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Knitting / Apparel

NYC Fabric Shows

European Preview, TFFE and Innovation Asia presented apparel fabrics from established firms, as well as many first-time exhibitors.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

NYC Fabric Shows European Preview, TFFE and Innovation Asia presented apparel fabrics from established firms, as well as many first-time exhibitors.Despite a lackluster economy, apparel fabric shows in New York City continue to draw record numbers of serious buyers. The longest-running and most successful of these, European Preview, is organized by the France-based producers of Premiere Vision. At the latest event, 123 fabric companies from nine European countries showed their Fall/Winter 2004-05 preview collections to more than 3,000 buyers. This season, there were 16 first-time exhibitors, including 10 from Italy.At Moda In, the Italian Trade Commission invited the fashion trade to an audiovisual presentation of colors, fabrics and pattern ideas that will be presented in Milan this month.A majority of the 50 firms that exhibited at the Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition (TFFE) are vertically integrated. This event, now in its second year, is sponsored by the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB).Innovation Asia, sponsored by Tencel Ltd., England, featured fabrics from 22 companies. Along with fabrics from China, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, there were five collections from India.European PreviewDespite concerns regarding the exchange rate of the dollar to the euro, the economic climate did not affect the quantity and quality of visitors shopping at European Preview. There will always be a market for creativity and quality, said Daniel Faure, the shows chairman.Gera Gallico, head of France-based Billon Frs New York City office, said that on the first day of the show, 53 customers came to its booth, and more than half were new buyers. We have had a 44-percent growth in sales so far this year, she said. There is a lot of novelty in our line, and novelty is what is selling. Jacquard knits in small, shiny/dull patterns; opaque/sheer matelasswith touches of shine; crinkled popcorn-stitch stretch knits; ribbon effects; velvet ribs; and chamois with punched-out open work are some of its best sellers.Switzerland-based Weisbrod Zuerrer AG showed multicolored, abstract brocades in acetate/polyester/wool blends. The fabrics shown were flat, but nubs, glitter, eyelash yarns for a shaggy look, and thick-and-thin yarns gave them texture. Silk printer Mantero, Italy, showed ethnic prints with a nomad look on chiffon and georgette. There were tie-dyed corduroys, silk jacquards woven on printed warps, vintage patterns printed on rustic cotton and overdyed in stone colors, and large-scale patchwork designs in tonal colors flocked on chiffon.New York City-based Fitzsimmons Fabrics Ltd. was at the show representing French firms Soci Nouvelle Bianchini Ferier and Europe de Tissage (EDT). At Bianchini, there were hand-painted silk chiffons done in huge swirling and splattery designs, giant plaids, and blurred stripes on taffeta overprinted with delicately drawn swirls. EDTs Armaline Division showed knitting fleece of 100-percent silk, flocked net, quilted satins, double-faced jacquards, water-repellent ultra-lightweight taffetas, and gray-and-black stripe and jacquard coordinates.Dianne Beaudry, head designer for GarfieldandMarks, Edison, N.J., was looking for low-wool-content fabrics. We sell our related separates to a lot of stores in Texas and California, she said. Colorful novelty jacquards sell well for us. She mentioned Germany-based Wilhelm Becker for techno-wools. Worsteds with natural stretch; cashmere stretch corduroy; embossed wool; printed stretch worsteds; and easy-care, climatic and antibacterial fabrics are its specialties.Thomas Brochier, head of North American sales for France-based De Cathalo S.A., noted that all of his best customers came to the show. Only a small part of the Fall line was ready, but what was shown was a departure from the norm for this firm. Polyester-coated fleece, wool/nylon-coated felt and a double-woven fabric of wool/Lycra® with a square tucked pattern are some new items.Ottavio Crotti S.r.l., Italy, showed a lot of novelty along with the classics for which it is known. Double-faced cashmere, selling at $90 per meter, is