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The Dos and Donts Of Blogging

Our resident digital media expert talk James Cole talks about setting up regional and demographic targeting on Facebook and social media using marketing and remarketing.

Style + Staying Power

Curtain fabric releases for 2017 point to ongoing demand for sheers, along with a keen interest in pairing design flair with performance and function, while new patterns and prints, highlighted in particular at the Heimtextil trade fair in January are worth noting. Belinda Smart spoke to key suppliers in the category.

Outstanding Showroom Space Open For Business

South Australian company Kornblum is promoting its state-of-the-art showroom as a space for lease with a difference, following a decision to move out of retail and focus on manufacturing + software development.

Pushing Back On Price Pressure

With the sought after roller blinds category often cited as an exemplar of wildly differing price point / quality propositions in the market, smart retailers are finding ways to maximise their margins without succumbing to the temptation to compete on price. WFA touched base with key wholesalers for their perspective on how they and their dealers are winning out over the competition across a range of products.

Shutter Market Update

In the current competitive climate, three key players outline how quality product and service can successfully be sold as a wise investment with a marked point of difference from the long wait times and lower quality of price driven offerings. Belinda Smart reports

External Blinds Update

With changing home designs and the recent heatwave turning consumers’ focus more strongly than ever onto external shading solutions, suppliers are reporting continuing innovation and a sense of buoyancy in the market. Belinda Smart reports.

Interior Influences

From Hollywood Glam to Morroccan and our abiding obsession with all things Scandinavian, interior design trends continue to influence homeowners’ choices in terms of window treatments. WFA spoke to Sydney Interior Designer Jenny Williams of Creative Style Interior Design about key current directions in this area.

The Flight To Quality

The motorisation category continues to evolve at warp speed, with technological innovations including apps and more driving a growing focus on well-positioned, energy efficient and future focused products. Belinda Smart reports

From Adversity To Innovation

A chronic health condition that threatened brutal endings has proven the spur for new beginnings, including a groundbreaking start-up bringing revolutionary products to market. Belinda Smart reports

Kellyville Makeover

A recent project in the Sydney suburb of Kellyville demonstrates how a smart window treatment can transform a home’s interior.

Turning Trends Into Business

One of the most popular presentations at this year’s Heimtextil Fair was by Danish Trend Consultant Anja Bisgaard Gaede from Spott who helped answer the $64,000 question, how do you turn trends into business? James Boston reports.

Coulisses 25th Year Signals Strong Future

In the year in which it marks a quarter century of operation, global window coverings brand Coulisse is continuing to drive business forward amid expectations of further growth. WFA reports.

The Trend Issue Scandi-Noir Heimtextil Trend Report

If 2016 was the year of taking a break, 2017 and beyond is all about exploring and having a living space full of energy, according to the trend table at Heimtextil, writes James Boston.

Adherence To Colour Trends No Panacea For Businesses In The Middle Ground

Colour trends and style trends may be the main focus for those visiting the Heimtextil Trend Theme Park, however adhering to the latest colour palettes is just one part of maintaining a successful business, writes James Boston.

Curtain retailer profile Floor to Ceiling Interiors

A window furnishings retailer north of Adelaide is targeting country regions after noticing a gap in the market several years ago. Dawn Adams reports.

Bartlett Blinds turns up the volume

Bartlett Blinds continues to reinforce its position as a leading Australian external blind maker, amid ongoing moves to promote its growing capacity, expand its geographical reach and streamline its product offer, writes Belinda Smart.

Case study university harnesses intelligent automation

Building automation provided the solution for a Queensland University of Technology development with an intelligent facade. Dawn Adams reports.

Ask the expert

Faced with a multitude of challenges ranging from the fiddly to the huge, a day in the life of an installer is never dull. WFA talks problems and solutions with Melbourne based expert installer, Simon Akester of Esenar Shading Systems.


R+T Asia has thrown off the shackles of being seen as just a show for the Chinese market and is now attracting a global audience with Australians leading the charge to find new products and suppliers. James Boston reports

Curtain fabrics’ new impetus

Soft colours and a greater use of prints are among the latest trends for curtain fabrics that also reflect cutting edge options using digital technology for customised product or advanced techniques to create new twists on traditional forms like lace. Dawn Adams reports.

Responsive innovation - motorisation and solar control

Ease of use, quieter operation and streamlined function & design are just some of the factors that continue to drive product evolution in the motorisation and solar control category, writes Belinda Smart.

Company profile - Wilson Fabrics

Wilson Fabrics may be one of Australia’s largest and oldest soft furnishing wholesalers, but having invested in a host of initiatives including a successful range expansion, updated IT systems and a new website, the company is well positioned to take on the future, writes Belinda Smart.

Chain reaction - retail software

Retailers are being offered a growing number of options to automate their processes from lead generation through to final payment. Dawn Adams reports.

Louvres update

New releases in the louvres category are meeting growing demand for increasingly refined product, writes Belinda Smart.

