikrit Rugs returned with new designs in its very successful monochromatic range made of goat hair and hemp plus some exciting new flatweave designs. Opposite, Wool & Silk showed off the best of its recent rugs from the After Hours collection plus the beautiful wool and silk design Smoke and a stunning depiction of a field of flowers.
Moroccan rugs were well represented by brands such as Porte D’Or, Soufiane Zarib, Bazar du Sud and interesting new exhibitor Tribaliste, who offer exciting bespoke solutions for Moroccan production.
Battilossi’s beautifully considered stand focused on the story of ‘Complimentary’, featuring designs from the brand’s Pakistan production including the new Veldt and Kalash collections. The company showed off its ability to create new collections that compliment its archive of designs.
More highlights from the show included beautiful silk samples from Sambhav, with elegant multi-level pile designs derived from antique rugs and textiles and created in a neutral palette with hints of colour. Khyber Weavers had a stand packed with stunning rugs featuring tribal designs in undyed palette—so perfect for today’s market!
In Hall 4 we also loved the stand of Manglam Arts, constructed using long bamboo poles that can be reused and adorned with many attractive rug collections. The brand’s Tulu design won a Carpet Design Awards for Best Flatweave Design and was greatly admired by visitors. The CDA jury were taken with the rug’s great texture and use of materials, another great rug for today’s market.
Indian brand Unlimited Style had a great show, and displayed some very strong designs, including some using a new blend of Merino wool. In the same Hall we met new brand Iris, run by the dynamic Ifrah Ansari. Employing a team of women weavers in Bhadhoi, Ansari as become quite a trailblazer in the Indian market.
The show also had a great array of displays. Mood Spaces curated by Holly Becker was a wonderful addition to the show. Sebastian Herkner’s space ‘Crafted Emotions’ featured his rugs for M2Rugs, while Studio Besau Marguerre’s space included the studio’s Rib rugs for Reuber Henning. Holly Becker’s ‘Sensory Design’ featured rugs by Lyk Carpet. We also loved the rug display by students from the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart, which featured some very creative rug solutions.
COVER Editor Lucy Upward held two discussion panels during the show. On Thursday, the subject was ‘The sustainable future of rug design’ and a great discussion on the topic of sustainable practices in the rug industry was had with Simon Goff from Floor Story, Jackie Cox from Tapis Decor, Ahmet Diler from Kirkit Rugs and Sonny Puryear from GoodWeave (a Podcast is coming shortly). This was followed on the Friday, by Lucy Upward speaking to Sebastian Herkner, Marcel Müller of M2Rugs and Reto Aschwanden about the Herkner’s Trails collection for M2Rugs.
In addition the Carpet Design Awards display had many visitors and a number of rugs got a great deal of attention, including House of Rubber’s fantastic Lady In Rug. Other popular designs were the dream-like Taufa by Jaipur Rugs, Talisman Hand-knotted by Wendy Morrison Design and Gondolas by Selam Carpet & Home.
The show left visitors with a positive feeling, so we hope to see Domotex Hanover back on track in 2024.