the top of its line. There were cashmere/cotton blends, stretch cashmere, wool/Lycra fabrics and double-faced crepes. Some of the new fabrics shown by Scottish wool weaver Robert Noble were small, textured, dimensional checks that look as if they were knitted. Others were striped coatings with a vintage quality. There was a lot of texture, along with brushed surfaces for an ultra-soft hand. Designer Gill Cable said color is selling. There is a strong black-and-white story, with touches of colors that glow, she said. Locharron, Scotland, showed novelty in addition to its traditional woolens. Crinkled surfaces, achieved through differential shrinkage, were woven in wool/cotton blends. Oversized classics were flat and slightly felted. Decoration yarns added dimension and sparkle. Ulster Weavers, Northern Ireland, long noted for quality linens, has added wool to its trans-seasonal line. There were washed linens with mohair bouclarns running through them. Some had a touch of metallic. There were rugged textures woven in blends of linen, wool, mohair and lamWaterproof linens were backed with a breathable membrane. Water-repellent fabrics were Teflon-coated.At France-based Philea Textiles booth, New York agent Francesca De Vito pointed out cotton/nylon sheer and opaque stripes woven with printed yarns, raffia stretch, matte jersey, viscose/nylon/spandex, and stretch satin-backed crepe. Pasarela S.L., Spain, sells novelty woven polyester jacquards. There were linear designs, overprinted pin stripes, optical graphic designs, and prints inspired by the Op Art of the 1970s.Corduroy Is BackIn the sportswear sector, corduroy sales are strong. At CordandVelveton GmbH, Germany, pin wales are selling to womenswear, and high/low corduroy is going into mens jackets. Weft-stretch corduroy, bicolored piece-dyed and washed vintage styles were popular.Uco Textiles, Belgium, continues to create new ways with denim. It was shown coated, ribbed and color-washed. There were classic narrow stripes; herringbone piece-dyed weaves; color-washed, and coated and washed denims with a soft hand.Switzerland-based Schoeller Textil AG has reinvented its self-cleaning NanoSphere® technology. Along with ketchup, ink or blood stains or perspiration odor, it now repels grease and oil stains. The fabric is easy-care, and if the spilled substance does not run off, it usually will rinse off with water. New applications are expected for Fall/Winter 2004-05. Prints Are SellingPrinted fabrics are beginning to pick up. Frank Iovino, who heads the New York office of Miroglio, Italy, said, We have had more calls within the last few weeks, especially from the juniors market. Printed knits are especially hot. They offer comfort and drape. Fluid, shiny viscose/elastane knits were especially in demand. At Komar et Cie, France, stretch satin; stretch shirtings in blends of viscose, nylon and spandex; novelty knits; and taffeta were popular base cloths. Geometrics, optics and Art Deco were also in demand. At France-based Chaine et Trame S.A., New York agent Ronald Sheridan said most buyers at the show were still looking for Summer fill-ins. Printed jersey of viscose/spandex is its current best seller.Designer Ilde Marshall was looking for prints and younger styles for her missy customers at La Industrial Sedera S.A., Spain. Agent Jim Molina, Texappeal, showed her tonal jacquards with a low wool content. There were overprinted matte/shine acetate/viscose jacquards, overprinted glitter matelass#44; classic patterned jacquards woven with chenille yarns, printed silk crepon coordinated with viscose satin, and rayon/Lycra printed knits. Color ForecastsBeryl Gibson, consultant to the British Wool Textile Corp. and a member of the trend committee for Premiere Vision, and Angelo Uslenghi, an Italian consultant who presents color and fabric trends for Moda In, showed color and fabric trends for Fall/Winter 2004-05. Gibson showed a Premiere Vision color card on a black background to highlight some of the vivid shades. A lot of the colors were lustrous or metallic. There was a light range with delicate powdery tones. Brights were energetic and were suggested to highlight or embellish fabrics. There were two white shades one is optical and the other is soft and creamy.Fabrics Gibson noted included compact, tight weaves. Dimensional weaves and graphic designs were in a group that featured twills, stretch corduroys and Art Deco prints. There