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Knitting / Apparel

International Shows Take On New York

European Preview opens door for global textile shows in New York City.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

International Shows Take On New York European Preview opens door for global textile shows in New York City. Early in 2000, the organizers of Premiere Vision announced they were planning to launch European Preview, a capsule version of the Paris apparel fabric show, in New York City. Skeptics questioned their wisdom; fabric shows in New York had never worked. Held twice a year and now in its fifth season, not only is European Preview a tremendous success, but it has spawned four other shows, all happening at the same time. The last European Preview featured lines from 150 exhibitors from nine European countries. More than 3,000 visitors attended the most recent show, looking for new fabrics and new resources for the Fall 2003/Winter 2004 season.

More than 3,000 visitors attended the most recent European Preview show, held in July in New York City. A year after European Preview came to New York, the first I-TexStyle show took place. It is a joint venture of the Italian Trade Commission, MAGIC International, PratoTrade and Sistema Moda Italia. All of the 107 exhibitors were Italian.A season ago, Turkish fabric companies initiated the Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition (TFFE), featuring lines from fabric and trim exporters. It has been organized by Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB).Also picking up on the popularity of European Preview, Tencel Inc. presented fabrics from 16 Asian customers at Innovation Asia. Not to be outdone, Austria-based Lenzing AG hosted Asian Source, an event for a group of 14 Korean fabric companies. European PreviewThe success of European Preview is due in part to organization, selectivity and innovation. The organizers are a not-for-profit group with the single goal of producing a good show. A lot goes into presentation to give the show a unified look and to aid buyers in locating fabrics and resources. A display of exhibitors fabrics at the entrance, culled and organized into trends, gives buyers a first look at the new season.Exhibitors are carefully screened and selected by a peer group. Standards include quality, creativity and service. One requirement is that the exhibitors show at a major European textile show. According to Daniel Faure, president of Premiere Vision and European Preview, there is a waiting list to exhibit at European Preview. Most of our exhibitors have been showing since the inception there is very little turnover. We did acquire a few spaces when some of our Italian exhibitors dropped out to go with I-TexStyle, he said.Another requirement is that each exhibitor must have the ability to service the American market, either via an office in the United States, a reputable agent or the ability to follow through from its home country.The show is organized by fabric categories. All of the shirting fabrics are in one area. There are separate sections for wool, silk, linen, sportswear, denim and corduroy, knits, printed fabrics and laces.Italian mills still have a major presence at European Preview, with about 35 exhibitors. Many represent the top end of Italian textiles, such as silk weaver Mantero Seta; Loro Piana and Lanificio Luigi Botto S.p.A., both woolen producers; Marioboselli Jersey S.p.A. and Jackytex S.p.A. in knitted fabrics; Crespi I.F.T. S.r.l. in the linen sector; and prints from Miroglio S.p.A. and Cantoni Satilai S.p.A.Mark Templeton, who handles menswear buying, designing and product development for the Orvis catalog, commented on the Italian cottons with water-repellent finishes, and Scottish tartans and twills. We did very well with kilts in our Christmas catalog. Im looking at new patterns and textures, Templeton said.Pamela Choy, vice president, merchandising and product development, DKNY City, liked the lightweight textured fabrics at Riopele-Niki Bosch Design, a Portugal-based company noted for high-tech fabrics. Crinkles and stretch were of special interest.According to Peter Ackroyd, director, National Wool Textile Export Corp., United Kingdom, there was a 45-percent increase in visitors to the show the first day. Most of the UK exhibitors fell into the woolen sector. Here, texture was a strong look. It ran the gamut from Shetland and Donegal tweeds to wool