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Knitting / Apparel

Warm Spring Forecast

Concurrent New York City fabric shows presented Spring/Summer 2004 trends.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

A lthough temperatures outside were in the single digits, visitors attending fabric shows in New York City in January were warmed by the vibrant colors and tropical prints that were presented in many collections.

European Preview, with approximately 130 collections from nine European countries, reports that more than 2,500 designers and buyers attended the show. I-TexStyle, sponsored jointly by the Italian Trade Commission and Magic International, featured fabrics from 52 Italian mills. At the Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition (TFFE), organized by the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB), 54 textile exhibitors were joined by 31 private-label apparel manufacturers. Tencel Ltd., England, increased the number of exhibitors at its Innovation Asia to 23 companies. Lenzing AG, Austria, expanded its roster to include companies from China, Japan, Austria, Pakistan, Portugal and the Czech Republic, along with Korea.

Two events showing surface design from international studios reported doubled attendance. Direction is a new show formed by the marriage of InPrints and English Accents. Printsource moved the location of its show to a space adjacent to Direction.

At European Preview, Komar et Cie of France showed its satin fabric designs influenced by Asian flowers.

Precollections At European Preview

France-based silk weaver Bucol showed jacquard-patterned silk twills. There are a lot of coordinates in this line. One popular look is large acid-colored ovals that coordinate with leaf shapes.

Basic silk knits and wovens in the Armaline division of France-based Européenne de Tissage are light and supple for Spring. Mesh, in stripes and coordinating plains, is popular.

Silk weaver Mantero was one of 35 Italian companies at European Preview. Along with l00-percent silk, Mantero is printing on cotton, linen and blends for Spring and Summer.

Switzerland-based Weisbrod-Zuerrer AG, a jacquard weaver in the silk sector, showed a lot of novelty. There are multi-layered organzas with a dry, crisp touch; cotton/linen/Lycra® jacquard cloques; and linen/cotton/polyester blends with a washed finish to give them a used appearance.

Finishing treatments continue to give fabrics new performance, touch and appearance. Ottavio Crotti S.r.l., Italy, has lightweight linen/wool suitings finished with silicone to give a soft hand and water repellency. The same treatment has been applied to silk/wool fabrics.

At De Cathalo of France, polyurethane designs are printed on linen to give a sparkling look. There are striped linens, sheer voiles woven with Irish yarns, and linen/Lurex® in pastel shades that have subtle shine.

Ulster Weavers of Northern Ireland uses traditional crisp finishes or tumble finishes on linen to give it a soft hand. There are yarn-dyed stripes with washed finishes, puckered linens, burn-outs, rustic textures, semi-sheers and stretch in this line.

Scottish weaver Robert Noble is showing linen blended with silk. There are two-color linens dyed to give an iridescent look, slightly frosted effects, marls, and subtle touches of Lurex. A partner company, Arthur Bell, sells classic fabrics for menswear. For Summer, it is blending linen with silk and ultra-light wool. The Whitley Division is selling silk denim.

AJM France has thick rustics and airy, soft cobweb open fabrics woven with thick acrylic yarns dyed in bright colors.

France-based knitter Billon Frères doubled its space at European Preview in order to accommodate the crowds. A large part of its line for Spring is color-coordinated and shown in groups of fabrics that work together. Gera Gallico, who is in charge of Billon's New York City office, said she is getting a good reaction to acid bright colors, especially lime and orange, and to tropical flower prints.

Ulmia Stoffe GmbH, a Germany-based specialist in knitted, woven and printed fabrics for casualwear, is a division of the Miroglio Group, Italy. Ulmia is known for quality at a price. For Spring, knitted fabrics of special interest are airy with opaque/sheer lustered stripes. There are voiles with a crepe touch, crepons and seersuckers, and linens with a variety of finishes.

Knits, crinkles, sheers and satins are early favorites at Miroglio. Prints have an Asian influence, and are reminscent of Pucci in style. There are romantic and vintage florals, wallpaper prints and a lot of flat black and white.

