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Knitting / Apparel

Trade Shows Are On The Rise

Buyers and sellers spot new trends and resources.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

I n a global marketplace, trade shows increasingly take on the roles of resource centers and trend-information-gathering places for buyers and sellers. “If I’m not here, it’s not the customer I will lose; it’s the customer I will not get,” said one exhibitor at a recent show. Along with exposure, shows can give customers and vendors trend ideas for upcoming collections.

Fall 2007 trends will begin showing in mid-July in New York City at Première Vision Preview New York — formerly named European Preview — a show presenting fabrics from approximately 150 major European textile companies. Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition (TFFE), with about 50 exhibitors, takes place during the same week. Also, Frankfurt-based Messe Frankfurt GmbH, producers of TexWorld in Paris, announced a new joint venture with Austria-based fiber producer Lenzing AG. The Innovation Asia New York show, successfully produced by Lenzing for the past five years, will be integrated into Texworld USA, to be held July 11-13. Approximately 135 exhibitors from around the world are anticipated. Following these events, two surface design shows — Direction and PrintSource New York — will take place in early August.

Textile trade shows move to Paris in September for Première Vision Pluriel and TexWorld. Première Vision Pluriel comprises five separate events all happening at the same time in adjacent locations. High-quality fabrics from more than 850 global resources will be shown at Première Vision. Other components are Expofil for yarns, Indigo for surface design, Le Cuir à Paris for leather and Mod’Amont for fashion accessories.

Spring/Summer 2007 Trends

Reports from the most recent shows put the focus for Spring/Summer 2007 on simplicity, lighter weights, sheen, elegance and naturalness. There is less embellishment than in past seasons; and surfaces tend to be flatter and have a soft, dry hand. Lightweight taffetas, low-luster chintz, crinkly crepons, airy sheer gauzes, monotone jacquards and dressier denims are frequently mentioned. Plain does not mean basic. There are a lot of hidden assets.


Three new developments at Cotton Incorporated, Cary, N.C., take cotton forward as a performance fiber. The focus of Wicking Windows™ is activewear. It is a finishing process that transports moisture to the fabric surface where it spreads out and quickly evaporates. Tough Cotton™ is abrasion-resistant with reduced wrinkling and shrinkage. Storm Denim™ is a water-repellent treatment that is applied to finished garments.

With the demand for rugged bull denim slowing, producers are introducing lighter weights and high-performance denims. Spain-based Tejidos Royo has 5- and 6-ounce denims. Some are coated to give them sheen, water repellency and a high-tech hand. At Rockingham, N.C.-based UCO Fabrics Inc., denim is flatter, cleaner, dressier and lustrous. Seven- and 8-ounce weights are available, along with blends containing Tencel® or bamboo. At Burlington Worldwide, Greensboro, N.C., cotton is blended with Coolmax® for performance.

Germany-based Wilhelm Becker GmbH & Co. KG offers the lightest denim at 3.5 ounces, woven from ring-spun compact cotton. Turkey-based Kipas Textile Group offers denim dyed in pastel colors. Another Turkish firm, Birlik Mensucat A.S., has just opened a separate denim division to produce fabrics styled by Italian designers and woven using US-produced cotton. India-based Gyan Industries offers lightweight embellished denims.

Water-repellent fabrics — featuring no chemical finishes — are tightly woven using high-twist yarns at Italy-based Olmetex S.p.A. France-based Frantissor Créations is selling luxury fabrics in cotton blended with metal, nylon or viscose. Floral, striped jacquard taffeta has a faded, 18th-century look.


Linen fabrics also are becoming softer and lighter. Crepes, gauzes, crinkles, lustered surfaces and metallic touches are popular. Ulster Weavers, Northern Ireland, had a good response to satiny yarn dyes woven of linen/Supima® and linen/paper fiber at recent shows. John England (Textiles) Ltd., also based in Northern Ireland, reports its best sampling fabric is metal-coated, 100-percent linen. Machine washable, water-repellent coated fabrics; lightweight twills; fishnets; and waffles also are currently available.

Italian firms are showing new weaves and treatments with linen. Michele Solbiati Sasil S.p.A. is offering cross-dyed crepe weaves and gauzes that are wash-finished and have a soft, dry hand. Angelo Vasino S.p.A. has iridescent, metal-coated linens; yarn-dyed, striped gauzes; creased linens containing iron to impart memory; and crinkles boldly printed in black and white. One novelty fabric is chemically treated and then washed to create pucker patterns.