seersuckers, burn-outs, dobbies and waffle weaves. Washable worsted wool twill suitings and lighter-weight fabrics also were of note. The most popular colors were somewhat subdued with a slightly aged look.Sheila Marks of Bill Blass commented on texture: There is so much innovation, mixing fibers and colors to create novel textures and patterns. Fall 2003 will be a very exciting season.In the wool sector, a new development is the blend of wool/cotton. Ottavio Crotti S.r.l., Italy, showed cashmere/cotton blends in jacket weights. At Ireland-based Ulster Weavers, there were burn-outs in this blend. Carreman of France presented structured, rustic twills and herringbones.Knitted fabrics from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland also were shown. Texture reigns here too, with raised patterns, dimensional effects, lacy knits and embossing on suede.In sportswear, denim is king. There are a lot of new blends and application treatments, including metallic patterns, flocking and plastic coating that resembles sequins. Crinkled and pleated surfaces are another strong trend.There were 17 companies in the printed fabric category. Romantic florals, paisleys, foulards and patchworks were shown in almost every line.Weisbrod-Zuerrer AG, Switzerland, showed padded layers combining satin with sheers and quilted in paisley patterns. At Bucol of France, there were Art Nouveau brocades with lamnd multicolored embroidery. Texture turned up at Mantero in wool/silk matelass#44; crinkled sheers and uneven printing effects.The Spring/Summer 2004 edition of European Preview will take place January 22-23, 2003. I-Tex StylePresentation was a draw to the I-TexStyle show. Major directions for the season were illustrated by Angelo Uslenghi, consultant to Moda In, a twice-yearly show in Milan, and Andrea DallOlio for Prato Expo. Exhibitors fabrics, organized by trend, centered the show.A lot of the same themes shown at European Preview turned up. DallOlio mentioned surface effects, tweeds, hairy surfaces, new denims, metallic flocking, jacquards, paisleys, double cloths, rustic laces, velvets and cotton for winter. Uslenghi talked about wool/cotton blends, tartan flannel, tweed, denim, smoky finishes, astro-dyes and tie-dyes, velvet and velour, felting, marls and mnges, coarse and loose weaves, and rubberized and waxed surfaces.At Lanificio Faliero SartiandFigli S.p.A.-owned Sartimaglie, texture is subtle in mens suiting fabrics. Blends with mohair or alpaca are woven with slightly raised patterns. The look is tonal and classic. There are soft flannels, double-faced brushed twills, subtle touches of sparkle, stretch wools, wool/cotton seersuckers and cotton/cashmere knits at this firm.Rich vintage wools with luxurious hairy finishes have a warm touch at Milior S.p.A., which showed basics in blends of cotton/wool/elastane. Picchi S.p.A. introduced a new division called Filopuro, showing light, clean suitings. At Lanificio Lamberto S.r.l., there are pleated double-cloths, crinkled jacquards with a vintage look, ropy Chanel-type tweeds, mohair boucland embroidered fake leathers.Novelty knits at Lanificio Nello Gori drew a lot of attention. Long-haired shaggy fleeces are newly patterned in swirling designs. Linea Tessile Italiana S.p.A. showed embroidered and tie-dyed shantung wool gauze. Wool/nylon jacquards with relief surfaces are heavily brushed. There are stretch crinkles, flocked wools and hairy bouclhere. Turkish Fashion Fabric ExhibitionThe textile industry in Turkey represents 40 percent of the countrys total industrial production and employs about one-fifth of the total workforce. Total exports of textiles and yarn in the first three quarters of 2001 were more than $2 billion. Slightly more than 8 percent comes to the United States.TFFE listed fabrics by category, including knitted fabrics, color woven/shirtings, denim/corduroy, lace and embroidery, wool and wool types, cotton/blends, linen, prints, sportswear/activewear and silk/silky aspects.Elaine Flowers, fashion director, Dillards, shopped for fabrics at all three shows. She said the quality and service from Turkish weavers is outstanding. We did very well with the fabric we purchased for our private label program at this show last season, she said.Rasha Alomar and Diane Humes of JCPenney were impressed with the professional setup of the show. There are great offerings here, said Alomar. The suiting fabrics are of excellent quality at realistic