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Knitting / Apparel

Early Indications For The New Season

New York City trade shows previewed Spring/Summer 2008 collections.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

kaopenO ver a recent 10-day period, New York City hosted six textile trade shows, giving buyers early indications of the look, texture, color and design of apparel fabrics for Spring/Summer 2008. Direction and Printsource New York presented surface designs from international studios. The Turkish Fashion Fabrics Exhibition (TFFE), Texworld USA, Premi Vision Preview and Prefab: The Supima Premium Fabric Show all followed. It was a first for Prefab, organized by Supima, promoter of American pima cotton growers.

"The new direction for Spring 2008 is that there isnt one, there is just more of everything!" said Eileen Mislove, director of strategic planning, Direction. "There are flowers, paisleys, skins, dots and stripes, retro geometrics and decoratives. Differences are subtle and not so constrained." 
Première Vision Preview colors come from input of major international trend forecasters, including fiber companies, forecasting services and fashion organizations working with Pascaline Wilhelm, Première Vision’s fashion director. The colors, first presented to fabric companies that show at Première Vision, can be used in new line development.

For Spring/Summer 2008, the 26 colors on the Première Vision color card feature clear, high-energy brights and acid tones mixed with luminous darks. Fourteen warm and cool neutrals and pale tints have shiny or matte surfaces. The brown range goes from sand and clay to copper and yellow-influenced pales. Grays are light, dark, icy or tinted. Black and white continue.

Many exhibitors at the shows picked up the Première Vision colors. Frank Iovino, head of North American operations for Italy-based Miroglio S.p.A., said the best sampling print was a large, flowing geometric in shades of gray, black and white with a splash of yellow. Other prints include enormous graphic florals in black, white, gray and pale camel; and multicolor swirling shapes in a combination of energy brights with neutrals, black and white.

Vasino, Italy, has black/white/gray outlined and graphic florals. Linea Tessile Italiana, Italy, opts for abstract designs in sandy neutrals mixed with sky blue and a touch of gold. France-based Billon Crea’lys showed linear designs with irregular shapes in warm neutrals plus soft blue and white.

At TFFE, Ipeker showed large abstracts in black, white and shades of gray. Some are touched with red. Style Council, a New York City studio showing at Direction, cited big black and white abstracts, vintage prints and oversized paisleys. Some are splashed with red or a pop color.

New York City-based Design Works International, showing at Printsource, had softer and muted colors. Gray, black and white designs and monotones featured in ornamental prints, textured tropicals, Bohemian-inspired prints and conversationals.

Première Vision Preview
At Première Vision Preview, now in its seventh year, attendance was up more than 14 percent. Some 140 international textile companies showed early collections. No longer limited to Europeans, it is open to all Paris show exhibitors.

Daniel Faure, Première Vision president, noted that buyers at trade shows can see a lot in a short time. At Premiere Vision, 15 to 25 lines can be covered in one day, whereas going from office to office, the limit would be five.

Avelana and Roudiere, part of the France-based Chargeurs Group, have expanded their lines of Klimeo® temperature-regulating fabric introduced at Première Vision in September 2006. For womenswear, Avelana has cotton twill, linen and polyester/viscose/linen stretch classic suiting and casualwear fabrics. Roudière menswear fabrics are lightweight and traditional in polyester/wool, polyester/linen and polyester/viscose/linen blends. Many contain Lycra® and all are available with Klimeo. The winter Klimeo wool line has been sold to Hartmarx, Joseph A. Banks and Lands’ End.

Israel-based Polgat Textiles Ltd. has adapted Outlast® viscose, blending it with Coolmax® and Dow XLA™. There are wool/Outlast viscose/Lycra twills, ribs and plain-weave suitings in weights from 155 grams per square meter (g/m2) to 180 g/m2. Washable wool/Cooltex® and water-repellent and Resistain stain-resistant 100-percent wool fabrics are available with or without stretch.

Coated fabrics turned up in many lines. Linen has been coated with gold or silver at Vasino and Olmetex S.p.A., Italy.

