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One Chinese Mill Exhibits at IMM Cologne, Along with Traditional European Furniture Manufacturers

Some 150,000 Visitors This Year

February 5, 2019


COLOGNE, Germany – Haining Wonderful Textile Co. exhibited for the first time at IMM Cologne, the international furniture trade show held January 14-20.

Even though it’s unusual for a mill to exhibit, company officials say it’s important to be here to get a better sense of the European upholstery market.

Lisa Zhang of Haining Wonderful Textile, whose father started the Zhejiang mill 13 years ago, says the mill used to export 100 percent, but now it’s about 30 percent. The company is especially interested in Holland and Germany.

Zhang and her designers say they noticed the following about the European upholstery market this year: Solid color upholstery is preferred over jacquard designs.

In contrast, tony European furniture manufacturers had a different perspective.

Schramm manufactures premium sleeping furniture and bedding, and recently bought another German furniture company, Interlubke. Angela Schramm says there’s been a greater demand for velvet and chenille in fabrics, while jacquards remain popular.

Angela Schramm of Schramm in Germany during IMM Cologne.

“Overall, softer colors and fabrics are popular,” Schramm says. “People want to come home to comfort from such a [crazy] world.”

She said the company would be offering a fire-resistant mattress. A third-party company will provide the new FR material, which will “go between the mattress and the ticking.”

Over the past 70 years, Himolla has grown into one of Europe's largest upholstery manufacturers, employing about 3,000 people. Every day around 1,600 customer orders leave the factory, which is about 30 miles east of Munich, to more than 40 countries, according to the company.

Josef Rott, purchasing manager of fabrics and leather, said more than 70 percent of their fabric is linen, and that designs remain solid. Some 40 percent of the company’s business is exports, which has shown an increase in China, Japan, and Russia, Rott says.

Eric Thomas, international sales director, says Himolla has annual sales of about 300 million euros.

He says in 2019 the company will offer the Alexa Chair, a voice-activated recliner that can also be used manually.

Eric Thomas, international sales director, of Himolla in Germany with the new Alexa Chair.

[IMM Cologne] is one of the most important shows for us,” Thomas says.

This year, IMM Cologne and LivingKitchen trades shows, held at the same time, attracted close to 150,000 visitors from 145 countries, according to organizers.

“With 52 percent of trade visitors coming from abroad,” organizers say in a statement, “the co-located events achieved an even greater global reach than ever before.”


Angelo Carillo
Zhejiang HuaChen New Material Co., Ltd.

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