prices, Humes added.According to Enrico Rosati, an Italian textile consultant, a lot of the Turkish textile companies have hired Italian stylists. They know how to play the global game, he said. It takes know-how to make it happen. You dont learn overnight what it has taken others centuries to achieve.Many of the Turkish exhibitors are into the total package: spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, finishing and garment production. Most have new facilities with the latest state-of-the-art equipment.Gulle Tekstil San A.S., a 30-year-old company located in Istanbul, produces ring-spun and open-end yarns for fabrics that it knits, dyes and finishes in-house. Fabrics range from single knits, interlocks and ribs, to fleeces, velours, terry and plaited loop fabrics.Jack Kasavi, manager, Fabric Team USA, agent for Italteks Expo Group Tekstil San A.S., said, We think of ourselves as the Miroglio of Turkey. Italteks is completely vertical, producing yarns through to finished garments. The fabric range runs from sheer rayon georgette to coated stretch denim. About 15 percent of its production is sold to the United States.Yunisan Wool Industry Corp. produces woolens and worsteds of 100-percent wool, and blends with Lycra® and man-made fibers. It uses Australian merino wool ranging from 18.5 microns to 21.5 microns. It has an annual capacity of about 6 million meters. Its biggest export markets are the United Kingdom, France and Spain. In the United States, customers include Gap, Banana Republic and private labels for major stores.Francesca De Vita, agent for Btd, said about 25 percent of its export business comes into the United States. The mill is fully integrated. Fabrics are geared to sportswear. There are two-faced stretch corduroys, soft finished twills, washed linens and pigment- and fiber-dyed fabrics. Another vertical mill, Abaci Tekstil, offers immediate sampling and delivery of any order in one to three weeks. Abaci sells blended fabrics in pant, jacket and suit weights, both printed and solid. Tencel And LenzingAt Innovation Asia, a showcase of Asian fabrics featuring Tencel®, Ellen Flynn, vice president, marketing, Tencel, New York City, said, This is one way we assist our mill partners. It is an adjunct to our twice-yearly Global Fabric Fair, Denim workshops and other events in our New York office. All of the fabrics are on view at our fabric library. Flynn said currently, Tencel is sold up and is bringing on new capacity. 
Naomi Campbell models an outfit made from Lenzing fiber.Photographed by Johannes KutzlerMills featured at the Tencel event are from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. All are set up for export and produce a variety of knitted and woven fabrics in Tencel and blends for menswear, womenswear and intimate apparel.Shinnaigai Textile Ltd., Japan, sells knitted and woven fabrics in blends of Tencel with acrylic, polyester or silk. There are plains, twills and double-faced fabrics for Fall. Dobby shirtings from Shinjintex Co. Ltd. and basic bottom weights from Pang Rim Co. Ltd., both based in Korea, are woven in 100-percent Tencel, and in blends with other natural and man-made fabrics.  Willgold Industrial Co. Ltd., Taiwan, showed Tencel blended with Lycra, linen, wool and other natural and man-made fibers. Slubbed fabrics, prints, jacquards, denims and a variety of weights and weaves were displayed. Chonbang Co. Ltd. and G-Vision, both Korea-based, showed at Tencels Innovation Asia show and at Lenzings Asian Source. Chonbang is a 50-year-old company that weaves fabrics for a wide range of end-uses. G-Vision knits fabrics for tops and intimate apparel.A large number of the Lenzing exhibitors showed yarns and fabrics for intimate apparel. Many mills that exhibited are vertical, and all export a major portion of their production to Europe and the United States, a lot in garment form.Doer Enterprise Ltd. specializes in blended yarns for socks and sweaters. Modal® is blended with wool, cashmere, mohair, alpaca and cotton. Tommy Hilfiger is one of its customers.Victoria Pik, merchandise manager USA, Lenzing Specialty Fibers, said that in the United States, Lenzings focus is on knitting and fabrics for the home for its fibers, Modal, Viscose® and Lyocell®. Lenzing maintains a sales and technical services staff in North Carolina. Lenzing is sold up and adding to its production lines.

November 2002



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