Innovative DesignInnovative Design

Loving the Process

Thu, 2012-01-05 10:03

We recently caught Yves Behar’s presentation at the 99% Behance Conference, and were inspired to share.

Throughout presentation, he shares his perspectives on bringing innovate design to life, including the adoption of sustainability, starting the design process with questions rather than answers and building partnerships to spur better design solutions.

We hope this video inspires your approach to design as much as it has ours.

The Story of Ramie

Mon, 2011-11-28 13:34

In the next installment of our natural fibers series, we look closer at one of the oldest textile fibers that is still commonly used today: Ramie. This versatile fiber was used by ancient Egyptians to weave mummy cloths and has been grown in China for centuries, where generation after generation of farmers have used it to weave durable and long lasting clothing.

Ramie is a hardy perennial crop with a life of 6-20 years and can be harvested up to six times per year, which classifies it as a rapidly renewable resource.

Ramie is one of the strongest natural fibers, and is resistant to bacteria, mildew, rotting and light. It is extremely absorbent and exhibits even greater strength when wet. The ramie fiber is very durable and is known especially for its ability to hold shape, reduce wrinkling, and introduce a silky luster to a fabric’s appearance. It is easy to dye and has a natural stain resistance (which also makes it easy to clean). It is usually used as a blend with other fibers such as cotton or wool and helps prevent shrinkage.

It can be processed to several different levels, each with their own individual beauty:

The Five Stage of Ramie

1. Dried Bark: quite woody and generally used as a filiment fiber

2. Stripped Outside Peel: stripped from the reed, very grass-like

3. Stripped Inside Peel: also very grass-like, but more refined

4. Stripped Core Fibers: create a refined textile like fiber when dry spun

5. De-gummed Core Fibers: akin to cotton when wet spun

The versatility and variability of this natural fiber is beautifully demonstrated in the finish of these weaves found in our woven-to-size Liniedge Collection.

weaves from the Liniedge Collection woven with ramieTo learn more about any of our weaves made with Ramie, please contact or visit your local showroom

OTHER BLOGS FROM THIS SERIES: Water Hyacinth | Jute

Designing with Natural Sheers

Fri, 2011-11-11 09:25

Since ancient times, sheer textiles have been prized for their beautiful and luxurious qualities.  The pharaoh’s courts were covered in linen, the "cloth of the gods", and hieroglyphics describe this fabric as being woven of air. Silks developed by early Chinese dynasties were proclaimed as created from clouds and cherished for their astonishing beauty.

Sheer fabrics are still highly sought today. Why do these light airy textiles continue to gain popularity in modern design?

Sheers can…

No81 Morning LongtailOffer a veil of privacy while highlighting a view or other architectural element. Large horizontal or vertical windows are built to highlight beautiful views and stunning architectural features, but can leave a space feeling hard, empty, and overly open.  Adding a sheer treatment accents these architectural elements without overpowering them, helping to define these visual expanses while preventing an unobstructed view from the exterior. Shown: No81 Morning Longtail from the HandWoven Collection.

KW95r Lotus Blossom with ReedFilter light & prevent glare. Exposure to natural light is a vital component of our general well-being, and the presence of sunlight is a required element in many interiors. Yet the reality remains that daylighting is inconsistent and unpredictable. It can be too bright, too glaring or allow a space to grow overly hot. Sheers enhance, soften and diffuse light, and to an extent control it. Light filtered through a sheer is more pleasant, more enjoyable light. Shown KW95r Lotus Blossom with Reed from the KottaWeave Collection.

LE1254 CordivanAdd texture: Texture is read both visually and tactually, and has become a key element in interior design today.  This trend is led by the use of refined textures and simple materials, which offer delicate variation and bring interest to a room without overpowering other elements.  A sheer texture conveys softness both to the eye and to the touch. Shown: LE1254 Cordivan from the woven-to-size Liniedge Collection.


EW202 CandelaSet the tone
: Color is the most emotional element in our lives, and is often the element used to set a room’s mood. Employing a sheer with the desired undertone will determine the color perception of the light entering the room, adding color in a soft wash that is easy on the eyes. Shown: EW202 Candela from the ErtheWeave Collection.

 

The latest addition to our product portfolio is our collection of sheer liners, a set of materials specially designed to coordinate with our more delicate open weaves. These supple and silky fabrics enhance privacy and sun protection, and were designed to coordinate with weaves from each collection. They are available in five neutral colors and can be specified up to 110” without seams.

Log in to our Client Site or visit your local showroom to browse these versatile liners or order no-charge memo samples.

Natural Rollershades Chosen as "Best of Year" Finalist

Fri, 2011-11-04 14:15

We are thrilled to announce our Natural Rollershades were chosen as a Window Covering category finalist in the 2011 Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Awards. With such innovative products in this category, we are humbled at this honor and would like to thank everyone who casted a vote for our product.

The full list of category finalists is available at Interior Design Magazine’s website, where you can also purchase tickets to this year’s Awards Ceremony, held in New York City on December 1. Or you can visit our Natural Rollershades page to learn more about this award-winning system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Milestones: The Launch of the 2011 Reference Guide Kit

Fri, 2011-10-28 15:15

2011 Reference Guide KitSince the early days of the Roman Empire, milestones have been used to mark distance traveled on a journey. Over the past decade, in the many miles we’ve traveled and hours we’ve worked, it has become our tradition to celebrate these milestones. With that traveler’s spirit in our hearts, we are excited to celebrate our most recent milestone, the launch of the 2011 Reference Kit.

Months in the making, the new three piece kit features an updated Specification Guide, simplified Price List and Measuring Guide and newly designed Handcrafted Natural Window Covering Brochure. We are proud to say that we believe it is our finest kit to date.

