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Knitting / Apparel

All Wound Up

Buyers looking for new products, performance and good prices headed to the latest addition of the Yarn Fair International.

All Wound Up Buyers looking for new products, performance and good prices headed to the latest edition of the Yarn Fair International. Although attendance was down more than 35 percent at the recent Yarn Fair International and CAD Expo plus, New York, the mood was up-beat.There is a new optimism, said Seth Bodner, executive director of the National KnitwearandSportswear Association, sponsor of the Yarn Fair. There is a surge of interest in industrial and home products, and new techno developments in yarn for the apparel market. And with the strong dollar, our foreign exhibitors have a good shot.Along with the NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, there were visitors from 17 countries. There was a strong European presence, with South America and Asia represented as well. The strength of the domestic market is in quick response, diversity of product and flexibility, said Gary Petersen, director of apparel-Acrilan, Solutia Inc. Solutia introduced a new fine denier, producer dyed acrylic fiber at the show. Called Evolutia, it is aimed at the outerwear market. It is the next level in performance fibers, Peterson noted. It has the esthetics of microfibers with added performance qualities. It is being heavily sampled by the sliver knit market for pile and plush fabrics and loop knits.

Gardiner Yarns chose a whimsical way to display its yarns. Aluminum AngelinaMeadowbrook Inventions Inc. introduced a 20-color range aluminum metal fiber to its Angelina range of metallics.Aluminum Angelina is a high-performance fiber, said Roberta Ruschmann, executive vice president, Meadowbrook Inventions.As a protective fiber it insulates from the environment. It is both a thermal regulating and insulating fiber. It offers UV protection and is also anti-microbial. Metal fibers are anti-stress with therapeutic qualities.Paper-touch fabrics can also be made using aluminum Angelina fibers. Ruschmann added. They can be pleated, crushed, crinkled and given an aged lived-in look. They can be made with a soft or crisp hand.Dyeable black carbon is another new Angelina fiber. Ruschmann said it helps protect the body against damage by using magnetic fields.With the current interest in soft touch fabrics and metallic glitter, Angelina fibers, introduced at the Yarn Fair two years ago, are now available worldwide with over 30 leading companies. A pile fabric from Draper knitting on display at Meadowbrooks booth was of interest.Yarn Mavens showed Angelina/rayon blends in fine-counts, both piece and package dyed. Felise Erdal, president, Yarn Mavens, noted that the soft hand of these yarns is a strong selling point to the apparel and hosiery industries.Yarn Mavens are selling a soft-touch heather Angelina/acrylic yarn, developed by Werbak. Acrylic-based chenille yarns with the subtle sparkle of Angelina are also selling to apparel though Yarn Mavens. The same yarns are available to automotive, contract and home fashion markets through S&O Industries.In apparel, Yarn Mavens is selling Angelina content to Joan Vass, Cross Canyon and Nordstrom private label sportswear. Liz Claiborne hosiery and OppandMicolas Mills upholstery fabrics are others in Angelina programs with Yarn Mavens.Other popular yarns pointed out by Erdal are: Fuzzball, a cotton/polyester blend, which is the companys best seller to the sweater industry; and monochromatic space-dyed yarns and linen/wool blends, which are going into both knitted and woven fabrics.Linen has become a good seller to the home furnishings industry, said Erdal. Slubbed yarns are especially sought after. We are also selling linen/silk and linen/rayon.In addition to Angelina chenille yarns, Alvin Flaster of S&O Industries said there was interest in hair yarns, ribbon and tape yarns. Novelty Twisted YarnsGeorge Kirsch, sales manager, Astro-Dye Works Inc. said: Anything new or different is selling. Novelty twisted yarns have been among their strongest sellers for five years. They sampled heavily at the show. Multi-fiber blends combining natural and man-made fibers, tonal colors and washed down effects are others Kirch mentioned.The automotive industry is Astro Dyes strongest end user, with 150- to 300-denier filament/textured polyester combinations as the current favorites. For upholstery and woven apparel, yarns with