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Knitting / Apparel

Prelude To Paris

French and British spinners discuss what will be shown this spring in Paris.

A record number of exhibitors will present new offerings at Expofil, the yarn show which will take place in Paris from June 1 to June 4, running concurrently with ITMA. These include about 170 leading European spinners, 30 yarn manufacturers and fiber companies. Show area will cover 5,300 square meters. 

The Trend Forum will be composed of the traditional sections showing colors, yarns and fabrics for Fall/Winter 2000/01. Also in the trend area will be Nouveaux Regards for products of the future; Les Essentiels for the best sellers from the previous season; and a new section devoted to fiber innovations.In March, ATI met in Paris with yarn companies from France and Britain and Sylvie Tastemain, Expofils fashion director, to get an overview of what will be shown in June. (See ATI, March 1999.)Softness, comfort, a natural hand and easy care are what knitters and weavers will find at the June Expofil, according to Tastemain. Yarns will have less bulk. It is the fabrics which will provide bulk, she said, showing double-faced fabrics and quilting.Tastemain describes the first autumn of the new millennium as one without gimmicks. Technology is creating intelligent fibers and yarns. Each one brings something to the fabric.One example she noted is Filifine, a microfiber polyester from Tergal which has a cotton touch, can be molded, and blends with other fibers. Colors For A New CenturyAccording to Tastemain, colors for Fall/Winter 2000/01 are mellow and blurred. Bright red and white give an over all vibrant look to the range. There are warm tones of red through old gold and lichen yellow. Soft tones take on the colors of natural fibers or sophisticated veiled pastels. There are colored greys which have a blue or green cast. These go from light to dark.Yarn trends for weaving and knitting are illustrated by three themes. In the Eye-Catching range there are wool yarns and blends with mohair, nylon, multilobal polyester, steel, lyocell, cotton or viscose. Suggested fabrics range from mens suitings using overtwisted, chinr thrown yarns to raised weaves or yarn-dyes.There will be a continuation of supple felted flannels updated with new finishing techniques, supple reversables, simple jerseys, warp-plated knits, fleecy knits and stretch in everything.Rustic yarns include two-ply or multi-ply yarns, uneven twists, slubs, tone-on-tone tweeded yarns and random textures. Some of these will be pure cashmere, pure wool, or pure acrylic. Alternating S and Z twists for thrown yarns will give a feeling of movement to woven fabrics.Trilobal nylon is suggested to give a shiny appearance to denim. Sparkle polyester will give a discrete shine.A range called Caress features precious fibers such as cashmere, alpaca and silk.There will be light, almost transparent knits, matte/shine and metal, like copper or brass, which Tastemain sees going into crinkled knits 
Sylvie Tastemain, Expofil's fashion director, talks about what to expect at the show this June.She also suggests blends with acetate, viscose or nylon to give shine. Ultra-fine yarns with uneven slubs, fleecy bouclettes, and aged, worn looks created with shrinkable yarns or crepe yarns are other looks in this group.For circular knits, viscose/nylon or polyester/viscose will be used to give a patinated bronze look. Rustic structures can be achieved with contrasting yarn counts, multi-ply yarns and slub yarns. Covering is the third range. Fabrics will be lightweight and offer protection without restricting freedom of movement.Loose, bulky, uneven chain yarns for soft, light knits, roving yarns, fluffy wools twisted with cellophane, and combination yarns will go into double face fabrics, honeycomb textures, and raised twills.For a velvety look and touch, Tastemain suggests using fibrillated, slightly shot polyester/nylon yarns. They can be made more dense with the addition of elastane. Frothy looks will be achieved with fine slivers of wool or mohair bouclette covered in nylon or shrinkable acrylic. Precious FibersAudresette, worsted spinners and dyers of cashmere, camel hair, superfine merino, yak hair, angora, alpaca and silk for knitting and weaving reports increased interest in their Pamir, 100-percent cashmere yarn which was introduced a year ago. Available in a variety of yarn counts and colors, it is selling to the weaving and sweater industries.Patrick Le Pelletier of Audressette reports that based on this success, they will show a new ultra light fancy 100-percent cashmere yarn which has a loose curl. It is called St. Honore and is expected to be sought after by the sweater, scarf and tie industries.Another successful yarn is Cashmino 90, a blend of 90-percent superfine merino/10-percent cashmere.For hosiery, Le Pelletier mentions silk, silk/cotton, cashmere/merino, camel hair/wool, and yak/wool blends. There will be fine and heavy yarns going into socks, tights and bodywear.The look of natural fibers is expected to sell well. It is our tradition at Audresette to make the best quality yarns, Le Pelletier said. What is important to us is to produce the perfect product. It must be at a good price, have good delivery, good dyeing and good quality.At the moment Le Pelletier says that ultra lightweight yarns and rustic heavy yarns are expected to be popular. Mid-weights are not in fashion.  