Roz Hart, designer of swimwear, sleepwear and lingerie, mentioned prints at Komar et Cie of France. She liked some of the satins. Prints in this line also are influenced by Pucci, or by flowers from Asia.

At La Industrial Sedera S.A., Spain, there are oriental satin jacquards, African ethnic prints on viscose georgette and crepon, and black and white flowers on black and white cords.

For Spring '04, Chaine et Trame S.A., France, anticipates cotton/Lycra to be strong. Rayon/spandex printed jersey, rayon satins, crepon, plissé, puckered chiffon and crepe are some of the base cloths for prints.


Most exhibitors at I-TexStyle are from the Prato area of Italy, known for wool and wool blends. For Summer, many switch to linen and blends.

Picchi S.p.A. is showing a lot of menswear weights and patterns for womenswear. There are linen/viscose lightweight twills in its Filopuro collection. Cross-dyed stripes, end-on-ends, delavés, rustic weaves, stretch bottomweights, polyurethane-coated patterns, jacquards and African ethnic stripes are shown in 100-percent linen and blends with cotton or viscose.

At Lamberto S.r.l. there are a lot of shirtings, sheers, crinkles and texture. There are soft jacquards and crisp crepons.

Tina Wilson, designer for Donna Karan Intimates, was looking for washed-out fabrics with a comfortable but not too distressed look at Frigerio S.r.l. Small jacquard floral wallpaper stripes in polyester/cotton/nylon were of interest.

Linea Tessile Italiana S.p.A. is showing delavé yarn dyes and piece dyes that have been finished to look like delavés. There are soft and crisp finishes on linen, and a lot of application treatments such as embroideries, burn-outs, laminates and prints.

Angelo Uslenghi, consultant to the Moda In fabric show, Milan, and Andrea Dall'Olio, who does Prato Expo trends, gave focused presentations for Spring/Summer 2004. The 53 colors Dall'Olio showed include variations of white, delicate pastels to go with beige, saturated deeps with emphasis on browns, and black and white. Uslenghi's color range is similar, with a more intense group of brights.

"In difficult times, the key to the season is fantasy," Uslenghi said. He showed fabrics woven with marled, tangled and streaked yarns. Special dyeing tricks such as double dyes, over dyes, and deep color lacquerings were mentioned. Application treatments of note include pearlized effects on rustic fabrics, shiny and metallic treatments, embroideries and prints. There are also knotty false tweeds, grainy surfaces, crimps, blisters, basket weaves and linen. Dall'Olio also mentioned chintz, denim, sandwich cloth jerseys and coated surfaces. Stretch is a given.

Solo-Sonay garments on display at TFFE

Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition

Compared to other countries in the industrialized world, Turkey is new to the textile industry. Most of its equipment is state-of-the-art. A lot of companies are completely vertical, offering a complete package, from yarn to finished garment.

At the most recent textile week in New York City, along with 54 Turkish fabric exhibitors at TFFE, there was, for the first time, a show of apparel. The garments on view focused on showing quality of manufacturing and the ability of each resource to cut and sew in quantity, with less emphasis on fashion.

Confetti Textile knits and weaves silk, cotton, linen, viscose and blends. Clothing on display ranged from printed shirts and pajamas to flocked jeans and corduroy jackets.

Saydam weaves, dyes and finishes. In the United States, its line is sold by New York City-based converter Symphony Fabrics Corp. The fabric collection goes from sheer to heavyweights. There are taffetas for the bridal market, satin-backed moss crepe, and crushed and flocked surfaces.

Elyaf Tekstil A.S. was showing double cloths, bi-stretch, opaque/ sheer stripes, mesh and embroidered satins and sheers. Koza Tekstil San. ve Dis. Tic. A.S., a first-time exhibitor, has a line of fleece knits. Kipas sells to the sports and activewear markets. Fabrics include printed and yarn-dyed cottons, seersucker and chiffon.

Almodo Altunlar Tekstil San. ve Tic. A.S. spins, weaves, dyes and finishes. There are polyester/rayon stretch fabrics, polyester/viscose menswear stripes with a wooly touch, and 100-percent double-dyed linen fabrics.