Olmetex’s fabric has a rubber touch and is available washed to give it a dull, antique look or unwashed for a shiny look. There is lightweight, slippery-touch 100-percent waterproof silk; 100-percent cotton is waterproof by construction; and other waterproof fabrics are woven with oiled yarns.

At Italy-based Picchi S.p.A., coated fabrics have a dry, plastic touch or a wet look. There are sheers printed with polyurethane for matte/sheen pattern effects. Fabrics with subtle shine and satin shimmer are woven with linen/Lurex® or linen/nylon.

More formal fabrics are selling for womenswear at Germany-based Becker & Fuehren Tuche, and menswear is opting for casual. One best seller is sharkskin woven with a cotton warp and nylon/Lycra fill. Linen, frequently blended with viscose and silk, has the look and dry touch of linen but wrinkles less.

Satin is one of the most popular fabrics for spring. France-based Philea Textiles has several versions woven with filament viscose. One is touched with Lurex; another is double-faced with a cotton back. The shine has an antique, non-aggressive look. “The idea is to let in the light,” said Pierre Schmidt, general manager.

BTD Tekstil, Turkey, has satin finishes on some of its polyester/viscose/Lycra suiting fabrics and silk-touch finishes on others. All have a rich sheen. Linen/viscose blends woven in traditional patterns have a golden luster.

Shiny, fluid knitted fabrics are selling well. Many are going into dresses and tunic tops. At Miroglio, fabrics are knitted using viscose and Lycra. Billon has printed jacquards and pigment gold prints. At Confetti Fabrics, Turkey, viscose and spandex jerseys are machine-washable.

Prefab is the newest show in town. Organized by Supima, Phoenix, Ariz., and presented in a boutique setting at the Gotham Hall rotunda, the exhibition featured 20 exhibitors, all Supima licensees, from the Americas, Europe and Asia. According to Supima President Jesse W. Curlee, the purpose of the show is twofold: “We want to focus attention on Supima cotton by educating the trade about its quality, and at the same time we are giving exposure to some of our licensees, of which there are 250 worldwide,” he said. A center display pointed out Supima’s history and premium quality.

There were two spinners — Jefferson, Ga.-based Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. and Portugal-based Somelos Fios S.A. Buhler emphasized the value and superior quality of its Supima cotton ring-spun yarns. At Somelos, the focus was on end-use. Supima® cotton yarns are selling to better producers of shirts, ultrafine knits, blankets and terry towels. One antibacterial product blends Supima with SeaCell®.

Canada-based Tricots Liesse emphasized quality. Lighter-weight knits were sampled by producers of lingerie, swimwear, activewear and sportswear. G-Vision International Co. Ltd., Korea, showed fine-count Supima blended with cashmere, bamboo, linen and Modal. On display were jacquard and piqué knits.

Design Knit Inc., Los Angeles, is known for quality and service. Ultrafine knits of 100-percent Supima and blends with silk, linen, cashmere, bamboo and MicroModal® are going into sportswear and high-end T-shirts.

Fountain Set (Holdings) Ltd., Hong Kong, pointed out textured, fine-gauge and organic fabrics. Benjamin Lam, vice president, Fountain Set, said companies such as Marks & Spencer and Nike are into eco-friendly. “Eight out of 10 buyers are asking for organic,” he said. “Organic is fashion.”

Hong Kong-based Bondex International Textiles Ltd. sells yarn dyes and prints to Banana Republic and Gap. Gap and JCPenney are customers of India-based Alok Industries Ltd. for printed and embroidered fabrics.

Cone Denim, Greensboro, N.C., and UCO Fabrics, Rockingham, N.C., represented denim. According to Mark Ix, president, UCO Fabrics, there is a demand for luxury denim. “The key,” Ix said, “is using the best yarns. We’re into Supima blended with silk and cashmere. Two-way stretch is another item.” Cone pointed out black seed denim that is lustrous and has a soft hand and greater strength.

Armani uses Lenzing fibers in its clothing lines.

Fabrics from Turkey tend to be fairly basic and of high quality. Satins; micro woven designs; light, ultrafine shirtings; and knits are some of the highlights.

