The Stuttgart R&T Fair opened on 24 February 2015, with a record 900 exhibitors presenting innovations and new products to more than 60,000 visitors.

This year, established content was supplemented by exciting new shows, forums and information events.

Matthew, Andrew, Mark, Mel, Gary and Shaun each had the opportunity to attend. Here is a summary of their observations about the event, as spoken about at our March meeting:

  • Everything is now moving towards motorization.
  • External trending colours – dark grey (a lighter tone than what we know as ‘charcoal’ in Austalia)
  • Internal trending colours – whites and muted whites.
  • Changes are being made to gearing systems to eliminate rust.
  • Internally, there is a trend towards more soft lift and one touch systems.
  • Windows are smaller in Europe and therefore easier to motorise. This does not translate to Australian conditions, but work is being done to remedy this.
  • While battery technology is making advances in interiors, external battery technology still has a way to go.
  • Awning systems are increasing in price.

The next Stuttgart R&T will be held 27 February – 3 March 2018.

R&T Asia 2015

Mel and Mark from ABC Blinds and Awnings attended the R&T Asia in Shanghai on 24-26 March 2015.

R&T Asia focuses on both floor and window treatments, with a total of three halls devoted to window coverings.

“R&T Asia is not as big as the Stuttgart show, but it does reflect that experience and is definitely worth the trip. We get to see what the Chinese are offering and what they are currently focused on. Their products are typically more competitively priced and we usually combine the trip with visits to local factories,” Mel said.

“Emphasis at the Shanghai R&T is for indoor use with Roller fabrics and Zebra blinds very popular and on offer at almost every stand.”

“Some new developments included external aluminium venetians and awnings, although there is still a big difference in quality compared to Stuttgart.”

Child Safety Laws

The mandatory standard that deals with the installation services of window coverings came into effect on 1 January 2015.


Click here to download a PDF Safety Brochure



Member Showcase – Creative Blinds & Awnings

Creative Blinds have been designing and installing blinds, awnings and shutters to north coast homes and businesses since 1989. Our team understands the window furnishing business inside and out, and works hard to ensure that the final product meets the unique requirements of every customer. Since inception, many thousands of customers have come to understand that our professional service is synonymous with quality and style.

The majority of our collection is made by talented craftsmen and women right here in the northern rivers of northern NSW. This collaboration with north coast tradespeople helps local employment, boosts the local economy, delivers valuable local training opportunities and the final result exhibits the superior workmanship and commitment to quality that is a hallmark of our business.

The Creative Blinds difference is our professionalism and dedication to customer service excellence. Our team knows what questions to ask, and have the experience and the vision to help you choose a window furnishing that meets your requirements, whilst injecting infinite style. We offer tailored solutions for every customer, and are not afraid to think ‘outside the box’ for those tricky window situations. Visit us at our Ballina & Lismore showrooms, and be inspired to create a new look for your home.

Click to visit Creative Blinds & Awnings


Member Showcase – ABC Blinds

It all started 30 years ago, when Ernie and Eric introduced the Concept of Vertical Blinds to Australia.

Ernie, together with his brothers in the early 1970’s, formed the company Kresta Blinds.

Over the next 15 years, it became one of the country’s largest retail blind operations, employing 700 people with a sales turnover in excess of 60 million.

Having gone public on the stock exchange with Kresta and selling their shares, the family started Vista Blinds in 1989 and successfully built another retail operation, in 4 states, over the next 12 years.

In 1999. an opportunity arose to do conduct a reverse take-over of Kresta. Vista became part of the Kresta Group. Ernie and Eric Brice again found themselves on the Board of the company they formed 30 years earlier.

After resigning in 2002, the family bought the name ABC Blinds and put meaning to the letters (Australian Blinds Concepts).

In just 12 months the company went from strength to strength, employing over 80 staff in its retail, wholesale and manufacturing operation. Today we employ over 160 staff. The company currently has 6 showrooms in the Perth Metropolitan area plus a warehouse / factory facility of over 8,000 sq. metres.

Click to visit ABC Blinds


Member Showcase – Campbell & Heeps

The business of Campbell & Heeps was established by Alex Heeps and George Campbell in 1932 and opened originally selling blinds in Camberwell on Burke Rd. Custom made Products were manufactured onsite including roller blinds canvas products and drapes.

In July 2000 Campbell & Heeps was purchased by Gary Smith and Brendan Hall, both of whom had years of experience in the canvas industry. At the same time they bought a sister company in Box Hill known as Martin and Edwards. Martin and Edwards was the perfect ‘soft’ complement to Campbell and Heeps, with a strong background and emphasis on curtains, soft furnishings and roman blinds.

The modern day Campbell & Heeps is still a family feel business with a strong emphasis on quality and service in Melbourne’s inner east, servicing blinds in Camberwell, Kew, Hawthorn, Armadale and Burwood.

Along with our credible name and presence within the industry we are proud members of many important groups and associations including Specialised Textiles Association, HIA and The Fashionline Group. We are proud be a known company of Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs, servicing blinds in Camberwell, Kew, Hawthorn, Armadale and Burwood.

Click to visit Campbell & Heeps


Member Showcase – Premier Shades

Premier Shades Awnings & Blinds is a local family business which started on the Central Coast in the early 1990’s.

Over the years, they have won many awards in business for excellence in their chosen fields. The Team at Premier Shades, Awnings and Blinds regularly attend supplier information and product training.  They attend design, building and blind trade shows to keep up with the latest trends within the industry. They read blind industry and interior design publications to see what’s trending.  No need to travel to Sydney, at Premier Shades they are up to date on the latest trends.  Premier Shades always works closely with interior decorators and architects to source their exact requirements for their clients.

Director Sharon Tieman says: -“Our focus is on supplying you a quality custom made blind, awning or shutter on time and on budget”  We believe we can rival or better any of the national companies in the market place and ask you to give the “local experts” a go!

Click to visit Premier Shades


Member Showcase – Stan Bond

Stan Bond (SA) Pty Ltd was first established in 1970 as a franchise from a Western Australian company called Stan Bond WA. It started by manufacturing flyscreens and doors in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs. Since then it has grown to become one of Adelaide’s best known manufacturers of Home Improvement Products. This was achieved by our aim of always putting the customer first.

Stan Bond is a member of the Fashionline Network of blind manufacturers. This is a group of 25 manufactures around Australia who together organise better pricing from suppliers, exclusive fabric ranges and share ideas and technology. This gives Stan Bond customers access to the quality, range and prices of a national company with the service, care and reliability of a local company.

Click to visit Stan Bond


Member Showcase – Watson Blinds

Watson Blinds & Awnings located in the Canberra region, are a locally owned blind, awning and security product specialists. With over 40 years experience, Watson Blinds are experts in delivering exceptional service and premium products to ensure your home is kept comfortable and safe all year round.

Watson Blinds & Awnings locally manufacture a broad range of Blind and Awning products, ranging from basic options through to luxury selections with a solution to suit the needs of every home, on any budget, in Canberra and surrounding regions. Offering a product range to meet market segments from retail, commercial and wholesale, we strive to exceed our customer’s expectations in all areas.

As a Fashionline member working with key manufacturers and suppliers around Australia, Watson Blinds & Awnings are able to organise better procurement solutions from suppliers, source exclusive fabric ranges and share ideas and developing technology. This provides us with a competitive advantage offering customers access to the quality, range and process of a national company, while maintaining the service, care and reliability of a local company.

Click to visit Watson Blinds & Awnings

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