linen or wool incorporated in the twist are interest. Angelina metallics and multi-colors are selling for decorative touches.Angelina/Cresian blends were on display at Sterling Fibers. Barbara Montz, director of marketing noted that this blend was of interest to both junior and sophisticated markets. MicroSupreme® micro acrylic is popular for activewear. Golf shirts on display showed the versatility of this fiber used alone or in blends. Montz noted that along with a luxurious look and touch, this is a performance fiber.Sterling displayed new yarns from Meritas in blends of MicroSupreme/cotton and Micro-Supreme/ cotton/Lycra®. Sweaters, intimate apparel and socks in these blends have a soft dry hand. Anti-Bacterial For SocksSocks were another highlight of Sterling Fibers display. Athletic socks containing BioFresh anti-bacterial acrylic fibers were shown knitted in yarns from Pharr Yarns. High-bulk Cresloft was shown in yarns from Amital Spinning. Boucle yarns and recycled cotton/MicroSupreme yarns were shown in cyclist socks.Dale Weiner, sock designer for DNKY Men and private label, said that comfort and performance are requirements. Designs are cleaner, with more texture and some color blocking. She was looking for lightweight soft yarns.New at Glen Raven is a filament acetate yarn twisted around colored acrylic. It has matte/luster and a tonal or bicolored look. Prototype sweaters knitted in this yarn are silky to the touch. Another new yarn is a Tencel®/dyed nylon blend. Fine-denier, bright ring-spun acrylic yarns are of note for their versatility.David Lyttle, vice-president sales, Glen Raven Marketing Corp., pointed out golf shirts, sleepwear and sweaters made of these yarns. One sweater Lyttle showed was made on a Shima full-fashion machine. It has a lot of detail work and no seams.At National Spinning Co. Inc. Steven Feder, vice president sales, said that fine, coarse and chunky yarns are coming in. One yarn he is selling to the knit accessory, sweater and blanket markets is called So-Soft. It is a long-staple, skein-dyed, microfiber acrylic spun in the worsted system.Another popular yarn Feder pointed out has a textured look. It is a blend of acrylic/nylon and is selling to dress and sportswear firms. Yarn containing Amicor, Acordis antimicrobal fiber are being sold for activewear. 
Its a price-driven market today, said Douglas Blanchard, president, Spectrum Yarns. We are diversifying and selling more into the home and weaving apparel markets. We are also looking at Latin America. To survive today we must be flexible, willing to chance and think globally.High-performance yarns were pointed out. Blanchard mentioned Micromatique and rayon/cotton blends.A. Illges Jr., president of Meritas Yarns, pointed out three areas that are selling well. Ring spun of open-end cotton heather yarns, natural blends and custom yarns. Cotton/wool is a natural blend Illges pointed out. A micro-acrylic/cotton yarn is a custom yarn development. In hosiery the demand is for yarns of 100-percent cotton. Undyed AlpacaOne yarn of special note Illges showed is a blend of combed cotton/rayon/alpaca. The alpaca is undyed and imparts natural heather shading. A cotton/wool/nylon yarn has been sold to L.L. Bean for underwear. Other Meritas customers include Tommy Hilfiger and Gold Toe for socks; Cross Creek and Russell Corp. for golf shirts and Lands End.New Hampshire spinner Thomas Hodgson (Yarn Sales) is noted for quality and innovation. They were showing boucles, marls, lightweight bulky yarns and tonal colors in mohair, mohair/acrylic/polyester and rayon blends. Hodgson yarns are sold to knitters and weavers. Charles Battaglia, president, Yarn Sales Corp., said the prices are competitive.The large contingent of European spinners showing at Yarn Fair had shown earlier at Expofil (See Technology Advances At Expofil, ATI August 1999) and Pitti Filati. A lot of the same yarns they sold in Europe are popular here as well.Gardiner Yarns (Yarns Sales), a Scottish spinner, pointed out lambs wool/silk blends and low power stretch combining Shetland wool with Elite®. Some of the same yarns were bought for weaving and knitting. Tweeds, felted and boiled looks, and bulky yarns were popular. Gardiner yarns are stock supported.LaidlawandFairgrieve, Scotland and New York, continued to promote versatility, showing the same yarns treated with different effects and finishes. Shetlands and lambs wools are washed, bulked, boiled, over-washed and pressed or brushed. Many of the