At Linea Tessile Italiana S.p.A., there are linen/metal printed sheers that hold a crease; washed, aged effects; and printed satin burn-outs. Ratti S.p.A.’s Braghenti division has shadow-striped linen gauze; shirtings with a soft, dry hand; and washed linens. At Picchi S.p.A. there are laser-cut patterns, crinkled sheers and printed burn-outs. Tessile Toscana has washable double-faced linens that have an aged look, metallic-striped crushed shirtings and enzyme-finished washable mini-checked suitings.


The classic suit is back in fashion with lighter-weight, easy-care fabrics and stretch for comfort. Wilhelm Becker uses compact wool/linen-blend yarns to impart sheen and a silky touch. France-based Isoule Textile offers lighter weights in cotton/viscose blends. Surfaces range from flat to crinkled. Kowa Co. Ltd., Japan, is using long-staple compact cotton yarns for tightly woven fabrics that have a soft, natural hand. Kowa also offers chintz and enzyme finishes.

At Israel-based Polgat Textiles Co. (1960) Ltd., twills, mini-herringbones, sateens and crepes are of note. Some feature stretch yarns. Polgat also offers yarn dyes, piece dyes and double-faced fabrics. This vertically integrated mill is into innovation. Suiting fabrics of 60-percent wool blended with polyester can be machine-washed and -dried. Other suitings are water- and stain-repellent, temperature-regulating using Outlast® technology, speed-dyed and abrasion-resistant.

Three Turkish firms report lighter weights are in demand. Ninety percent of Ozbucak’s line is stretch. The company offers shadow stripes and classic yarn-dyed patterns. Customers are sampling cotton/linen blends. Altinyildiz is showing bamboo blended with linen or wool. There are yarn-dyed checks and stripes. New products contain washable wool, protein finishes and nanotechnology.

BTD Textile Group is offering “Cool Touch” linen featuring a washed look and dry hand. Cotton dobbies with subtle touches of Lurex®, and cotton/wool twills weighing 180 grams per square meter (g/m2) and resembling denim were highlighted. The best seller in this line is a silk-touch sateen of cotton/Lycra®. 

Performance, comfort and elegance are what customers are asking for in knits. Featherweight, luster, silky-touch, lacy and soft fabrics are in style for spring. India-based Maral Overseas Ltd. and Italy-based Marioboselli Jersey S.p.A. are showing seamless technology. Maral is selling lightweight sheers for tees, tops and camis to the Gap and Banana Republic. Silk, cotton, bamboo/cashmere and MicroModal® are going into jerseys, ribs and mélange stripes. Marioboselli is offering all-over laser-cut patterns, laces and burn-outs. One new item in this line is an indigo-dyed knitted denim for garment washing.

Greuter Jersey AG, Switzerland, is knitting ultrafine cottons using 50-gauge machines. Rainbow cottons are a popular new development. Using a treated yarn from Switzerland-based Hermann Bühler AG, tonal and contrast colored patterns can be achieved in one dyebath. For active sportswear, the company is producing temperature-regulating, moisture-management and antibacterial fabrics.

Open crochet work, shiny/dull patterns, novelty stripes, and high/low relief jacquards in happy colors and black and white are some of the highlights at France-based Billon Frères. Paris-based knitter Guigou S.A. has a linen jersey fabric with a washed finish; and light and lustrous, nubbed or lacy linen blended with silk or cotton. There are bamboo knits with a chamois touch, cotton crepes, ottomans and fantasy metallics. A new viscose/nylon yarn is going into lightweight pointelles that are piece-dyed to create a matte/shiny effect.

Sheers at Italy-based Dondi Jersey are open, opaque/transparent or high/low-patterned. Jacketweight jacquards come in animal-skin patterns, nautical stripes, fish or mini-geometrics. Shiny, mini-patterned lace is knitted in cotton/raffia.

Cotton, linen, viscose and blends are woven and knitted into a variety of base cloths by Italy-based Miroglio Group. Mix-and-match monotones; tropical florals in bright or sun-baked colors; soft, romantic florals that look as if they were warp-printed; finely etched and outlined flowers; and abstract linear designs are available. In addition, the company is offering a delicately embroidered silk-blend fabric.