were fine and smooth surfaces, classic tailored stretch fabrics, elaborate jacquards, grid designs and printed laces. Contrast and sheen were stressed.Gibson and Uslenghi both mentioned wool used in unusual ways. Uslenghi showed it blended with viscose or cotton in boucland tweeds. He showed double melton and boiled jersey that can be embossed. Tapestry damask, William Morris-styled floral prints, Art Deco, enormous stenciled floral bouquets and flocked florals that have a fur touch were mentioned.Uslenghi showed colors used tonally and with light or bright contrast. There was a group of warm chestnut browns combined with winter white, greened grays, brick and soft coral. Darks were combined with neutrals and accented with opaque and transparent bright shades. In a group called Firm, there were woodsy browns, greens and bordeaux shown with soft blues and violets.Fabrics From TurkeyAttendance was up 50 percent at TFFE. Of the nearly 1,600 visitors, 588 were first-time attendees. One exhibitor explained that Turkish fabrics are priced higher than Asian fabrics but lower than European, and are of better quality than what is coming from the Far East.Bossa, a division of the Sabanci Group, showed fabrics from three separate sectors. In its denim and corduroy group, yarn-dyed stretch corduroys chemically washed to give them a stone look and soft hand were new. There were double-faced corduroys, indigo dyes, ribless styles, and fancy wales.
Fifty firms exhibited at the recent TFFE.In the casual sportswear line, Bossa had classic stripes, brushed flannels, double-faced fabrics reversing from twill to plaid, stretch satin weaves, dobbies, micro-structures and rustic looks. Another area was wool blends. Most of the line sells to the womenswear market, but it has a traditional menswear look. Wool was blended with polyester, viscose and Lycra.There was stretch fleece, velour and French terry at Gulle Tekstil San AS. Most of the fabrics in this line were knitted with spandex.Another knitter, Sucuka, sells to activewear and lingerie markets. It is selling antibacterial and thermo-regulating fabrics that are lightweight, soft, slippery and shiny. There were metallic optical prints and flocking.Ozbucaks line of all-seasons sportswear includes twills, gabardines, herringbones and coverts, pin stripes and glen checks. Most of the fabrics were woven in blends of polyester, viscose and Lycra. They were washable and wrinkle-resistant. At Guney-Polgat, a lot goes into finishing. Basic twills are available with polished, brushed or regular finishes. There were a lot of double-faced fabrics, yarn-dyes and novelty weaves.Confetti Textile was selling printed satins, crepes and twills. There were burn-outs, flocked patterns and crinkles. New designs included jungle looks and geometrics with flowers. There were silk, viscose and linen in this line. Another printer, Pala, showed monochromatic geometrics that had a feeling of movement. There were swirling opticals, blurred florals and animal-skin patterns printed on rayon satins, crepes, georgettes and bottomweight cotton twills. At Yunisan, there were worsted suitings of 100-percent wool, and wool blended with polyester and Lycra. Weights ranged from 180 to 360 grams per square meter.Innovation AsiaEllen Flynn, vice president, marketing, Tencel, New York City, said 350 buyers came the first day of this three-day event to look at fabrics. Travel restrictions imposed on Japanese travelers because of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) kept them away from New York. However, many of their fabrics will be on display at Tencels Fabric Library in New York City.A lot of the Asian firms offer full garment packages. China silk manufacturer Wujiang Silk I/E Co. Ltd. showed blends of Tencel® with silk or linen in woven and knitted fabrics. The company has capacity to produce 1 million yards of fabric and 500,000 garments monthly.Dainong Corp., Korea, knits and weaves Tencel blended with wool and polyester for casualwear markets. India-based R.J. Knitwears Pvt. Ltd. was a first-time exhibitor at this show. Its customers include Victorias Secret and DKNY. Polos and T-shirts for men and women and intimate apparel are its specialties.The next edition of European Preview will take place Jan. 21-22, 2004, with early collections for Spring/Summer 2005. Spring/Summer 2005 lines can be seen in Paris at Premiere Vision, Feb. 25-28, 2004.

September 2003