Staff from three Dubai-based soft furnishing firms share their insights into the market

Wilson Fabrics Middle East
Pamela Opie, general manager

How would you describe the company?
Wilson Fabrics Australia was established in 1926 as a specialist manufacturer of drapery and blind fabrics. We opened our showroom in Dubai Design District last October.

Wilson designs decorative window fabrics for the hot and humid conditions in Australia, which makes them perfect for the Gulf. We have a unique blockout coating process which ensures longevity, even for sun-facing windows.

What products does it offer?
We make blind and drapery fabrics. Most of our fabrics are made in our own factory in Australia – we design, weave, dye, coat and finish all of them in-house to high specifications. We custom-weave with flame-retardant polyester yarn for commercial projects to meet US fire resistance standards.

We also weave double-width jacquards at 280cm or 300cm wide and offers co-ordinating designs and colours in drapery, blind and sheers, so designers can use the same fabrics for several different windows in an installation. We believe this to be unique.

What technology have you implemented or introduced recently?
We have developed a special blockout coating for drapery and blind fabrics that is not sensitive to heat or humidity.

What are the biggest trends influencing the market right now?
We are seeing a movement towards more use of blockout fabrics in hotels, because such material requires less sewing and lighter curtain rails can be used. This can reduce cost on a project.

What emerging trends, technology and concepts are changing the soft furnishing industry?
We are seeing increased used of motorised solutions for windows. Property owners are spending much more on each window, therefore it makes sense to invest in a better-quality fabric to put into the automated systems. This is driving a lot of interest in our fabrics.

What projects are you working on?
Wilson Fabrics is quite new to the UAE, so we are delighted that it has has been specified for a number of upcoming hotel projects to be completed this year.