Guest, a division of Italy-based Clerici Tessuto & C. S.p.A., coordinates prints, jacquards and yarn-dyed patterns. Colors for spring are pale and fragile. Summer colors are bright. Prints include bold monotones in black and white, or one color plus white. Crinkled voiles with a washed finish, delicate laces, matelassés and matte/sheen jacquards also are available. Designs include discharge-printed paisleys, upholstery designs, large-scale scarf patterns, blurred abstracts, ethnics and sweet florals.




Printed fabrics from Guest (top), Liberty (middle) and Chaitra (bottom) highlight styles and trends popular for Spring/Summer 2007.

Liberty, England, is currently printing on cotton lawn, jersey, cord and silk crepe de chine. New prints for spring are inspired by world climates and regions. The Temperate Zone features delicate stenciled flowers and paisleys. Wild herb gardens and succulents are Mediterranean favorites. Prairie prints include designs with patchworks, sombreros and ponies. There are Rain Forest botanicals. Mythical World features storybook creatures with fairy circles and mermaid gardens. Optical chevrons, galactic vortexes and dimensional mini-geomerics are in a group called Out of This World.

India-based Chaitra reports abstracts are in greater demand than florals at the moment. Peacock feathers are popular.

New York City-based Symphony Fabrics is showing silk and rayon burn-outs, stretch ottomans, crushed taffeta and fabrics with a lot of pucker.


Silk, cotton, linen and blends are the fibers of choice. There are warp prints, ink-jet prints, and treatments and embellishments that defy copying. Bucol, France, part of the Hermès group, is doing it all. There are softly colored ombrés, dégradés and sheers with fantasy yarns running through them. Warp-printed florals are large in scale. Abstract prints are splattered to resemble fossils or reptile skin. Another direction is bright and fancy, with ink-jet prints in exuberant colors inspired by tropical gardens.

Ratti is showing small cravat-style prints, paisleys and florals in all sizes. Its Rainbow division offers hand-painted romantic florals, graphic flowers and tropical designs. Base fabrics include crepe, chiffon, stretch piqué and glittering Lurex blends. The Ramis division produces prints to coordinate with summer-weight suitings. There are jacquards; fil coupés; and traditional tweeds woven with linen, silk, raffia, cotton or viscose. Touches of luster and snakeskin-printed ribbon yarns are used for novelty.

Jakob Schlaepfer, Switzerland, takes fantasy over the top. It offers handwoven cotton ribbon laces, silk tulle decorated with hand-cut lace, sequined and embroidered jacquards, sequined chintzes, embellished brocades and ink-jet prints in melting colors.

Switzerland-based Weisbrod-Zürrer AG reports interest in its Cocoontec, a new stain-repellent treatment for silk that does not change the fabric’s hand. According to the company, tie manufacturers sampled this fabric heavily. For skirts, Weisbrod-Zürrer introduced jacquards with stretch pleated borders. Other popular fabrics are chintz-finished embroidered linens, warp-printed jacquards and washed finishes.

French lace weaver Solstiss S.A. cites a return to old, worn, aged looks in gold, silver and rust colors. Some lace fabrics are ink-jet printed or feature silicone dot applications with a rubber touch. Narrow laces for trim are sampling well, according to the company.

Kimura, Japan, offers a fabric called Chiffon Petal, which is a crinkled flower that keeps its shape after multiple washings. Other fabrics are layered and burned-out for tonal pattern effect.


Ratti's Ramis division produces fabrics to coordinate with summerweight suitings.

High-Tech Fabric Technologies

C_change™, a waterproof membrane applied to stretch fabrics, is a new fabric from Switzerland-based Schoeller Textil AG. It is water- and windproof, and moisture- and temperataure-balancing. Other fabrics on offer include stretch sheers in blends of nylon/Lycra/metal weighing 70 g/m2.

Burlington Worldwide’s newly launched technical lab is introducing several new products. One uses TrapTek™ technology, which permanently embeds activated carbon, derived from coconut shells, into the fiber and yarns to provide comfort and suppress odor. Blended with nylon or polyester, TrapTek fabrics absorb and evaporate moisture and odors. L.L. Bean is a licensee.

May/June 2006