If you would like a copy of your own, please contact your local showroom or call our Customer Relations department at 888.582.8780.

In conjunction with this Reference Guide Kit, we have also updated hfshades.com. We would love you to explore the updates on both platforms, and let us know what you think.  Please send us your feedback at hfmarketing@hfshades.com.

Interior Design's Best of Year Award 2011

Wed, 2011-09-28 16:12
Best of Year logo

We are proud to receive a nomination for Interior Design Magazine's Best of Year award for the 6th consecutive year. This year, it is our Natural Rollershades that have received the notable nomination in the Window Treatments category. With more than 74 designs available, all handwoven from sustainable fibers, it’s plain to see why our Rollershades have quickly garnered such an enthusiastic following. 

It is an honor to be associated with some of the most innovative companies in the world. We take pride in creating new products to inspire designers and empower their creativity.
 
Visit interiordesign.net to cast your vote for your favorite products and projects of 2011. Voting is open October 3rd through the 10th.

 

The Story of Water Hyacinth

Tue, 2011-09-06 13:44

Water Hyacinth in its natural stateWater hyacinth is an aquatic plant found both floating freely on fresh water and anchored in mud. Over the past few decades, its rate of extremely rapid proliferation has led to an increasing host of problems, including hindrance to water transport, clogging of irrigation systems, growing micro-habitats for a variety of diseases, and an increased rate of water loss. Compounding many of these issues is that fact that effective control of the plant is difficult as it often lives in waterways that are used for drinking and washing.

At very least is it is considered to be a pest and many consider it a serious threat to biodiversity.

 

In an attempt to prevent such damaging outcomes, residents in areas where the plant thrives around the globe are working to devise viable ways to transform it from pest to natural resource. Although more than 95% water, the plant has a fibrous tissue and a high protein and energy content which lend to a variety of uses. The water hyacinth fiber is currently used to produce paper, fiber board, basket work, charcoal briquetting, and even fertilizers and fish feed.

But by far its mLE1101 Baize, from our Woven-to-Size Liniedge Collectionost elegant application is the amazingly delicate and textured natural textiles into which the fibers can be woven. The process is simple and sustainable: stems of the water hyacinth stalk are shredded lengthwise to expose the fibers and then left to dry in the sun for several days. The fibers are then hand spun into rope and yarn, and finally, using traditional techniques, woven into beautiful textiles such as LE1101 Baize from our Liniedge Collection.

Several NGO’s are currently supporting programs to train native women and men to weave water hyacinth in order to provide a stable income for their households. The programs have helped entire communities: once taught, the skills and the knowledge required are easily transferable to others. In addition, the drying, spinning and weaving can be done from home, reducing the pressure on those living in rural communities to relocate to large cities in search of employment.

We currently offer three weaves made from water hyacinth: LE1101 Baize, LE1103 Swanskin and LE1253 Burrel, all from our Liniedge Collection, and are working to develop more.

OTHER BLOGS IN THIS SERIES: Jute | Ramie

 

Jute: A Story of Sustainability

Thu, 2011-08-18 07:40

Jute fibers drying in the sunFor centuries, jute has been one of the world’s most versatile natural fibers. Even today, it is second only to cotton in terms of world wide usage, consumption and production. Part of its versatility lies in that the jute fiber itself has both textile and wood fiber characteristics. This allows it to be used to make everything from rough cloth to a textile with silk-like finish. It can even be processed into pulp and paper.

The jute plant renews rapidly, growing to maturity in a short 4–6 months, and as a rain-fed crop has little need for fertilizer or pesticides. It is a bio-degradable, naturally decomposable and recyclable fiber (jute can be recycled multiple times) making it among the most environment-friendly fibers cultivated today.

KW116 AmeThese are among the many reasons that our design team chose to use jute for our latest KottaWeave Collection Update. The seven sheer designs feature the natural heathered look inherent to the fiber while offering the strength, durability, UV protection and sound and heat insulation desired in a high quality window covering.

OTHER BLOGS IN THIS SERIES: Water Hyacinth | Ramie

Hungry Cat - Million $ Decorators Product Placement

Wed, 2011-07-06 10:04

The Hungry Cat featuring handcrafted natural window coverings from Hartmann&ForbesA recent visit to the Hungry Cat in Santa Monica gave us some interesting insight into the back story of the Jeffrey Alan Marks design to be featured on Bravo's "Million Dollar Decorators".

Apparently the space has been frequented by several restaurants over the years, (all unsuccessful!), and had developed the reputation of being "cursed". After visiting the space, Jeffrey decided he knew what the problem was: no windows.  In such a beautiful location, why hide the biggest selling point behind heavy walls?

The Hungry Cat featuring handcrafted natural window coverings from Hartmann&Forbes

He proceeded to add in an entire bank of picture windows to showcase the breathtaking views of the Santa Monica coastline, and added Hartmann&Forbes roman shades to accent them.  He specified CW36 Park Avenue from our ColourWeave Collection, and they act as the perfect window covering solution: they block glare without blocking the view when lowered, and raise up nearly out of view when sunlight is not an issue.

We are thrilled to be a part of this newly vibrant, thriving space.

What We're Watching: Million Dollar Decorators

Tue, 2011-05-31 12:41

Million Dollar DecoratorsThe reality show has finally come to the world of high-end interior design. The premiere of the Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators” will be offer viewers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look into the world of high-end luxury design.

Participating designers include Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Alan Marks, Nathan Turner, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Kathryn Ireland and Mary McDonald.

We are excited to see what this talented five-some creates and catch a glimpse of their design processes. And we will be sure to look for the oversized, automated roman shade from our Liniedge Collection as it makes its television debut in the window of the Jeffrey Alan Marks studio. 

Catch the premiere episode 5/31 at 10pm E/P on the Bravo network.

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