Leading contract fabric company Douglass Industries has introduced two imaginative and versatile lines with INCASE Crypton Technology. The Karma and Safari Collections each offer spirited patterns, lush colors and soulful inspiration.

Good Karma Only

For designers looking to add good vibes to any project, the Karma Collection may be just the thing to add lively or calm energy to a space, depending on the design vision. Karma’s whimsical colorations work in perfect harmony with one another, with warm complementing cool. Patterns with thematic names such as Chance, Serendipity and Destiny range from smart geometrics and comforting organics to multi-color textures.

The Douglass Karma Collection with INCASE Crypton Technology.

The Douglass Karma Collection with INCASE Crypton Technology. Clockwise from top left, five of the patterns shown in harmonious color ways: Serendipity in Nut Brown, Kismet in Turquoise, Fortune in Green/Blue, Destiny in Aquamarine and Witty in Everglade.

Standout patterns include the subtle kaleidoscope look of Kismet, the abstract leaf and berry pattern Serendipity, and Triumph, where crisp stripes underlay an interlocked geometric design which is soft and welcoming.

The intricate Fortune pattern looks as if it may have been inspired by ancient woven textiles, with tiny diamond and pyramid shapes in neat rows creating a stripe effect. The patterned “stripes” align in both sophisticated combinations such as Gilded, a mix of gold, ivory, taupe and toast hues, and radiant bursts of color such as those in Flamingo with its warm pinks and deep corals mixing with nut brown tones. The range also includes calming combinations from nature like the sea and sand palette of the Caribbean colorway, and versatile palettes such as the turquoise, copper and aquamarine tone of Green/Blue.

The designers say the Karma Collection all happened for a reason. “Call it fate, destiny or happenstance; these patterns were meant to be together,” says the Douglass team. Each fabric meets or exceeds 50,000 double rubs, 50 lbs. seam slippage and is finished with INCASE Crypton Technology for applications needing a permanent stain repellent.

Go on Safari

Sometimes a design calls for textiles that can, simultaneously, soothe and mesmerize, while appearing hand-wrought and sophisticated. Douglass has created a group of distinctive, hand-crafted selections that accomplish all of that. Perfect for the hospitality market, the Safari Collection is inspired by the lush textures of African scenery. The patterns incorporate the beautiful contrasts of this vast and fascinating continent, with textiles drawn from the vibrant whir of cosmopolitan cities like Nairobi, to the warm and spiritual art and culture found in remote villages and the wild, natural expanses of Africa from bush to veld to savanna.

Pattern inspirations come from things such as thatched roofs made of river reeds, dried clay, seashell-embellished tribal garments and hand-woven baskets. The wonderful African handmade textiles are also at play here, with patterns drawn from batik and Kuba cloths.

The Safari Collection with INCASE Crypton Technology shown in tones of gold and copper. From top: Nuru, Tadala and Dayo.

The Safari Collection with INCASE Crypton Technology shown in tones of black, gray and copper. Top-to-bottom: Nuru in Stoneware, Swahili in Bark Cloth, Tadala in Elephant and Dayo in Onyx.

These richly woven, textural fabrics embody the rich and varied colors of the continent that inspired them. Some are reflective of the region’s countryside with its rich earth tones influenced by natural dyes from roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood. Others come from the landscape’s warm desert to cool ocean tones. Some are drawn from the exotic and diverse animals themselves that, if you are lucky, you might see on safari, such as the pale grey of the Rhino, charcoal grey of the Hippo, the warm caramel of the Giraffe and deep dark chocolate in Buffalo.

Some of the most dramatic hues in the line are clearly taken from the distinctly moving and memorable African skies, which change color with so much drama it is nearly impossible not to be mesmerized. Clearly these designers were stirred by the intense reds and oranges of Daybreak and Sunset and drawn to the mysterious and haunting sky blues in Twilight, Dusk and Nightfall. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to gaze up at the night sky in remote bushland seeking a glimpse at the Southern Cross would recognize these colors, deftly taken from nature and interpreted here.

A leader in contract textiles, Douglass Industries provides seating and panel fabrics to a broad spectrum of design markets including hospitality, office, senior living, acute care, education and government. Crypton proudly partners with Douglass to create contract textiles with the highest level of aesthetic integrity along with enduring properties of spill, stain and odor-resistance suitable for high-traffic contract applications. All of the Douglass Crypton textiles are woven in the United States.


The theme du jour is diversity. We think it is timely and relevant, whether we’re talking about the vast scope of new design products showing up at market, or the new emphasis on diversity in renderings. We look at what industry journals are saying about the renewed commitment to inclusiveness in the design field. No time like the present.

Scalies for the Real World

First, we offer this article from Curbed. It explores why some firms are placing importance on creating more diversity in architectural renderings. You’ll also discover the lengths some shops go to get an accurate portrayal of each site’s neighborhood. They also link you to great ‘scalie’ resources for incorporating into your next drawings. Try Just Nøt the Same, Escalalatina or Skalgubbrasil.

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will. Photo courtesy of Curbed.

New Products That Run the Gamut

We spend 10 days a year at High Point Market, since our performance fabric technology is featured in some 60 showrooms there. We interact with designers, editors, bloggers, the famous High Point Style Spotters and of course we stop in to see all of the brands that offer our technology. As a result, too often we don’t have time to explore the show in the way we’d like.

Good thing our pal, Mark McMenamin from Interior Design magazine, has curated this superb selection of standout pieces in two categories: lighting and tables. From sinuous to geometric, earthy to colorful, there’s something for every designer who’s too busy designing to make it to market.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis. Photo courtesy of Interior Design.

American Institute of Architects Leads Country in Commitment to Diversity

According to Architectural Record, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) intends to redesign the profession’s commitment to diversity, and recently released its Diversity and Inclusiveness recommendations in a new report that took 14 months to complete.

The Commission’s work focused on the implications of increased equity, diversity, and inclusion in architecture. Highlights of the actionable recommendations:

  • Expose children and families to architecture through K–12 Programs, with elements that help underrepresented groups to discover architecture.
  • Develop self-assessment tools to collect data on diversity and inclusion issues in the biannual AIA Firm Survey. Use results to establish best practices.
  • Create and publish best practice guidelines for architectural practices, covering such themes as career progression, work culture, pay equity, and talent recruitment.

This follows AIA’s $1 million contribution to its Diversity Expansion Scholarship, announced late last year in Architect’s Newspaper. Both summaries describe an AIA that is still finding its footing in the area of workplace diversity and the educational programs that will make it possible.

In the end, though, it was this article from The Architects Newspaper that gave us hope and inspiration. It is about the promise of inclusiveness and integrity across the entire profession in all areas of business practice.

How does your firm approach issues of diversity and inclusiveness? If you’ve discovered or implemented your own best practices then we’d love to hear from you. We might even ask you if we may share them in this space.