Special Events
TIME to SHINE

TIME to SHINE

NO wallflowers these party guests! In the new year, new styles steal the spotlight with bold shapes, confident colors and luminous finishes, according to tabletop pros.

SHINE ON

This year, the trend stays strong for fabrics that gleam, glitter and sparkle, makers say.

Carol Trapschuh of Anaheim, Calif.-based GBS Linens says her company continues to get mileage out of the shiny satins paired with organza overlays introduced last year.

Meanwhile, “Many people are just catching on to” Ontario, Calif.-based Jomar's iridescent crush fabric, says executive vice president Mitchell Bluethman. The fabric's two-tone weave “creates the impression that the color is changing” in different lights. Yet the dramatic look is easy to maintain, as the fabric is washable on the delicate cycle and doesn't require ironing, he says, adding that it is a “great upgrade, even for small stores.”

At Spring Valley, N.Y.-based Cloth Connection, clients are taking a shine to the company's crushed taffeta, shimmer and lamour fabrics. First introduced in 2002 and expanded extensively since, the fabric lines are still enjoying huge popularity, says the company's Cara Albero, who adds that they can be dressed up with underlays and overlays.

Paterson, N.J.-based Tablecloth Co. is set to sparkle with its new 100 percent polyester Twinkle fabric, embroidered with sequins. “Just as in the fashion industry, embellished fabrics are all the rage right now,” company vice president of operations Mary Kerr says. She adds that “Twinkle is a great holiday fabric that can be used sparingly as runners or toppers, or to make a real statement for a formal event.”

Another Paterson, N.J.-based company, Ultimate Textile, throws its hat into the shimmer ring with Radiance — an iridescent organza the company is introducing this year. Also on deck is Ultimate's Shalimar, a “competitively priced,” colorfast iridescent crush that the company's Roger Glickman calls “a moneymaker for any company.”

COOLER WITH COLOR

Turning their view to hue, manufacturers expect clients to clamor for color in 2006.

At Arlington, Va.-based Garnier Thiebaut, Edel Pourpre is a bright-red damask featuring a graphic pattern of colorful orange and white ribbons; it is also available in a blue-gray style called Granit. National sales manager Jean Philippe Krukowicz says the brighter pattern “will be set off beautifully with overlays in contrasting gold, picking up the color in the ribbon motif,” while the Granit style “will look handsome with an overlay cloth in a coordinated solid color.”

According to Albero, the spring season will see a “large call for lavender, aqua-pink, lime-pink and other bright colors” in its iridescent and shimmer lines. For fall orders, it's all about “earthy rich tones like chocolate, copper, apricot and orange-gold.” Looking toward the holidays, watch for intense jewel tones including “garnet, cabernet and gold,” along with “the wintery, icy look of crystal blues, porcelain and shimmery white cloths.”

Bluethman says his clients are particularly keen on his iridescent crush line's new colors “like pink-aqua, plum-green, Black Hills gold and Mardi Gras.”

Trapschuh says spring satins are leaning toward lime green, turquoise and orange. And in general, she adds, “Chocolate has become the new black, and raspberry is the new red,” while eggplant and terra cotta continue to come on strong.

“With browns being so popular right now,” Kerr notes, she expects copper and taupe-gold to be top sellers in the Twinkle line, also available in such rich tones as burgundy, orange, sage and pewter.

SLEEK PEAK

Stretch it, smooth it, slick it down — sleek looks are hot sellers for many fabric makers.

One of them is Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Sculptware's Mitchell Kelldorf, who says his PopTop table covers and highboy covers, first introduced in 2005, continue to rank among the company's hottest items. “The high, clean arch on the back of the cover is designed into the base cloth, allowing for use of standard PopTop caps in any mix-or-match arrangement,” Kelldorf says. He adds that PopTops now offer “open access on the backside for maximum leg room and easy storage of supplies or materials,” making them “perfect for conference attendee or speaker tables, attendee sign-in tables, and display tables where under-table storage is necessary.”

And new from Sculptware: trash container covers, available in a wide range of colors, in 33-, 44- and 55-gallon sizes. The cover sets, with separate pieces for lid and container, can make trash receptacles “disappear, or stand out as bold artistic elements,” says Kelldorf, who predicts, “As event designers discover the visual impact of this ‘finishing touch,’ the trash can cover will become as common as the chair cover is today.”

South Hackensack, N.J.-based A-1 Tablecloth Co. gets into the full-coverage mix with custom-made “tableboxes — fitted covers manufactured to fit on almost any size item, from a large, square table to a seated bench,” says the company's Oren Fox. He adds that colors gold and chocolate brown are increasing in popularity this year.

Out in 2006 from Clifton, N.J.-based Something Different Linen, stretch fabric Satin Scuba is the newest addition to the company's popular Scuba line, says spokeswoman Ari Baez. Also looking to sell well this year is Micro Suede, a “smooth-texture, sleek-look, suede-leather-feel” fabric launched in late 2005, she explains Printable and available in eclectic shades including cork, sage, chambray, elephant, fuchsia and turquoise, the material has “a great, sexy look” that works equally well for sizzling soirees and corporate conferences, she adds.

SHAPE UP

On top of the table, look for dinnerware to continue its move toward interesting shapes and eye-catching color combinations.

This year, Denver-based Ten Strawberry Street adds to the square trend — “the hottest thing in the market for the past three years,” according to the company's Zachary Zucker — with black and red square plates.

Also new is the black-and-red blend Mao pattern, with an “oval shape that is really something the market is looking for,” Zucker says. He adds: “The Asian fusion look has been successful, and we believe will keep growing.”

Not to be outdone by shimmery linens, Ten Strawberry Street is introducing its own gleam, in the form of its new Luster and Monte Carlo plates, with a “pearlized look that really pops for the high-end special event,” Zucker notes.

Complementing its new dinnerware items is a new line of “funky-shaped” serving bowls including the elliptical Canoe and Asian-influenced Samurai, as well as a collection of vases ranging from the elegant Curves to the sleek Cylinder. And, in another continuing trend, Ten Strawberry Street looks at demand for chargers to keep growing. Showing particular promise is the company's rustic-look Antique line, as well as its new Lacquer square and rectangle chargers, according to Zucker.

At Sterling, Va.-based Fortessa, even white is going bright. Company vice president Scott Hamberger cites the new Tuto line of extra-white, durable vitrified china as one of the company's top picks for 2006. “The design details — a raised, banded well on plates and the winsome, angular shapes of individual items — give the pieces a cool, contemporary look, combined with a classic elegance,” he says. Look for the bright white china to “stand out beautifully on some of the year's new, vibrant linen patterns,” he adds.

Adding sparkle to the event table is Fortessa's Carat line — which made its debut last year — of “uniquely brilliant and durable glassware” made from manufacturer Schott Zwiesel's Tritan crystal. Dishwasher-safe and breakage-resistant, Carat “is styled with rounded bowls that stand on artfully fashioned stems embellished at the top with a glistening embossment,” Hamberger says. “When arranged with votive candles, the effect can be dazzling,” he notes, adding that the Carat design reflects the “general trend to a luxury look in fashion and home goods — a trend that is moving to the tabletop.”




RESOURCES

A-1 Tablecloth Co., 800/727-8987; Cloth Connection, 845/426-3500; Fortessa, 800/296-7508; Garnier Thiebaut, 703/920-2448; GBS Linens, 714/778-6448; Jomar Table Linens, 866/390-1444; Sculptware, 888/282-8811; Something Different Linen, 973-772-8019; Tablecloth Co., 800/227-5251; Ten Strawberry Street, 800/428-9397; Ultimate Textile, 800/567-4451

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