What comes after bouclé? High Point Market exhibitors weighs in

HIGH POINT — Nubby, loopy bouclé, which had become a dominant fabric for home fashion in the past few years — especially in white or cream — continued to make showroom appearances at High Point Market, but with some new twists and possible successors.

Asked about the evolution of this quintessential look for upholstery, Paul Peters, director of product development for Stickley, said bouclé remains popular, but the scale is moderating, going from a larger, looser texture to a finer one.

That matches with what Luca Rensi, president and CEO of Villa & House, is seeing as well. “When trends are at their height, that’s when you start to see it pull back,” he said. “Now we’re seeing a more refined version. Our bouclé has been tight … we wanted to avoid being trapped by the trend.

“Designs are most successful when you have a point of reference. You have to maintain a truth to your brand,” he said.

“There are so many variations of bouclé,” said Jordan Noe, vice president of merchandising and product development for Bassett Mirror, which used bouclé in a line of chairs it introduced last spring. “It still has legs.”

“It’s become a classic,” added George Nunno, executive creative director at Bassett Mirror. “You’re seeing people continue to do different things with it.”

One of those different things is a move away from white and off-white into more color, said Maura Dineen, creative director at Moe’s. “It’s still being kept as a neutral, but adding color.”

One possible replacement for bouclé, Dineen noted, is mohair; another, faux fur. She pointed to Moe’s Eckersley lounge chair that features an oak frame and cream faux fur upholstery as a new take on the classic look.

Rockford Wholesale’s Lana occasional chair, which combines polyurethane leather and fur, is another example of a faux fur alternative that was shown during High Point Market, as was Wovenbyrd’s corduroy chair and ottoman.

The extra wide cord reads like a faux fur, explained Ty Baucum, president and CEO of Wovenbyrd. “This is the most exaggerated version,” he said, adding the company is looking at doing a smaller wale as well.

“Bouclé isn’t gone yet,” said Michael Rosilio, president at Meridian Furniture. Still, he said, they’ve been doing a lot of chenille or brown or lighter brown velvet as an alternative. “We feel we pioneered glam velvet and that still sells. The same thing will happen with bouclé.”

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