Defying the odds - All Window Solutions profile

All Window Solutions started operating three years ago despite its owner Ian Messer being told he was ‘silly’ to begin a new venture in such a difficult market. Dawn Adams reports.

Case Study - Templestowe transformation

When Melbourne Plantation Shutters was appointed to manage the installation of new window treatments in a Templestowe home renovation, functionality, consistency and style played equal roles in the final outcome. Belinda Smart reports.

Outside the box - Exterior Shutters

Innovative thinking has driven technical advancements and the release of a useful market tool for players in the exterior shutters sector, writes Belinda Smart

A warm trading climate - External Blinds

Sales of external blinds continue to heat up as awareness grows of their ability to mitigate not only the glare and high temperatures of summer but also adverse climatic conditions during the cooler months. Belinda Smart reports.

Curtain machinery updated

Sales of curtain machinery remain steady with slight growth, a result described as good in a difficult market. Dawn Adams reports.

Advances in roller systems

Roller blinds are becoming lighter to operate and easier to install as suppliers compete to offer the best solutions for this industry sector. Dawn Adams reports.

Sheers - seeing beyond the norm

Sheers are appealing to a broader market base as changing consumer perceptions provide a catalyst for growth. Dawn Adams reports.

Sales patterns analysed

From Western Australia to Queensland, WFA has mined retail trade trends for an update on what’s hot, what’s not, and why.

Insyte Software - Blazing the digitisation trail

Insyte Software points to a new decade of digitisation as it cements its place as a specialist provider for the window furnishings sector. Dawn Adams reports.

Horiso - An engineering triumph

Around 200,000 data points were collated to create an automated sunshade system that would be effective for an elliptical-shaped building in Sydney with 64 façade angles. Dawn Adams reports.

Industry Rising Star – Ben Boyce, WA Blinds

This issue, WFA’s new ‘Industry Rising Star’ slot focuses on Ben Boyce, founder and director of Perth retailer WA Blinds. Belinda Smart reports.

Uniline- Blockouts’ potential unlocked

Blockout fabric brands are broadening their ranges in anticipation of next year’s BMAA expo and in response to consumer demand for more specialised product, writes Belinda Smart

Untapped potential

Retailers may be able to secure greater sales of panel glides if they encourage consumers to consider their use in broader applications. Dawn Adams reports.

TBS- Motorised options keep pace with market

Uptake of motorised curtain tracking continues to be driven by the ongoing shift towards price accessible and technologically nuanced products, writes Belinda Smart.

New options for curtain linings

Triple weave, dim out, light filtering and blockout are just some of the products available in an ever-widening choice of curtain linings. Dawn Adams reports.

Fabrics enhance romans’ pulling power

A broader range of fabric choices is making the options for roman blinds limitless. Dawn Adams reports.

Curtain World - a retail revolution

Curtain World has continued to adapt to changing times during almost four decades in business. Dawn Adams reports.

Curtain hardware - function & fashion a priority

Suppliers are placing a high priority on ease of installation for curtain tracks while decorative options add value for consumers. Dawn Adams reports.

Texstyle Australia - walking the talk

Texstyle Australia’s reputation as a leading supplier of window furnishing fabrics is underpinned by a unique product and service proposition that consistently delivers what it promises, writes Belinda Smart.

Honeycomb fabrics - insulation and innovation

Growth in pleated and honeycomb blind fabrics continues, driven by expanded colour and finish options, enhanced operation systems and consumers’ continued focus on sustainability, writes Belinda Smart.

Update on external sunscreen fabrics

Wider widths, diverse weave types and the growth of environmentally accredited product are the key developments in the external sunscreen fabrics market, writes Belinda Smart.

Darling Quarter, $500 million challenge

Atriums eight storeys high combined with the use of almost clear glass on a western facade to present unique challenges for shading at the $500 million rejuvenation of a 1.5 hectare site at Darling Quarter. Dawn Adams reports.

Motorisation - lower outlay, higher uptake

Motorisation is becoming increasingly affordable as imaginative new technologies enter a crowded marketplace. Dawn Adams reports.

Spreading the word on affordable motorisation

Motorisation is becoming available to a mass market after Somfy introduced significantly lower price points for its range last year. Dawn Adams reports.

Shutters - from upskilling to upselling

Training programs for retailers and installers have become a high priority for suppliers of shutters as they combat the consumer perception that there is little difference between products on the market. Dawn Adams reports.

Ultracut unveils cutting edge innovation

Ultracut Industries’ new trademarked Vectrocut Sono dual axis ultra-sonic / pressure cutter had its first airing to a private industry gathering at Ultracut’s head office in Mornington (VIC) in early February, and if initial responses to the technology are any indication, the machine has a promising future.

Curtain fabrics - drapes shape up

Demand for curtain fabrics continues apace, driven by ever more daring approaches to colour, pattern and texture, writes Belinda Smart.

Zip fastened blinds on track

Subtle innovations are ensuring Zip fastened blinds remain a strong seller in the local market, while the category is increasingly making headway overseas, writes Belinda Smart.