Aksu is into natural fiber blends. There are cotton/silk mini-herringbones; large-scale monotone patterns; yarn dyes; and piece dyes in blends of linen, silk, cotton and wool.

Dobbies, piqués, stripes and checks at BKK Tekstil Ltd. are selling for casualwear. At Gulle Tekstil San. A.S., organic cotton, bamboo, soy, linen, viscose and spandex are knitted or woven into ultralight jerseys with an exceptionally soft touch, lacy jacquards and color-woven shirtings.

Celiktas Tekstil has burn-outs, jacquards and novelty patterns. There are cobweb sheers, black and white optic stripes and eyelash effects. At Karma Kokteyl, black and white knitted stripes are touched with glitter, and damask florals resemble upholstery patterns. Ipeker has prints on crepe viscose, satin and jersey. There are geometric floral patterns, Pucci styles, fractured skin patterns and random circles.

Texworld USA
Texworld USA, sponsored by Atlanta-based Messe Frankfurt Inc., announced that in July it will move to the more spacious Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The 148 exhibitors were from 13 countries, primarily in Asia.

The newly reopened New York City office of Lenzing set up an information center to showcase Tencel® and Lenzing Modal® and direct buyers to 25 Asian customers who were at this show. Tricia Carey, merchandising manager, North America, Lenzing Fibers Inc., said one of the company’s focus areas is to educate buyers about Tencel as a sustainable fiber.

At Willgold Industrial, Taiwan, there were menswear fabric blends of Tencel with polyester or cotton; soft drapeable fabrics of Tencel and linen; seersuckers; and yarn dyes. Zhonghe Group, China, introduced yarn dyes and fine weaves. There are enzyme finishes that have a silky touch, satin stretch and blends of cashmere/cotton. Taiwan-based A & A Textile Co. Ltd. has denims that are woven in blends of cotton, Tencel and linen. Some are discharge-printed.

Japan-based Moririn Co. Ltd. has a line of classic fabrics including Tencel/cotton denim that are selling to JCPenney. At Be-Mode Textile Co. Ltd., Taiwan, there are linens, denims, yarn dyes and jacquards. The Shanghai Simptex Textile Co. Ltd. line is designed by an Italian. There are metallic coated linens, lightweight meshes, linen/metal jacquards that are almost wrinkle-free, linen/cotton yarn-dyed stripes and a variety of novelty fabrics.
Dream Digital offers fully finished digitally printed fabrics.

Direction And Printsource
Prints are outselling application treatments, and exhibitors at Direction and Printsource New York attribute this to the return of the dress and popularity of tunic tops. There is a tendency to large-scale geometrics and florals, stripes and circles, Hawaiian ethnics for menswear, and a continuation of paisleys and skins.

London-based Whiston and Wright showed combinations of dots, circles, stripes and zigzags, some with an Art Deco feeling. Wescott Design Ltd., also based in London, has enormous flowing and crossing stripes, engineered florals and enlarged Pucci-styled graphics.

Whimsical conversationals turned up at Toronto-based Davina Nathan Design, Portland-based Diane B., London-based Mozz Design, and New York City-based Foliage Inc. Artextiles Design Studio, Brooklyn, N.Y., is into custom designs for ties and scarves.

Direction showcased digital fabric printing. Style Council and Fabrics2Dye4 LLC, both based in New York City, are primarily into digitally printed textiles for short-run production and garment samples. At Style Council, designs go from the computer to the printer. Up to 30 yards can be printed on 42- and 56-inch-wide fabric. Fabrics2Dye4 stocks more than 60 types of fabric from delicate silk chiffons and fine cotton batistes to heavy canvas and corduroy.

Dream Digital, Orangeburg, N.Y., offers fully finished fabrics; and is able to do short runs, sample runs, customized printing or product development from one yard to full rolls. With two Reggiani Dream machines from Italy-based Reggiani Macchine S.p.A., the company can print more than 180 yards of fabric an hour on 72-inch widths. A recently purchased DuPont™ Artistri™ printer will be installed this spring. Smaller runs are printed using Mimaki USA Inc. machines.

March/April 2007