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Knitting / Apparel

Quality In Demand

Premiere Vision exhibitors report increased sales despite lower attendance.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent


Quality in Demand Premiere Vision exhibitors report sales increases despite lower attendance.Along with the global economic downtrend, attendance was off at the most recent Premiere Vision, held in Paris in March, dropping from 40,308 in March 2000 to 36,996 in 2001.However, all was not gloom and doom. Most of the 776 exhibitors reported visitors were serious about finding the right fabrics for Spring/Summer 2002. Generally, buyers were looking for novelty and quality. Fabric companies that cater to niche markets and are flexible in their product offerings reported a record number of sample orders.Irish Linen converter John England said that not only did he take more sample orders, but a lot of customers placed substantial orders for yardage. England attributed part of his success to his presentation: We had a colorful, exciting display that attracted a lot of interest. One customer purchased our entire display for his own showroom.Ed Harding, Barn Hill, U.S. agent for several European firms that show at Premiere Vision, concurred: Most of our lines were constantly crowded with serious shoppers. The Americans in Paris for this show were there to work. We sell a lot to bridge markets. They are looking for quality, and they are on the lookout for performance fabrics that go beyond the basics.British exhibitors got an extra boost with a visit by Cherie Booth, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Booth was at Premiere Vision to help promote British Textiles.Liquid Stretch Knits At WelbeckWelbeck Fabrics Ltd., British innovator of technologically advanced knitted fabrics, said this was its busiest show ever. A lot of its line goes into intimate apparel and activewear by La Perla, Victorias Secret, Vanity Fair, Armani, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan.Welbeck is one of the first to come out with a line of aroma-encapsulated fabrics. New scents of bergamot, juniper, apple and cinnamon bring the total to 40. Another successful line contains moisturizers. New for Spring are smooth, liquid stretch knits of trilobal Tactel® or a micropolyester/Lycra® blend. There are shantung effects, fine and sheer pleats, iridescent jacquards, laser patterns, layered or laminated mesh, punched or embossed surfaces, and two new granular-effect stretch fabrics. Easy-Case Linen With A Traditional Look
In the linen sector, traditional fabrics with easy-care qualities are selling. Pauline Delli-Carpini, U.S. representative, Masters of Linen, said, Our members report that designers are buying 100-percent linen fabrics and blends that have a traditional look but are updated with easy-care finishes, a touch of sparkle, stretch or a laminated coating.Masters of Linen membership includes more than 10,000 linen growers in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, 22 spinners in Italy, France, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Austria and Germany and 96 Western European weavers. Its regional office in New York City disseminates information about linen, suppliers and trends for apparel and home furnishings. Linen/Lycra fabrics include a washable mid-weight blend from French weaver Deren. This company also has a group of creased and crinkled 100-percent linen fabrics.Libeco Lagae reports that stretch, menswear stripes and solid coordinates of 100-percent linen with a delavinish are selling across the board for menswear and womenswear. Sheer, mini-check and stripe cross-dyed coordinates are also popular.Stretch linens at John England are available in linen/viscose/Lycra or linen/polyester/Lycra blends. Some have a washed finish to resemble denim. There is also a double-faced fabric containing Lurex®. Two fabrics are adhered with a dissolveable bonding. Finished garments can be washed to remove the bonding, thus eliminating the production steps of cutting and basting the lining fabric.Bronze metallic fabrics at John England have subtle glimmer. There are distressed-finished butcher linens, crisp-hand rustic