same yarns are going into apparel and home products. The 50-year-old French spinner Chanvriere (Yarn Sales) was a first time exhibitor. Jean Francois Wimmer, export manager, was pleased with the contacts he made with buyers from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The focus is on acrylic blends, sometimes combining acrylic with as many as four different fibers.Acrylic partners include merino wool, cotton, linen and viscose. A 2-ply acrylic/wool marled yarn is one of the most popular. Another with a woolly hand subtle luster is 50-percent viscose/25-percent acrylic/25-percent wool. Chanvriere can skein and cone dye small quantities at competitive prices. Emile Tardy (Seritex) returned to Yarn Fair after an absence of six years. Pascal Roy, sales director, was pleased with the quality and numbers of contacts made the first day of the show. Filament polyester treated like viscose and dyed at low temperatures and acetate/polyester blends were among the sought-after yarns. Marled yarns in intimate blends of polyester/nylon sold to the hosiery trade. Mohair Multi-Fiber BlendsAt St. Lievin (R&M) mohair stretch boucle yarns continue to be a best seller. Bulky yarns in blends of mohair/wool/acrylic/nylon are lightweight with a soft hand.The Italian spinner Frannzoli (Contex) sells fine combed cotton. Mens shirt maker Albini is a major buyer of their yarns. A new development here is Franzoni Futura, a type of spinning that allows the use of single yarn where 2-ply would normally be used. Franzoni Futura yarns are stronger than 2-ply, have less tendency to pill, and provide 10-percent greater efficiency.Franzoni combed cotton and Lycra blend core-spun and core-twist yarns are available in any size coarse to fine.Machine wash/tumble dry 100-percent merino wool at Grignasco (Yarn Sales) passes Woolmark tests for easy care. Their fine non-shrink yarns are selling to a variety of end users, including underwear. This 100-year-old company is the only spinner approved by ISO 9001 for quality control throughout the spinning process. Grignasco also produces a line of precious fibers in 100-percent form and blends. Merino/silk blends have become popular here. Another is Cotwool. It is machine washable and selling to MarksandSpencer. Another yarn, called Energy, is 100-percent wool and spun to give it a lot of stretch. Bulky yarns are available in alpaca/wool/nylon.
A knitwear collection was designed by Giuliano Marelli using yarns by Grignasco. At Lo.Ba Filati (Yarn Sales), another first time exhibitor, cashmere blends were the best sellers. A 50-percent cashmere/30-percent viscose/20-percent silk yarn is stocked in 63 colors. There are no minimums or surcharges. Water-Repellent WoolThe B-Active line of Zegna Baruffa has introduced a hydro-repellent process that makes yarn water repellent and stain resistant. The process is permanent through washing and available in 100-percent merino yarns and merino/nylon/Lycra blends. Another new development is a 100-percent wool stretch yarn which doesnt pill and has 70 percent as much elasticity as similar yarns containing spandex fibers.The B-Exclusive line at Baruffa was showing ultra-fine cashmere. Although the price is $200 a kilo, the yarn is so light, 10 garments can be made out of one kilo. Cashmere/steel and cashmere/silk were other yarns pointed out. The cashmere/steel yarns are ultra-fine, have subtle luster and can be creased and wrinkled.G.S. German Spinners Inc., Charlotte, N.C., represents five German spinners. One of them, Schoppel Effect GmbH, was a first-time exhibitor. Seventy percent of their sales go to the weaving trade, and 30 percent to knitting. Otto Schoppel, managing director, sold fancy twisted yarns, metallics and qualities for printing. Coarse gauge yarns were sampled for upholstery.Canadian-based Richter Yarns Ltd. represents German and South African yarn companies in North America. They sell across the board to apparel, hosiery, home, contract, industrial, knitting and weaving industries. Weaving and home markets are currently their major customers. Novelties such as boucles, clubs and multi-colored space-dyed yarns were pointed out. Peter Sellito, president, said: Today it is a price-driven market place.Mercerized cotton Amicor/combed cotton was pointed out at Colcoton (Richter) for hosiery and activewear. At Schoeller (Richer), it was noted that machine-washable wool, cashmere and mohair were best sellers.

October 1999



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