Category: News

How has Covid-19 affected people in the interior textile industry?

(Image From Reisoglu)

Last year the world was struck with disaster when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In response to the dangers posed by the virus, many countries initiated a lockdown, which resulted in many businesses having to close for the foreseeable future, including those in the interior textiles industry. The lockdowns have affected the industry in many ways, leaving many people to adapt to the new modern world.

Last year the textile industry was forecasted a potential 50% drop in sales. For many businesses production had to stop, which resulted in many cancelled orders and overseas trade deals becoming strained, which would have a major financial impact on many in the industry on top of many businesses having to close or shut down.

One company that hasn’t been affected negatively by the pandemic is Alpaca Comfort LTD. Since the beginning of the first lockdown the company’s turnover has shot up by 50%. Alpaca Comfort Limited began in 2002 with a small alpaca farm in the Peninne hills of Yorkshire. Alongside this, they were also running a small business importing textiles from Peru and because of their current business were also buying and selling natural fibre bedding items such as pillows and duvets. When their suppliers closed, they took the opportunity to buy a mill and start manufacturing their own fibre bedding items.

Shaun Daniel from Alpaca has said, “We are struggling to keep up with orders, so we are bringing in more machines and staff. If this changes we will adapt.” Shaun has said he doesn’t know the cause of his recent success but believes the pandemic does have a large part to play. Alpaca have continued their online shopping option and because more people are at home, more people have been purchasing their products which are becoming increasingly desirable. Their success has been gradually improving throughout the year, despite the lockdowns and some of their larger clients having to shut down. Now that the Prime Minister has announced his exit plan from lockdown some businesses will have been preparing for the world to start returning to normal, but Alpaca plan on continuing as they have been given their recent success.



From Alpaca Comfort LTD


‘Interior Needs’ based in Gloucester are a family run business Interiors Retailer and Showroom who, like many, have also been affected by the pandemic. They provide at home consultations where they can measure and provide quotes for window coverings, provide interior design advice, and use their experience in tricky bays, conservatory roofs and motorisation. They also work with outdoor furnishings.

Last year the company had more positives than negatives and have been more busy than usual, shown by the fact that they had to shut down for 3 months and still broke even in 2019. In the last year, the pandemic has allowed Interior Needs to focus on improvements such as holding more controlled appointments. They have also focussed on marketing and advertising the company, mainly on Facebook in the hope that they will become more well-known and get better recommendations.

Jayne Court from Interior Needs described the first lockdown as very scary because no money was coming in and this caused them to panic. However, everything has been fine since then. Like many companies they have had to adapt to the rules the country has had to follow and to reduce risk they have been going to home addresses for presentations rather than having customers come to the showroom, despite how time consuming it is. They plan to continue to safeguard their future by working by appointment and having different people working on different areas of the business so more is covered. When asked about how she thought business would be next year Jayne said, “I don’t know… it’s scary, business might stop when people start to go on holiday and stop refurbishing when things get back to normal.” She believes that the lockdowns have been very influential on their successes because people have been stuck staring at the same 4 walls and have been saving money so have decided to redecorate.



From Interior Needs Facebook Page


What about the rest of the World? Well Angelo Carillo, an Italian fabric supplier selling Worldwide under the brands Via Roma and Gruppo Carillo, like many has had to face the troubles caused by the pandemic.  However, Angelo claims that although he had a quiet period for roll sales from March 2020 to March 2021 his cut length business exploded and he say that since April he has never experienced a better period for business throughout his career! He has managed to kickstart their roll service again and is now having successful meetings with wholesalers, shops & distributors throughout Italy.  Angelo has said, “the feeling now is very positive, everyone is selling again. Of course, our Italian customers know us very well and they know that we are the right partner to work with.” They hope their current success will continue and that their export sales will start to grow again.    NOTE:  If you are interested in seeing their fabric range sold by the metre cut length and rolls – contact their UK AGENT



From Via Roma


The lockdown has also affected young designers hoping to get into the industry. BITA member Janna Alu graduated from university last summer with a BA in Textile Design and like many people has struggled to find a job since finishing her degree. Despite crediting the first lockdown to helping her finish work for her degree, she has been looking for a job that will allow her to put what she has learnt at university into practice. Janna was able to get an internship in Amsterdam last year, where she was able to gain some experience in the textile industry. However, she was forced to finish it at home due to the pandemic, cutting her hands-on experience short. Despite the frustration of unemployment, Janna hasn’t let Covid stop her from pursuing her dream and has adapted to the situation by creating and selling facemasks and scrunchies on Instagram. Janna’s experiences show the wider impact that covid-19 has had, as it is not only affecting existing businesses but also prohibiting talented young people getting into the industry.  NOTE:  If you are based in the South of England and would like to give Janna some unpaid work experience in the industry (ideally pay her travel expenses) – please get in touch with us at



Janna Ala


Diane Harding – Managing Director of Norfolk House Consultants and BITA reports that many of the industry’s larger suppliers have had a really difficult time due to a large % of their business being export.  With the whole world being affected by this pandemic – sales are down both in the export and contract industry with hotels around the world shut and development on hold.  Diane says she is aware of many redundancies throughout the industry during last year and new appointments being postponed due to the uncertainty.  However – there is a light at the end of the tunnel with many reporting excellent cut length trade in the UK during the latter part of last year and early part of this year and now hotels are beginning to open contract sales are on the increase.  We are sure 2021 will be a far better year for the industry and by 2022 sales will be back where they should be in all sectors.