looks, linen/silk blends that resemble indigo denim, slick finishes, ultra-light polyurethane-coated fabrics, laser-cut patterns and polyurethane droplet patterns on 100-percent linen.Bright, yarn-dyed linen checks are standouts in washable coordinates at Hauterive. Some are large and tonal; others are iridescent. Crespi has metallic satin weaves and rustic surfaces. Some have an invisible polyurethane finish. Solbiati shows classic seersucker stripes in a linen/cotton blend.Another linen innovator, Linea Tessile Italiana, has tie-dyed linen gauzes and sheer linens woven with thick and thin yarns. Mesh in a blend of linen/cotton/nylon is embellished with flocking, embroidered in all-over abstract patterns or printed with large, watery flowers.At Giuseppe Bellora, striped ultra-sheer linen/silk blends are selling to shirt makers for both menswear and womenswear. There are washable linen shirtings and crisp-hand linen gauzes, some embroidered with abstract patterns.The Austrian firm J. M. Fussenegger has done copper printing on rustic linens. Some resemble burlap, while others are light and refined. Copper-printed flowers give the fabrics a damask look.Classic ComebackUpdated classics are best-sellers at Gordon Textiles International, which represents French weavers Emanuel Lang and Carreman; and Italian weavers Milior, Gartex, Segalini and Blue Line. Neat patterns and traditional weaves in blends are treated to a variety of finishes to provide comfort and easy care.Jim Gordon, president, Gordon Textiles, reports that Emanuel Langs small checks and stripes in 100-percent cotton are increasingly popular for womenswear. Newly revived are jacquards and seersuckers. Shirtings containing Lycra are selling to designers of haute couture.Carreman is selling suiting-weight fabrics with a traditional menswear look. Mini-checks, and pin and chalk stripes in blends of polyester/viscose/elastane are buyer favorites.In Miliors line, abstract geometric patterned cotton/polyester/Lycra blends are popular. There are classic mens stripes woven with metallic and Lycra yarns, and a group of high-tech double-faced fabrics. One going into year-round outerwear reverses from poplin to twill, contains 13-percent Lycra and is breathable.At Gartex, sheer jacquards; burn-outs; light, slubbed linens; crinkles; and stripes are current preferences with American designers. Most are blends of natural and synthetic fibers, and a lot contain Lycra.Prints from Segalini include romantic flowers in soft, summery colors. Some have an abstract, misted look; others are reminiscent of small Liberty styles. Shantung and rayon georgette are two popular base cloths. Blue Line is selling plissacquards, shantung and gossamer sheer stripes in silk blends. Stretch seersucker is another favorite here.Stretch, Jacquards And Demin At NuvotexThe versatile Spanish company Sedera, French denim producer Milag and Italian knitter Mabu are handled in North America by Nuvotex.Stretch jacquards are a highlight of the Sedera line. Small, neat tonal patterns in an acetate/cotton/Lycra blend are selling for sportswear and pants. Double jacquards reverse color and texture. They are piece-dyed, coordinate with solid fabrics and are lightweight. Others are woven with high-twist yarns for a crepe touch. Prints are done on a variety of fabrics. Among the most popular are stripes with color-coordinated outlined florals on polyester matte jersey, heavy stretch cotton or chiffon.At Milag, warp- or weft-stretch denim is printed with camouflage designs, bold graphics, peacock feather patterns or silver foil abstracts. Other fabrics range from romantic florals on sheer plissand georgettes to piquand jacquards. Some are sueded; others are lightly coated and slick.Mabu jersey is selling mini-Greek-key patterned jacquard jersey coordinates to Versace. These cotton/nylon blends are going into shirts.Other popular fabrics at Mabu are eyelash effects knitted with metallic yarns, variegated stripes and ribs in cotton/silk/viscose blends and subtle glitter jacquards of nylon/polyester. Jim Molina, a partner at Nuvotex, noted that sales of dressy fabrics are slowing. Double mercerized cotton and raw silk knitted in rustic looks are in demand.