Merino At Hunters Of BroraHeavy yarns are over for us, said Raymond Eagleson of Hunters of Brora. We will leave that to the carpet people. We do not see Donegals selling for fall 2000, it isnt going to be a nub season. We will continue with our ultra-fine New Zeland merino yarns, lambswool and Shetland.New for Hunters will be twisted yarns in blends of cotton/silk, cotton/wool and silk/wool.Color spinning in wool is our strength, we will concentrate on that, Eagleson said, showing yarns with as many as 16 colors. At the moment Hunters does not see one strong color trend. In woven fabrics its putty, grey and black. You cant do that in knitwear. People want color. Continuous Filament YarnsBillion-Mayors activity is centered on twisting and covering, texturizing and yarn dyeing. Air-jet textured yarns and fancy effect yarns are available in nylon, polyester, rayon or acetate.The company exports yarns to 40 countries on five continents. Sixty percent is sold for weaving, 40 percent for knitting. Apparel represents the largest segment of Billions volume, with about 20 percent going to automotive and 15 percent to products for the home.Jo Al is the companys New York agent. In Montreal, Billion is represented by Charles Wainrib. In addition to rayon, acetate, nylon and polyester, there is a lot of spandex. We purchase spandex yarns from everyone, said Jean-Francis Billion, vice president. Globe is one of our biggest suppliers. DuPont, Bayer and Fillatice are others.Currently yarns for matte jersey are popular with American knitters. Britannia, Sextet, Horizon and Symphony are among Billions customers. Along with yarns for basic rayon matte jersey, Billion offers a 120-denier stretch yarn of 68-percent rayon/32-percent polyester.Another popular yarn is a chine of 82-percent rayon/18-percent sparkle nylon which is going into interlock jersey. For sheers, Billion offers an easy care rayon/polyester, a current favorite for georgettes.A twisted yarn of bright trilobal polyester that provides surface interest is going into circular- and flat-bed knits. Polyester bouclettes, pig-tail yarns, dope dyes, and chines are other novelties. A high-twist yarn of acetate/nylon/spandex is expected to be especially popular for single knits.Billion sees a revival of printed fabrics. He notes that printers are working on double-face fabrics with a print on one side reversing to a solid. Chines are mentioned as well. One new yarn he will be showing at Expofil is a blend of cotton with bright nylon.Thirty-five percent of Billion-Mayors sales are to France, with 30 percent of exports going to non-European countries. Asia, the Middle East and the Americas are mentioned.In 1995 Billion merged with Mayor. Both companies are over 100 years old and are run by the fourth generation. Looking to the future, Billion mentions further expansion through acquisition, possibly outside of France. Crepe Yarn SpecialistsEmile Tardy was established in 1901 in Lyon, France, as silk spinners. Today it produces a variety of yarns using man made and synthetic fibers as well as silk. The company sells to both weaving and knitting industries.Decorative yarns such as the pin stripe for mens suitings, embroidery yarns, fancy and boucle yarns, and anti-static yarns for professional clothing are among its current offerings. Tardys best sellers are crepe yarns.Classics will always be there, said Pascal Roy, sales director. We plan to show heavier weight crepe yarns for fall.One development sample knitted with Tactel microfiber and spandex is supple with a dry hand. Another is sheer with a slightly raspy touch.One new crepe yarn is a blend of cationic polyester and regular polyester. It can be dyed like viscose and gives fabrics a marled effect.Triacetate is a fiber Roy notes, is flexible. It can be used for light mousselines, crinkled seersuckers, and blended with Lycra for heavier weight fabrics.Tardy plans to show a new line of anti-bacterial yarns at Expofil. End-uses include athletic wear, underwear, hosiery, lining fabrics and dresses.Tardy sells in the United States through Seritex. About 50 percent of the line is sold to export, including other countries in the European Union, Asia and the Americas. 150 Years In The BusinessEstablished in 1849, Christory will celebrate 150 years in the spinning business during Expofil. It has been selling yarns to the United States for about 25 years. About 65 percent of its yarns are sold to the circular and flat-bed knitting industries, 35 percent goes into woven fabrics.Easy-care merino wool is its main business. Machine-wash/tumble-dry merino yarns in 320 colors are stock supported for quick delivery. With stretch a staple, core-spun yarns in blends of merino/Lycra are, according to Fabrice Motte, sales director, selling strongly to knitting and weaving industries.A large portion of the line is fancy yarns such as boucles, slubs, crepes and moulines in wool and blends. All can be coordinated with basic merino yarns. Two current best sellers are Chriswool + Lycra, a blend of extra-fine merino shrink resist with nylon and Lycra, and Dauphin, which is spun with extra-fine shrink-resistant merino wool and cotton. Deessenyl, which is 80-percent merino wool superwash/20-percent nylon is a favorite with the sock industry.Current new developments are yarns for double-face fabrics designed for sportswear, thick and thin yarns for weaving to give an uneven suface effect to fabrics, and irregular boucle yarns of extrafine merino/nylon.Another new product is an anti-bacterial yarn blending machine-wash merino with Amicor, the anti-microbal acrylic from Acordis. Motte notes that there has been interest from sock and underwear manufacturers.We are known for heather shades and printed colors, he said. A lot of our development work is done for specific customers. Our spinning programs offer conventional and fancy yarns for both knitting and weaving industries.New yarns which will be introduced at Expofil are cashmere/wool and mohair/wool blends. These include 8-ply yarns and fine counts of 36/1 both woolen and worsted spun.Visitors to Expofil will find shuttles running to the ITMA site, special pre-registration, and multi-lingual trend presentations  May 1999