Diane Harding


It is difficult to tell if all businesses have been impacted in the same way, but it is safe to say that the pandemic has affected everybody in the interior textiles industry in one way or another. Some business will have found success, and some will have had to shut down but now there is an end to this in sight there will be many companies hoping to return to some sort of normality. We here at BITA would love to hear about your experiences from the last year and your thoughts about the future?



BITA member Edmund Bell launches new print designs: BLOOM & Printed Textures

Edmund Bell are pleased to announce the addition of nine new print designs in the form of the BLOOM collection, and DUET, OPERA and QUARTET printed textures.

BLOOM’s spontaneity captures the freshness of pretty country gardens. Scattered florals and blossom evoke a playful summer garden and mix decoratively with leaves and abstract patterns of the entire collection.

With a cool mix of emerald and midnight, blush, magenta and espresso; vivacious shades dance and mix effortlessly with neutral basics.Bloom news post 1FLORIS as the main floral bursting with summer delight mixes calmly with AMILIE; another organic inspired easy to use leaf. FINESSE and MONSOON, whilst multi-coloured, add certain calmness and contrast with zig zag lines and subtle drops. MARQUISE on the other hand punctuates with notes of formal trellis work and geometric clarity.Bloom news post 2The entire BLOOM story is complimented with METRO and OASIS (printed Sentinel base fabric), both waterproof upholstery substrates; and SERENITY our exclusive FR voile. MATRIX , a three tone FR strié effect woven fabric, completes the entire use of fabric complements for successful interior spaces.Bloom news post 3See the full BLOOM collection here

DUET, OPERA and QUARTET are a range of contemporary printed textures, designed to compliment and co-ordinate with a wide variety of decorative fabrics and interior schemes. Bloom news post 4The three designs, each presented in a assortment of 12 trend-led colourways, feature a range of subtle, printed ‘weave’ effects.Bloom news post 5Find out more about QUARTET , OPERA  and DUET

Suitable for any setting, but ideal for contract interiors projects, you can choose from an extensive range of 17 flame retardant base fabrics that are appropriate for the Hospitality, Education, Healthcare, Marine, Leisure and Events markets. Options of printing to narrow and wide widths (137cm to 300cm) are available on some of our base fabrics.

For over 160 years, Edmund Bell have been honing their product knowledge and manufacturing expertise to earn our reputation as your entrepreneurial partner who delivers the best quality, added-value and superior service.

BITA Website

Our brand new website is finally here!

Interact with us, our new website just became a lot easier to navigate and use! With an easy click, you can now view and interact with all industry and BITA Events, even add your own events … absolutely free! Our Interiors Directory now allows you to swiftly add your own listings and look up either specific or general companies in the trade. Locate the latest industry News including; show reviews, offers, etc.

Jobs – find your dream occupation or if you want to find the perfect candidate – post your job on our board (this is free for our BITA Members or a small charge for non BITA Members). One of our new sections is the Graduate Hub, a new section solely for design graduates. Lastly the Membership area is to learn how to become a member.

Preview images of the website below.

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“More visitors, more opportunities; best Heimtextil yet” says Edmund Bell

Edmund Bell have just returned from their tenth appearance at the Heimtextil international trade fair, and it was their best yet.

Edmund Bell previewed a number of new ranges at the exhibition including new velvet blackout SENSATION and new velvet upholstery range PLUSH, new woven ranges MATRIX and EQUILIBRIUM, and new print collection BLOOM. All of which were well received by visitors to the stand.


Simon Nutt, Group Head of Marketing says:

“We have been exhibiting at Heimtextil for ten years now and the exhibition is showing no signs of slowing down. For 2019 we invested in a larger stand space at the show, and showcased a new stand reflecting our new brand identity. We were very encouraged by the positive customer reaction and increase in customers visiting the stand. As well as a big increase on last year, we recorded over 50% more customer opportunities than we did two years ago.”

Not one to rest on their laurels; the team are already thinking about how they can improve the visitor experience at Heimtextil 2020 – which will be the shows 50th anniversary. There will more product launches throughout the year to look out for.