Color In Wovens
Color is selling at Barn Hill. Yarn dyes in smaller patterns by Isoule are going into casualwear, sportswear and dresses. Most are blends of linen with viscose or polyester; all contain Lycra. Open-work patterns woven with Paul Bontes dissolving yarn, Chimere, are other good sellers.Recolored classics are popular at Liberty of London. Gingham, sophisticated geometrics with a 1930s feeling and small conversationals are highlights. Conversational motifs include mini-automobiles and oriental parasols. Stretch jersey of cotton/Lycra is a popular base cloth.At Reynaud Rexo, piece-dyed, bi-colored jacquards with widely spaced floral patterns in a polyester/acetate blend are selling to the dress trade.Essenza, a first-time exhibitor at Premiere Vision, was happy with the numbers of new customers and orders placed at the show. Linen tie-dyes, some over-printed, and cotton/viscose stretch bottom weights are among the favorites. At shirting fabric specialist Borgomaneri, sportswear designers sampled cotton stretch top and bottom weights. Heathers and stripes were of special interest.
Men's Shirt Fabrics For Womenswear
Quality shirting fabrics from the Austrian firm Getzner, sold here through Filtex, are starting to sell well to bridge-level womenswear firms. Bright plaids and stripes are popular. Josef Otten, also at Filtex, reports stretch rayon jersey and printed shirting-weight cottons among its strongest sampling fabrics. Nautical shell and coral designs and small animals are popular. Some are over-printed on burn-outs.Weisbrod Zuerrer, noted for jacquards, had a strong showing at Premiere Vision. The patterns for Spring are spread out with an open, airy feeling. Some are done on textured grounds with Lurex; others are on crinkled piquwoven with cotton/silk. Small geometric patterns are especially popular. Best-selling colors are lime green and denim blue.Richard Nissan of Filtex notes an interest in fine silk crepes in bright colors from Weisbrod Zuerrer. Some fabrics have a water-repellent finish. A group of sheer, fluid solids; pleated fabrics; and georgettes have been picked up for layering.Innovation At Fitzsimmons Fabrics
A major portion of Spanish producer AGBs line contains Tencel® blended with linen, cotton, polyester or wool. A lot contains Lycra. There are slubbed linen looks; ultra-sheer Tencel/wool blends; sparkling stretch chambrays; and silky touch, semi-lustrous, Teflon®-coated lightweight poplins. One new techno-development is a moisture-moving antibacterial twill in cotton/polypropylene.Two French jacquard weavers handled by Fitzsimmons are Dutel and Romain. Dutel is showing stretch satin jacquards in both large-and small-scale abstract patterns, and optic designs in cotton/polyester or polyester/nylon blends.Romain has lustrous linen/cotton/nylon jacquards with a dry, crisp hand. Other fabrics include linen/ acrylic cloques, crepe satin sheers, lightweight silk/nylon eyelash stripes and a group of acetate/Lycra crocodile-embossed patterns.Fantasy sheers, embellished silks and featherweight cobweb knits are specialties of Paul Dulac. Irregular leaf patterns are embroidered on silk/cotton. Some are tonally shaded, while others have touches of metallic yarns. Other patterns include Greek key motifs, squares and wavy lines.At Bianchini, ultra-fluid fabrics have the look of liquid metal. The hand is slippery and sensuous. There are crisp, noisy, foil-look sheers embossed with crocodile or sunburst patterns. Warp-printed taffeta, white-on-white patterned piqu#44; and supple polyurethane-coated fabrics are other popular looks.The next Premiere Vision will feature fabrics for Fall/Winter 2002/03. It will take place in Paris, October 4-7 at Parc des Expositions. In 2002, the dates for Premiere Vision will be February 20-23 and September 18-20.Expofil Shows Fall 2002Taking a stand at Premiere Vision for the first time, the producers of Expofil, the bi-annual yarn fair held in Paris in June and December, showed Fall/Winter 2002/03 trends.Sylvie Tastemain, Expofil fashion director, said there continues to be a strong desire for luxury and novel products. Garments must be easy to wear, light and comfortable, and easy to maintain. The boundaries between masculine and feminine, and between natural and synthetic are becoming increasingly blurred.There will be 11 new exhibitors, including non-European spinners and fiber producers, at Expofil, June 5-7, at Parc des Expositions. June 2001



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