On fabric trend with seneca textile's Kerry Cockburn

For Kerry Cockburn of Seneca Textiles, the dynamic nature of the industry is what keeps him inspired.

We caught up with the respected fabric house director, and Lovelight supplier, to learn about the latest fabric trends and innovation.

Each day, Seneca’s Prahran showroom sees around 70-80 designers a week come through their doors, all bringing their own clients, projects, and colour palettes.

“We love it because we’re working with some incredibly talented designers and decorators, and some are absolutely world class. Every day is new, every day is something different”, he says.

Established more than 30 years ago, Seneca Textiles has seen many trends come and go. And given their varied clientele, Cockburn says it’s crucial they keep an eye on the latest craze, not as a way to follow it, but to stay one step ahead.

“I think it’s important for us to know what’s out there because we deal with such a varied clientele that do traditional, contemporary and classic. We’re always trying to look to see what’s going to fit with each of these styles.”

A big trend to watch in the coming months is natural fibres and colour, says Cockburn.

“Linens, beautiful[ly] stonewashed, heavy texture, full of body and…a lot of colour. Colour is a definite design trend last year and this year”.

Textile mills are also finding new ways to work with materials, creating new uses for age-old material such as bamboo and palm bark, which are finding their way into textured, tactile wall coverings. It’s also the colour and movement of European fabric and design houses that continue to excite Cockburn.

“There’s no limit to what people are working on and producing [in Europe]. They’re not dictated by any trends,” he says.

This is a major attraction for Cockburn, who personally isn’t one to follow the crowd.

“I’m not a great believer in having to follow a trend, because I think interiors should reflect the person”, he says.

While Seneca might import from some of the world’s leading fabric houses, Cockburn thinks big things are ahead for the Australian design industry, partly due to their commitment to sustainability.

“We’re getting a lot of commercial projects that want a green rating. We’re now working with mills on…what we call ‘green textiles.’ It is a very big trend,” he says.

As a whole, Cockburn considers the Australian design industry to be very strong, “and I feel we’re producing some very innovative projects that will then filter down to textiles”.

For Cockburn, it’s an exhilarating time to be at Seneca, as more people are recognising the central role design plays in their lives, and how is assists in creating new looks and unique styles.

“It’s what we wear, what we eat off, where we live. It’s incredibly important. It’s in everyday life…it’s important for our being. It’s what makes us comfortable. It gives us our individual look”.

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