Edmund Bell are a leading and trusted supplier to the global soft furnishings market, and experts in flame retardant blackout and dimout fabrics to the hospitality, cruise, healthcare, education and workplace markets.

For further information about us or our extensive product range and services please email, call +44 (0)1706 717070 or visit

 Edmund Bell. Where design meets performance, since 1855.


original-2.jpgA day of discussion and valuable insights about how to design for the print industry.

The course will be taught by professionals from Standfast & Barracks and will cover the topics; Researching your customer; The importance of Colour and Technical Considerations; And ‘how to win your dream job in textiles’ – a talk given by BITA & Norfolk house Director, Diane Harding. The masterclass will be useful for people who want to know more about working in the printed textile industry, making contacts and meeting like-minded individuals.

The day will also include a tour of the Standfast & Barracks design studio and factory to get an insight into how a successful Printed Textile company operates.

Diane, will also be on hand to offer tailored advice on your CV and portfolio to help you further your career.


This event is FREE for BITA members (email to book) and only £25 for everyone else.

Lunch is provided as well as refreshments on arrival.

Check our website or contact for more information on BITA membership.

* Please note that attendees will be visiting a working mill and must wear sturdy footwear with flat soles and closed toes. No clothing such as floaty scarves and draping skirts will be permitted due to machinery on the factory floor.

Reviews from the previous masterclass;

“I personally enjoyed the design process being explained and comparing it to my methods. It’s great to see how it works in industry as it helps a designer to understand the process and adapt your designs for certain print methods.”

“A Valuable insight into an industry and seeing the process from design to completion. Seeing the technical process of print was also invaluable as was seeing the factory. It was very professionally run, and the day was delivered brilliantly. Excellent value, I would highly recommend.”


If you are in the Interior design industry you may be wondering what is coming up next year for the style conscious fabric houses. Here is summary of some of the colours and trends that are due to emerge in the coming months.

Alongside their 3 colour palettes for next year the people at Pantone have finally revealed the colour of the year for 2019 as Living Coral 16-1546. Whilst we are still embracing the 2018 Ultra Violet with its futuristic appearance, this colour is warm and lively and evokes feelings of optimism and joyful activities. Pantone have also released 3 other palettes of colour called Cravings, Meanderings and Classico.


“CRAVINGS, THE 2019 PANTONE PALETTE DEDICATED TO FOOD Among the colours we find: Butterum, Cappuccino, Chili Pepper, Flamingo, Grass Green, and Cayenne.”  -Pantone


“MEANDERINGS, THE 2019 PANTONE PALETTE OF GLOBALISATIO Among the colours included are: Island Green, Blue Print, Spice Route, Chai Tea, Aurora Red and Wild Orchid.” -Pantone


Just as the name suggests, the shades of the Pantone Classico palette are essential, sober and timeless and at the same time, elegant and always in fashion. Among the colours included in Classico – Pantone Colour Palette 2019 here are: Camel, Deep Teal, Apricot Brandy, Gray Flannel, White Swan, and Caviar.” -Pantone



It is a move forward for the pastel pinks that have been everywhere this year. Mixed

with eastern influences from Morocco and teamed with coastal blues and greens, this

colour has the potential to liven up the dullest of spaces.  Think tiled flooring, hand-dyed linens, layers of patterns, water colour prints all mixed together to give a fresh and elegant take on the pink trend.


This style embraces the best of Swedish hygge. Walls in shades of white contrasted by rough wood surfaces and sheepskin rugs.

penzance 1


Sustainability is becoming a global priority. Ethically sourced products, natural fabric and textile designs that mimic natural materials are a big trend for 2019.

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This Dulux colour of the year is Nightwatch Green. A strong colour that creates a dramatic effect when teamed with blossoming florals and bright oranges. This colour works with the botanical theme that has been really popular this year.




Internet searches for velvet has increased 400% in the past 6 months as people are looking for luxurious investments in bold contrasting colour fabrics.


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With the current trend for velvet and bold geometric patterns, and so many burnt oranges and yellows at the forefront of the consumer trends, there is definitely a nod towards the 70’s era. Think warm colour palettes, funky textures and abstract silhouettes.


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A truly timeless design trend, the visual contrast of black and white provides a sense of balance and boldness. Look out for dalmatian print which will be everywhere next year.

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Images from; Pantone, Dulux ,Claire Gaudion, Prestigious Textiles, Green & Mustard, The Haddow Group, West Elm, The Room Alive and Etsy.



Announcing the results of  the
2017 / 2018
British Interior & Textiles Association Awards

Each category below was voted for by members of the interior and textile industry. The first and second place in each category received a certificate to recognise the valuable input that they make in our industry.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. 

