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From Farm To Fabric: The Many Faces Of Cotton - The 74th Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)
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The Rupp Report

The Rupp Report: Italy In The Focus

One year ahead of the next ITMA Europe in Milan, the Italian textile machinery industry presents better figures than in the last quarter: As per the third quarter of 2013, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) reported a dive of 7 percent in overall orders of textile machinery, compared to the second quarter. The export markets dropped by 9 percent. However, domestic orders remained “substantially stable.”
Better Fourth Quarter 2013
For the last quarter of 2013, ACIMIT reported better figures: Textile machinery orders rose by 5 percent compared to the third quarter, registering an absolute value of 88.5 points (reference year 2010=100).
However, domestic orders dropped by 15 percent, for an absolute value of 49 points. According to ACIMIT, these mediocre results are mainly the result of a “persistent and highly critical situation for the Italian market.” On the other side, exports registered an absolute value of 95.3 points, 7 percent higher than the third quarter. The exports continue to be “the main growth driver for Italian manufacturers,” ACIMIT stated. “On an annual basis, due to the poor performance on the domestic market, the overall index declined by 4 percent compared to the 2012 average.” Main reasons for this result are the strong euro on the one side and the still hesitating Chinese market on the other side, which accounts for some 20 percent of ACIMIT members’ exports.


Promotional Campaign For 2014
Raffaella Carabelli, president of ACIMIT, is quite concerned: “Our machinery manufacturers already export over 80 percent of their production, and they must be supported by promotional initiatives, especially in markets where Made in Italy products — at least as far as machinery is concerned — still don’t receive the recognition they deserve.”
“In support of the Italian textile machinery manufacturers in their internationalization processes, the ICE – Italian Trade Agency for the promotion and internationalization of Italian businesses abroad, together with ACIMIT, have once again planned an intense promotional campaign for the industry in 2014,” ACIMIT stated. “Indeed, promotional initiatives for Italy’s textile machinery sector will be held in all of 16 countries, (participation in industry trade fairs, technology symposiums and incoming missions): these include China and India, as well as nations and markets which, although less important in terms of machinery volumes requested, already present potential business opportunities for our machinery builders, such as Ethiopia, Mongolia and Uzbekistan.”
41st Edition Of FILO
After installing machinery, the entire textile production chain starts with yarn forming. And one of the highlights of the spring season for yarns is FILO in Milan. The international fair for yarns and fibers is presenting its 41st edition, which will be held again at Le Stelline Congress Centre in Milan on March 5 and 6, 2014.
New Setup
The first innovation this time will be the opening of the fair. Immediately after the closing on March 5, the organizers will present an event at 6 p.m. The idea in choosing the late afternoon is to allow all exhibitors and visitors to be present at a time when they are not having any meetings — as they would during the day.
The location will be different too: it will be on the first floor of the congress center to provide more room for the product presentations. According to FILO organizers, “The themes of the product development proposals exhibited in the FILO Trend Area are combined with the textiles and apparel selected by Stefania Bini, the designer host of this edition. The event includes brief speeches by Marilena Bolli (President of the Unione Industriale Biellese), Pier Francesco Corcione (Director of the Unione Industriale Biellese), Gianni Bologna (FILO product development and creative manager) and by the same Stefania Bini.” As ever, “FILO favours the meeting between different skills and experiences in the certainty that they are the best prelude to the development of profitable business relations also on informal occasions.”
Well, Paolo Monfermoso, manager of FILO, says “FILO has many plans for 2014, all having the same target: strengthening the services and organization available to the exhibiting companies and visitors. The economic situation is showing slight signs of improvement even in Italy and FILO … aims at further strengthening its role as a business platform in view of the recovery both in National and International markets.”
In Search Of New Ways
“From the communication point of view,” added Monfermoso, “we have started off a new initiative —‘From FILO to the finished garment’” to know more about the upstream part of the production chain. To have a textile show without any product shows and elegance would not be the Italian way. “Also the 41st edition of FILO intends to testify the Italian ability to combine the often frenetic work rhythms with a taste for life, art, culture, beauty,” he said. For this, FILO states, “the pursuit of beauty and refinement” is the theme of the product proposals elaborated for the March edition by Gianni Bologna, creative and product development manager of FILO.
Macro Trends
Big points for all fashion-conscious visitors at any textile show are the trend forecasts. Here are some basic references in fashion as FILO explains them:

  • the desire for entertainment and fantasy remains but in so far as it is the expression of one’s own image and creative personality, and not as a desire to show off;
  • the yearning for freedom of movement is brewing, for a reduction of all kinds of constraints and for simplicity which appears also in the tendency towards that discretion already mentioned in the past, and which grows stronger not only in our developed, sophisticated (and in crisis) markets, but also in those emerging market sectors which until a short while ago were seeking the ostentation and compulsive exhibitionism of the signs of the acquired wealth;
  • it is clear that a common central point has a hold over everything at the two poles mentioned, and it is the one of the person who wishes to stay, or come back to being, focused more than ever on its own individuality, desirous of (re)-conquering the time and space belonging to it and owed to it.
FILO further states: “The indications for the coming seasons are for this growing trend. They are developed in textiles and apparel characterized by not excessive formal and structural visibility and, upstream, in more linear yarns or less evident patterns compared to the previous seasons, in more fluid and more comfortable shapes; there is a search for new styles and new volumes, for a balance between elegance and technical fabrics, sporting and casual elements without ever being shabby, balanced, smooth, rigorous silhouettes in contrast with that state of chaos of our times from which we want to escape as if it were a prison.”
If you, dear reader, want to be inspired by some Italian flavor, go to Milan and get a feeling of fashion and elegance.
February 25, 2014