Trend: the new ceramic tiles are dressing up as textiles.
Digital printing has marked a turning point – in the world of ceramic tiles too. Thanks to this technology the new collections are achieving levels of detail that make it easier for them to appear to be different materials. One example is the new trend for ceramic to display the same patterns as the fabrics that for centuries have been so appealing. Courtesy of Tile of Spain (ASCER), we reveal a whole raft of designs that are a pleasure for the senses yet offer the strength of ceramic.
It is irrefutable: some decorative patterns never go out of fashion, regardless of their nature or the medium on which they appear. Designers of ceramic tiles have taken inspiration from them and a prime example is fabrics, which have evolved alongside man from their most utilitarian beginnings to being symbols of opulence and prestige. Life without them is unimaginable and they have always been essential to interior design as expressions of warmth and welcome.
As with textiles, the range of motifs and wealth of colours in which coverings are available makes them appealing to the senses. Also, they can be used to personalise the visual impact of interiors. They thus have the facility to give them a sense of energy, whilst the reference to hand crafting adds personality to the décor.
Primitive civilizations were already representing these textiles on early pieces of pottery and porcelain, but their visual appeal has continued to evolve ever since and is still evident in today’s tiles. Exciting designs brimming with colour, plus a whole host of motifs as ingenious as the imagination can conjure up, produce sophisticated compositions.
There is an extensive choice of textile finishes available now to use to create a focal point for coverings, from the most basic stitches in knitting or crochet to imitations tapestries and eye-catching patterns to adorn a room, giving it subtle interest – a panoply of optical illusions that mark out an area and draw the eye through exquisite taste for detail.
This versatile mix of textile effects evokes all kinds of atmospheres that make the décor more dynamic, ranging from the simplest to the most glamorous, where the design is often enriched by combinations of textures. The most recent collections deliver surprises with stunning evocations of romantic hand-crafted embroidery, piqué, sateen, velvet, ethnic prints, patchwork, tweed, lustrous brocade, geometric patterns and more…
An example of one of the most unusual of the many possible effects is when an image is translated into cross-stitch, as the dots that make up the image can be reminiscent of the pixels of an enlarged digital image.
It must be that the common feature that weaving, an invention that even pre-dates the invention of the wheel, shares with ceramic – it is easy to make – is what has made it one of the creative endeavours most widely pursued by mankind? Both share a facility for almost any image to be represented upon their various forms, even with added visual detail such as the illusion of relief. Now however, the charm of textiles, which are always bound up with the warmth of the home, can be woven in with the durability of ceramic tiles.
Cover photo, Brickbold/Boldstone series by Gayafores.