Hanover, Germany – Hand-woven textiles and manually finished wood exhibited alongside laser-cut tiles and acoustic wood planks at Domotex 2018 might seem like a collision of nostalgic wabi-sabi and technological innovation, but the apparent juxtaposition is united by the sustainable principles behind their creation. From 12 to 15 January, the world’s leading trade fair for floor coverings will see industry leaders and emerging designers using everything from wind energy to hand-weaving to deliver a plethora of products that are pleasing to the eye as well as the environment.
As a ubiquitous part of the built environment, it is easy to disregard flooring surfaces and materials as key in addressing sustainability by manufacturers and producers. Yet this pervasiveness makes it all the more important that the flooring industry meet global standards of environmental responsibility. Designer brand Purline Bioboden leads the way with organic flooring that’s free from chlorine, plasticizer and solvents – opting instead for renewable and natural materials such as rapeseed oil and chalk. Other innovative products on display include Korlok by Designflooring, which merges modern materials with natural wood, integrating an acoustic foam layer to create a multifunctional surface.
When it comes to textile flooring, designers are weaving sumptuous surfaces that bring nature indoors. In an attempt to reconnect people with the natural world, Swiss carpet specialist Tisca uses silk and wool to provide the tactile detailing which modern structures often lack. Meanwhile, Fletco introduces a carpet – the backing of which is made of 60% recycled materials – composed of laser-cut tiles to achieve an amazingly homogenous surface, making installation and maintenance simple. Perhaps even more remarkable is its ecologically friendly production process, entirely fuelled by wind energy.
The range of floor surfaces to be found at Domotex 2018 reveals an age of eclecticism where unique imperfections are celebrated alongside cutting-edge processes and clean mass-production. And whether rustic or polished, hand-finished or laser-cut, environmental sustainability is increasingly paramount in floor coverings.