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Good looking and waterproof: Fabrics for Yachting

What characteristics do textiles have to have in order to be used in yacht building? How important are trendy textile designs for customers? We were interested in finding out more about how textiles are used in boat design and spoke to Mara Bormann, Head of Design at Bavaria Yachtbau in Giebelstadt, Germany.

 

In yacht building, textiles are used for sun loungers, mattresses, sun protection systems, wall panels, etc. How important is Heimtextil as a source of inspiration for you as a designer?

Mara Bormann (MB): Heimtextil is an important trade fair for me as it enables me to discover new trends and developments. And to get up to speed with the textiles market. When it comes to serial yacht production, textile design is very much a case of “less is more”. We need to be able to satisfy our customers worldwide with 10 to 15 fabric designs. This means that it is all the more important for us to visit Heimtextil to find out what customers want and need and to see what the market has to offer, including new products.

What requirements do on-board textiles have to meet?

MB: The textiles used in the interior and exterior design of yachts are exposed to extreme weather conditions. Because of this, they should be hard-wearing and resistant to water, moisture and stains.

How important is fashionable design in this sector?

MB: Needless to say, the fabric design needs to be suitable for a maritime context. It must be functional yet homely. As a boat is a product with a long life, it is usually timeless and elegant designs that are chosen. Imitation leather is often used for the exterior areas of yachts, but it does not feel very pleasant to the touch – especially when you sit on it when wearing a bathing suit!

Are there differences in fashion consciousness between motorboat and yacht customers?

MB: In general, fashion consciousness depends greatly on the price segment. People who buy serial yachts tend to be more conservative in the fabric designs they select – classic maritime blue and white is still going strong. On the whole, motorboat customers could be said to be more daring and trend-conscious.

(Post by Kerstin Böhning)

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Kohan Textile Journal

Middle East Textile Journal

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