January in Frankfurt is pretty darn cold, so it feels fitting to be here at Heimtextil browsing all the lush materials that are changing the way we make ourselves at home. It’s the 40th year of the fair, and the Messe Frankfurt fairground is beyond expansive. 2,500 booths spanning nearly 340,000 square meters of exhibition space feature bed, bath, and table linens and accessories, wall, floor, and window coverings, an entire hall is devoted to suppliers from Asia, and a dedicated trends section exploring the look and feel of the forecasted fashions for 2010 and 2011.
It’s a little tough to take it all in, a reality that isn’t lost on Olaf Schimdt, Vice President of Textile Fairs at Messe Frankfurt. I had a chance for a quick chat with Mr. Schmidt, whose hope for Heimtextil is that it is, simply, “a show where you’ll find everything.” In addition to providing the contract buyers and brands with the platform to share their wares, there is a strong focus on setting trends and giving a global forum to young designers and students.