1. Style Library
2. Ashley Wilde
3. The Portofino Studio

1. Green & Brown
2. Rol-Lite
3. Diffusion

1. Fine Quality Feather
2. Hallis Hudson
3. Margo Selby

1. James Vardy – iLiv
2. Peter Barnett – Green & Brown
3. Stephen Green – Prestigious
4. Jon Ashdown – Clarke & Clarke

1. Prestigious Textiles
2. Zoffany
3. Jacqueline Milton

1. James Thompson
2. John Northwood
3. Andrew Bennett
4. Steve Houghton

1.Regal Blinds
2. English Rooms
3. Windmill Workroom

1. Hallis Hudson
2. Bradley Collection
3. Jones Interiors

1. iLiv
2. Ashley Wilde
3. Rectella

1. Ashley Wilde
2. Olivia Bard

1. Hallis Hudson
2. SMD / iLiv
3. Jones Interiors

1. Troynorth
2. Jones Interiors
3. Silverdale

1. Cole & Son
2. Harlequin / Style Library
3. Sandberg


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BITA September Showcases – Back on the Road Again! 

The British Interiors & Textiles Association are delighted to announce the return of our hugely successful September Roadshows for 2018.

Diane Harding, BITA Director and Secretary said “Talking to exhibitors and visitors from our  Roadshows over the past 10 years – it is clear they have missed our local shows which mean less travel and cost for visitors  – especially in the North and the Midlands so by popular demand we are back on the Road and hoping you will join us?”

Recognised for their exciting diversity, BITA Roadshows feature brands at all levels as well as new and up and coming suppliers from across the UK.

Attended by buyers, suppliers and key industry leaders alike, the BITA trade show floor is a great place to showcase your products and form new relationships as well as nurture existing ones in their own county at a very sensible cost.

Locations and dates:

Surrey | 9th September
Nottingham | 11th September
Newcastle | 13th September
Harrogate | 16th September
Milton Keynes | 18th September

Booking is now open with an early bird discount of 30% which will run until 14th June 2018, contact for further information.

Join BITA for an evening of networking and celebration with industry winners!

The Annual British Interiors & Textiles Association Awards (BITA) 2018 will be held
on 5th August 2018 at the ancestral home of Lord Bryon, Colwich Hall, Nottingham.

An intimate evening, the summer ball is open to all across the industry to attend, providing a fantastic opportunity to entertain clients, celebrate with colleagues and network with industry leaders!

Launched in 2017, the BITA Awards recognise excellence in creativity and service across the interiors and textiles industry.  This year’s finalists range from the best designers and suppliers right the way through to the best sales agents.

The evening will commence at 7pm, tickets cost £60 and include a drinks reception, three course meal and entertainment. Discounts are available for group bookings.

To secure your ticket please email

And the finalists are….

After a record-breaking year for nominations, the finalists in this year’s BITA Industry Awards can now be revealed.

Launched in 2017, the BITA Awards recognise excellence in creativity and service across the sector.  The finalists range from the best designers and suppliers right the way to the best sales agents.

Diane Harding, BITA Director & Secretary said “The BITA Awards offer a credible endorsement of excellence which allows winners to stand out from the crowd.  There is no better recognition than that of your contemporaries and with winners decided solely on the votes of those from within industry the BITA Industry Awards set a standard of excellence by those who know best.”

Caroline Adam, Sales and Marketing Manager at Pike Textiles, sponsors of this years awards, said….“Pike Textiles have been at the forefront of fabric, wallpaper and window blind sampling solutions for 126 years with Excellence and Innovation being the two foundations of our business. 

Working with world leading brands and market leading retailers, we always have an eye on best practice and are pleased to be sponsoring an award recognising the best in field Sampling Solution through BITA.”

Winners will be announced at a Summer Ball, which will be held later in the year.  Details will be announced in due course.

Here are the BITA Awards 2018 finalists…..

Best Fabric Brand
Prestigious Textiles
Jacqueline Milton

Best Blind Supplier
Green & Brown

Best Pole & Track Supplier
Hallis Hudson
Bradley Collection
Jones Interior

Best Made to Measure Service
Windmill Workroom
English Rooms
Regal Blinds

Best Trimmings Supplier
Jones Interior

Best Cushion Supplier
Fine Quality Feather
Hallis Hudson
Margo Selby

Best Wallcoverings Brand
Cole & Son
Harlequin/Style Library

Best Independent Sales Agent
John Northwood
Steve Houghton
James Thomson
Andrew Bennett

Best Employed Sales Rep
Peter Barnett – Green & Brown
Stephen Green – Prestigious
Jon Ashdown – Clarke & Clarke
James Vardy – iLiv

Best Supplier for Customer Service
Jones Interior
Hallis Hudson

Best Sample Design
Ashley Wilde
Olivia Bard

Best Readymade Curtain Supplier
Ashley Wilde

Best Bedlinen Supplier
Style Library
The Portofino Studio
Ashley Wilde