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Knitting / Apparel

Creativity Through The Supply Chain

From yarn to surface design, the emphasis is on innovation.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

A t SpinExpo, organized by Hong Kong-based Well Link Consultants Ltd., visitors were encouraged to photograph displays. As Karine Van Tassel, SpinExpo director, said: "Creativity can exist in any economy. We are here to serve the industry. With smaller staffs, companies are careful on how they spend time. At this show, we are bringing major global fiber, yarn and machinery suppliers to buyers and presenting wonderful, fresh ideas that show ways to use them."

Direction and Printsource focused on new prints and surface designs for Fall/Winter 2011.

SpinExpo Creative Director Sophie Steller said fabrics are having a greater impact on fashion than silhouettes. Texture, novelty and yarn mixes are in demand. Chunkier yarns are selling, and the newest patterns are subtle. She mentioned sheen, diffused effects and hairy surfaces. Colors are rich, warm and saturated; tonality continues, and there is iridescence through the use of metallic yarns.

KA#1
SpinExpo's trend forum displayed a wide range of fabric concepts that showed off its exhibitors' yarns.

Fibers And Machinery
Angelina® metallic fibers producer Meadowbrook Inventions, Bernardsville, N.J., showed its soft-hand, brilliant and iridescent fibers made from recycled polyester and post-industrial waste. Aluminum Angelina fibers comprising plain or pigmented recycled aluminum are dyeable, protect against ultraviolet rays and electromagnetic waves, and have antistatic properties. Copper fibers and copper-coated polyester fibers are said to have therapeutic, anti-inflammatory properties; regulate temperature and static; and be antimicrobial. Another new product is security fibers to guarantee a product's authenticity.

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) showed fabrics and garments divided into two collections to demonstrate the versatility of Australian merino wool. For the U.S. market, knits comprised the largest portion of what was shown. Fabrics in the Touch group have a silky-soft feel. Some are knitted of 100-percent mercerized merino; others, in blends with silk. Most fabrics are machine-washable, ultralight and soft.

Garments in AWI's Casual collection have a vintage look and a lot of texture. There are garment-dyed sweaters and felted fabrics that look as if they are knitted using crimped yarns. AWI has developed a new process of treating yarns to give a variety of surface and color effects. There are rustic looks, muted heathers, denim types and boiled wool touches in this collection. A lot of fabrics have natural stretch and are easy-care.

Two textile machinery companies, Santoni S.p.A., Italy, and H. Stoll GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, showed the versatility of their equipment. New Santoni machines include a compact seamless warp-knitting machine. This whole-garment technology does it all on one machine, from patterned fabrics to all of the sewing. A new single-jersey machine produces seamless garments knitted with mesh, eyelet and lace patterns and combining yarns and fiber blends. Another machine moves from rib to single jersey and can produce a garment in three minutes.

Stoll highlighted the capabilities of its machinery and support center. New electronic flat multi-gauge machines offer improved efficiency and speed. A collection of knitted garments illustrated how Stoll's new technology can knit different gauges, patterns and textures using different yarns, and integrate collars and buttonholes. Stoll's trend collection and pattern library give ideas to designers and teach them how to put it all together. Along with apparel, there are fabrics for the home and industrial products.

KA#2
Direction by Indigo displays illustrated concepts for surface design and prints.

Yarns
Yarn Mavens Inc., New York City, now in its fourth generation, represents a variety of top-quality global spinners. The company showed super-fine baby alpaca/silk blends at one-third the price of cashmere; novelty yarns with a touch of sparkle spun in natural/man-made blends, and textured, fluffy and chunky yarns; all from Lanficio Dell'Olivo, Italy. From FiliVivi S.r.l., Italy, there are soft lambswool/merino blends. Merino/silk tweed yarns, chenille, cashmere and torqueing yarns from a Chinese mill were of interest.

Himesa Hilos y Mechas S.A. de C.V., Spain, showed high-bulk Amicor acrylic antibacterial and antifungal yarns. Blankets are a major end-use. At Filatures du Parc, France, classic and fancy heather and chine yarns from recycled garments were available. Extra-long-staple cotton alone or in blends with other natural fibers at Filartex S.p.A., Italy, was selling for weaving and circular knits. Indigo-dyed cotton was of interest.  At Miroglio Textile, Italy, a tweed yarn with wool neps, fluffy yarns and high-performance yarns in wool and blends were pointed out.

Non-shedding longhair angora, cashmere, lambswool and blends are a specialty at British spinner Z. Hinchliffe & Sons Ltd., where there are 120 colors in stock. At Huntington Yarn Mill Inc., Philadelphia, which has its own skein dyehouse, soft metallic, space-dyed and novelty twisted yarns were of interest.

Superfine merino and blends with silk, cotton or cashmere are a specialty at worsted spinning mill Biella Yarn by Südwolle, Germany. Best sellers were coarse or ultrafine.

It was innovation plus tradition at Sato Seni Co. Ltd., Japan. Now in its fourth generation, this company is noted for high-twist, high-performance, organic ultralight yarns of kid mohair, washable wool, silk and blends. There are plied, dyed, printed, looped and wrapped yarns. One new yarn features wool wrapped around paper. It has the lightness of paper and the softness of wool.

KA#3
Sophie Steller, creative director, SpinExpo, said fabrics are having a greater impact on fashion than silhouettes.

Surface Design
Soft blurred designs, dissolving edges, splatters, blotches, abstract swirls, fragmented scenics, mixed-media geometrics and tonal shadings are some of the new ways with prints. Reinvented black-and-white combos, flowers, paisleys and skins all turned up at Direction by Indigo and Printource. 

At Direction, the Stoll Fashion & Technology Center, New York City, and Pointcarré, France, were exhibitors. The focus at Stoll was on prototype knitwear samples, and services provided for designers and manufacturers at its showroom.  Pointcarré demonstrated its computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing software and included woven and knitted fabric designs for apparel and the home.

At Tom Cody Design, New York City and London, vintage paisley borders, washy and brushstroke florals, textured foliage and vines on ombré grounds, linear and graphic monotones, and angular geometrics were popular print motifs, along with burn-outs. Burn-outs were sellouts at Baxter Fawcett, London. Textural grounds, '70s florals, blurred tonals, Bohemian arty florals, and dots and animal skins were shown on ultra-sheer fabrics.

Dimensional patterns at Whiston & Wright, U.K., were blurred. Furnishings-inspired paisleys, lacy looks and black-and-whites were popular. Circleline, U.K., showed splatters and sprays that looked as if they were moving, scratchy surfaces, bold tonals, photorealistic images and large-scale patterns with almost no repeat. 

Abstract landscapes with leafless trees, splattered galaxies, blurred giant tartans and skins, tonal designs, and black-and-whites turned up at Quinnconfrey, Ireland. Longina Phillips Design Ltd., Australia, showed faded and blurred architectural designs and hand-drawn shaded and tonal florals.

At Printsource, a lot of studios focused on the home. Atelier Mineeda Co., Japan, showed big, blurred, watery florals; tonal flowers on embossed grounds; and giant, tonal paisleys. At Ejame Studio, New  York City, there are sketchy black and white circles, tie-dyes and tonal patterns. Bernini Studio Designs, Italy, has patchwork skins, misted checks and irregular dimensional zigzags. 

Childrenswear was another strong area at Printsource. Noelle Palm, New York City, showed coordinated collections of hand-painted flowers and birds. Some have an abstract look, and others suggest Matisse. There are cute animals, conversationals and coordinating plaids, stripes and flowers at Elka Studio, France.

November/December 2010

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