A brand on the move

From humble beginnings operating from the Licciardi family home in Melbourne’s north-east, Acmeda has become known as one of the most trusted complete hardware systems developers for window furnishings in Australia and New Zealand.

Energy efficient at CW

A new migrant to Australia recognised an opportunity to build a business marketing roller shutters when he arrived in the country in the early 1980s. Dr Ibrahim Elassaad's vision led to the creation of CW Products in 1984. Dawn Adams reports.

The state of sunshine

Positioned as one of Australia’s largest readymade blind & curtain suppliers and currently experiencing strong growth in its fabric range, the outlook is bright for Sunshine Screens, writes Belinda Smart.

Penrith Blinds

The first impression made with a potential customer is regarded as critically important at Penrith Blinds where eight out of 10 leads are converted into solid orders. Dawn Adams reports.

Maurice Kain - full circle

In the heady days of the 1960s, Maurice Kain fabrics symbolised the energy and verve of the era. Now, the brand is enjoying a second heyday, writes Belinda Smart.

The total package

Basford Brands is poised for expansion after moving into a new purpose-built facility in Geelong in Victoria. Dawn Adams reports.

No blind spots at NBS

National Blind Suppliers serviced just three states when it was purchased by the Habib family four years ago. Today, the company is a national force in the window furnishings sector. Dawn Adams reports.

The Specialty Group

A decision by an Australian coater to focus on the window furnishings sector has opened up new Opportunities & contributed to significant growth. Dawn Adams reports.

In Vogue Blinds - rising to the challenge

Located in Melbourne’s home furnishings Mecca, In Vogue Blinds has carved a niche all its own, writes Belinda Smart.

Turnils and Mermet - clear and expanding

Turnils Australia has streamlined its product range to ensure that its offering is clear to the market, while Mermet Australia has recently expanded into new categories with the launch of the Cachet collection.

Making triple Shaw

Shaw of Australia is poised to triple output from its manufacturing facility in China under the leadership of recently appointed chief executive officer Ross Levinsohn.

Unique Screens - Unique Business

A short break away from the window furnishings industry convinced
three members of the Tsalacopoulos family that the sector was
‘flowing through their veins’. They established Unique Screens when
they returned to the industry after several years.

Adventurous window coverings - Ian Frood

The driveway in a new building development is often given a
higher precedence than any decisions on window coverings,
according to Ian Frood, who has operated his self-named
business from the Melbourne suburb of Southbank since 2000.

Enticing Consumers with Innovation

A Perth-based retailer has developed its offerings to entice potential
consumers into its showrooms. Dawn Adams reports.

TWC World-class manufacturing

It takes something special for a local manufacturer to compete against cheap imports at the best of times, let alone when the Australian dollar is peaking. But it is a feat that Total Window Concepts (TWC) achieves with
ease thanks to a world-class manufacturing facility and a focus on staff skills.

The Bricos Group - New generation leads the way

New products have been introduced and fresh marketing strategies
adopted at the Bricos Group as a new generation leads the way. Dawn Adams reports.

Turner Brothers - Furnishing the windows of the world

Recognised as a solution provider by architects, interior designers and builders, Turner Bros provides innovative and quality products for its clients.

Caprice - The one stop shop

From Australia’s first manufacturer of continuous sheer curtain fabrics, to a one-stop shop for window furnishings, bed spreads and cushions, Caprice is a company consumers know and love, writes Susan Cowen.

Dollar Curtains & Blinds - Stocked for success

Quiet achiever Dollar Curtains and Blinds has grown from humble beginnings into one of Australia’s leading window furnishing enterprises,
something that owners Peter and Lyn Crosby are very proud of.

Nicholls - Still baysides best

What started as a humble Gardenvale drapery and mercery store in 1920 has grown into one of Melbourne’s most unique businesses, where ashion and furnishings are rolled into one. Susan Cowen reports.

The Roman Empire - The Empire strikes back

From lone soldier, to respected leader of 30 employees, Don Hailes has
converted a tiny curtain-track business into the modern-day window
furnishings goliath, The Roman Empire. Susan Cowen reports.

Shades of Australia - Creating a buzz

A growing demand for window furnishings that cater for larger windows has combined with a resurgence in demand for curtain fabric. Neil Papa rella, who operates Victoria-based Jean Louise Interiors and Shades of Australia with wife Ann-Marie, notes the key industry trends. Dawn Adams reports.

Shaw - Selling Australia to the World

The opening of a joint venture factory in China, a global marketing campaign and a presence at R+T Stuttgart make 2009 an ambitious year
for Shaw of Australia. Dawn Adams reports.

O'Gormans - Three generations

Three generat ions of one fa mily have built O’Gormans into a significant force in window furnishings in Australia. Dawn Adams reports.

Case Studies

An education in sustainability

When Melbourne University opened its Faculty of Economics and Commerce building, it set a new benchmark in sustainability in the education sector, in which leading edge automated window systems played a critical role. Belinda Smart reports.

KWA Blinds - Green Star Rating

A project in Brisbane has demonstrated how window furnishings can
contribute to achieving Green Star ratings. Dawn Adams reports.


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