Innovation Asia

Innovation Asia, sponsored by Tencel, has grown from 16 exhibitors a year ago to 23 at the most recent event. Ellen Flynn, vice president, marketing, Tencel, New York City, was pleased with the quality and number of buyers. On the first day of the three-day show, nearly 300 people showed up to view the new collections. "A lot of the mills here are showing puffy jacquards, embroidery, flocking and water-repellent finishes," Flynn said.

At G-Vision, Korea, there are lightweight printed knits with a soft, silky touch. Addi Industries Ltd., India, has a lot of embroidery. Addi is totally integrated, with its own knitting, dyeing, finishing and garment production facilities. Arvind Mills Ltd., also of India, sells men's shirting fabrics in cotton/polyester and is a major producer of denim. Its latest product is jacquard denim.

Chyang Sheng Dyeing & Finishing Co. Ltd. of Taiwan has the capacity to produce 8 million yards of fabric per month. It blends Tencel with cotton, Lycra and polyester.

China Silk, China, blends Tencel with linen, viscose and silk. It weaves, knits and makes garments. For Spring, it was showing jacquards, multi-colored checks and fabrics with a crushed surface.

Modal & Lyocell Fiber Source

In addition to the 13 exhibitors at Modal & Lyocell Fiber Source, a showcase of fabrics and yarns by Lenzing, on display were fabrics from some of Lenzing's other Asian and European customers, as well as trend boards with samples from its product development laboratories. The Lenzing samples were all woven or knitted with Modal® or Lyocell®, and represented the most important trends of the season.

The 13 exhibitors included spinner Somelos of Portugal. Somelos is blending MicroModal® with wool and nylon in a fine, low-pill yarn called Dimension. Unitika Fibers Ltd., based in Japan, spins, weaves and produces garments. Currently, it is selling Lyocell/polyester bottomweights to Armani Exchange A/X menswear.

Tom Cody Design display at Printsource

Surface Design Exhibitions

Sandi Steiner of Lew Magram Inc. was looking for prints at both Direction and Printsource."Having both print shows at one address was a proper welcome to the strong return of print and pattern," Steiner said. "What looked best to me were upbeat colors, unexpected combinations of themes, such as romantic Chinoiserie done in softer colors and flower mixes. Liberty florals, retro tropicals, and modern geometrics with textured dots and fractured stripes are other looks I liked. I think embroideries and appliqués are getting stronger."

There were 72 booths at Direction, most of them showing exhibitors' collections, as well as those of studios from Israel, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Marilyn Kern Textile Designs Inc., New York City, shows all of its print designs on silk. In addition to the work of its studio, it sells Westcott Design Ltd. from England. Current customer choices are polka dots, large geometrics with an engineered look, Asian-inspired, home furnishing-type florals, and coordinating dots and stripes. The most popular colors are yellow and mid-tone pastels.

New York City-based London Portfolio represents a group of UK artists, as well as Bernini Studio, Italy. Asian retro styles, loose geometrics, tropicals, and florals from the 1920s are among its popular designs. Embroidery sales are soaring.

Italy-based Mosaique was a first-time exhibitor. Its print sales are on the increase to menswear designers. Another new area for its prints is bicyclewear.

Tanuki Studio, located in New York City, also represents Atelier Ami of Japan. Its sales are equally divided between womenswear, menswear, and patterns for the home. It sells about 40 prints a month.

Luciana Sikula, stylist for Miroglio Fabrics, likes having both print shows at the same location. "There are some small studios here with interesting lines," she said.

The 70 exhibitors at Printsource came from eight countries including England, France, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Italy and the United States.  The majority of buyers come from apparel design and retail.

New York City-based studio Tom Cody Design Inc. showed popular print designs including soft, faded vintage looks in sunbleached colors.

Splash Ltd. is a New York City studio that represents about 12 European designers, including Timney Fowler, England. Here, there was emphasis on crafts, with patchwork and distressed denim patterns among the best-sellers. Others are bold, impressionist florals; and black and cream combos.

March 2003