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Knitting / Apparel

Dow Fiber Solutions Forecasts Trends For Fall/Winter 2009-10

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

Global politics, economics and ecology impact color, fabric and fashion directions for Fall/Winter 2009-10, according to Bengt Jacobsson, Paris-based trend forecaster for Dow Fiber Solutions - Midland-Mich.-based producer of Dow XLA™ stretch fibers. Intellectual, Industrial and Inspirational are themes for his seasonal presentation. More than 70 new conceptual fabrics were shown, made by Dow fabric partners in Europe and Asia. All focused on the benefits of XLA, including comfort, fit, performance, functionality and forward fashion. Knitted and woven fabrics range from ultrasheer, soft-touch and drape; to felted, thick and bulky.

Intellectual, Jacobsson's first trend, shows new ways with tailoring. Jacobsson calls it "nerd chic." The traditional gray flannel suit is updated in an ultrasoft, light, slightly lustrous comfort-stretch flannel. Other fabrics include pin stripes, club stripes, herringbones and tweeds. All look and feel new, and are woven in rescaled patterns and in wool blended with silk, bamboo and XLA. There are white-on-white patterned shirtings in this group. Novelty cords, sateens, lightweight velvets and loose knits are some of the casual fabrics. France-based de Vaudricourt, India-based Raymond Ltd. and India-based Greuter are among the mill partners. There are patinated colors that have an antique book-leather look and dusty pastel shades, along with black and white. Patterns are neat and precise.

Construction and function are key in the Industrial category, with high-tech and innovation going to the limits to create contemporary sportswear fabrics that move. Linear effects, fancy cords and stripes, bonded and quilted fabrics, felted looks, mesh and net, technical surfaces, and sturdy denims reflect a mechanical and industrial mood. Gutsy canvas; rip-stop; exaggerated diagonal weaves; and thick, wooly fleece reversing to smooth cotton are other developments. There are shirtings with metallic glimmer and a look of cold steel that have a soft, slick hand; and knits that contour the body for comfort and fit. Italy-based Loro Piana S.p.A., Japan-based Kurabo Industries Ltd. and France-based Carreman are some of the resources. Colors have an industrial quality with shades of bronze, khaki, petrol and brick accented with cobalt blue, orange and lime.

The Inspirational range has a global ethnic feel. Bohemian luxe or Asian opulence is modern, natural and eco-friendly. There are jacquards, slubbed shantungs, taffetas, satins and discrete patterns. Other fabrics are rustic burlap; compact, thick wool; irregular and uneven weaves; pleated, opaque/sheer or rice-paper-like. Silk, bamboo, viscose and Modal® are blended with XLA. Fabrics are woven and knitted by India-based Arvind Ltd., France-based Bugis and China-based Youngor-Sunrise. Mid-tone and half-bright shades of indigo, turquoise, saffron, clay, pink, coral and plum are plucked from nature.

July/August 2008