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Knitting / Apparel

Springtime In Paris

Apparel fabric buying returns to Europe.

Virginia S. Borland, New York Correspondent

D espite the lagging economy, sample orders for many recent Paris apparel textile trade show exhibitors were ahead of last year. Business is coming back to Europe. The trend is to order less, buy more frequently and demand faster deliveries - something not available from Asian mills. And buyers looking for innovation and creativity found a lot of it at the shows.

Fiber producers, yarn spinners, weavers, knitters and finishers all offered new developments and treatments that buyers wanted. Generally, fluid, sheer, supple, silky-touch fabrics are favorites for Spring/Summer 2010. Some have crinkled surfaces; others, a papery touch. Open-work comes via knit stitch, loose weave or laser cut. Luster, shine and metallic decoration are abundant.

Performance fabrics transport and evaporate moisture, are antibacterial and ultraviolet-protective, and provide thermal comfort. Eco-friendliness is a given, with cotton, linen and silk reported to be fibers of choice, along with recycled polyester and a bio-based nylon as activewear favorites. Natural dyestuffs and low-impact finishing treatments are on the rise.

Fabric from Bucol, shown at Première Vision

Cary, N.C.-based Cotton Incorporated, an exhibitor at Première Vision and Texworld, showed development techniques and fabrics, along with Fall/Winter 2010-11 color direction. Fabrics shown included knits with a dry, crisp hand; fluid 36-gauge single knits, hairless, singed, plied yarns; and piece-dyed, discharge-printed denim. 

Supima, Phoenix, showed fabrics and apparel brands, and garments created by young, emerging designers. Of note was a wedding dress created in Supima® cotton shirting fabrics by Cotonificio Albini S.p.A., Italy.

Lenzing Fibers, Austria, focused on new fiber variant ProModal®, Tencel® in denim and the environment. Lenzing is working with DyStar Textilfarben GmbH & Co. Deutschland KG, Germany, to develop eco-friendly ways to use and reuse dyestuff.

At Première Vision, Masters of Linen, Paris, showed a collection of innovative fabrics called Linen Dream Lab. Fabric samples were executed by European knitters and weavers. Libeco Lagae S.A., Belgium, showed a linen/paper-blend dense and loose check. Also seen were a micro textured jacquard with a dry hand and fluid drape from Crespi, Italy; camouflage-patterned devoré of linen/silk that has mechanical softening by Achille Pinto, Italy; soft, ultrafine double voile by Coltex Retail Group, the Netherlands; broken geometric damask by Linea Tessile Italiana, Italy; and a 3-D prism-like knit in yarns from Linificio E Canapificio, Italy.

Fabric from Mantero Seta S.p.A., shown at Première Vision

 Exhibitors at Expofil, the yarn segment of Première Vision Pluriel, presented a lot of newness. Much of the focus was on yarns for Fall/Winter 2010/11 and future developments.

Sofila, France, introduced its greenfil® yarn, made of Rilsan® nylon produced from oil extracted from castor beans. Sofila is using natural dyes produced by Rubia Pigmenta Naturalia, the Netherlands. Hosiery, lace, swimwear and medical products makers have shown interest.

France-based Safilin introduced ultrafine-count linen yarns. A lot are going to knitters, including Bel Maille and Bugis, both based in France, and Silanco S.p.A, Italy. Bel Maille reported excellent reaction to its linen single jersey and a linen/cotton piqué. Bugis is blending linen with cotton or Tencel. Fabrics include piqué stitches, ribs and jersey with a slight nub.

Techno yarns at Tearfil, Portugal, are low-pill and antibacterial. A new yarn spun of Trevira® is being used in double cloths for the next-to-skin inner layer. For Winter 2010, Tearfil has new cashmere/silk yarns.

Hermann Bühler, Switzerland, reported special interest in TransDRY™ and Rainbow yarns. Recently, it introduced an extensive range of ultrafine organic Supima cotton yarns. Another new product is Royal Spun, a MicroModal® yarn with improved anti-pilling.

New at Kurabo Industries Ltd., Japan, is Qwon yarn irradiated to bind deodorizing agents, producing a long-lasting effect. The yarn absorbs moisture inside clothing to generate heat and warm the body. Mitsubishi, Japan, showed superfine acrylic yarns with antistatic, anti-pilling and heat-generating properties. Other yarns resemble fur.

ProModal spinner Karsu Tekstil, Turkey, is showing cellulosic yarns as well as cashmere and wool blends. There are fine-count and anti-pill yarns. Sampaio, Portugal, has ultralight ProModal/spandex piqué and single knits.

One of the most crowded stands was Rubia, whose current spectrum of naturally dyed colors ranges from pale pinks and oranges to deep reds and browns. Rubia's dyes are powder extracts from Rubia tinctorum roots grown on its own farm. Soon to be introduced are yellows and blues. Crespi and Italy-based Marioboselli Group are using Rubia dyes.

Fabric from Ratti S.p.A., shown at Première Vision

Première Vision Best Sellers
At Crespi, linens have a paper touch, are gold-foil-coated or have pearly finishes. Marioboselli has linen/Lycra® knits and heavy jacket weights for menswear.

 Libeco Lagae is selling naturally dyed linen. Popular are glazed linens washed to give them a soft hand, linen gauze and summer tweeds.

Prints tend to be large and bold, blurred and romantic, abstract, outlined or graphic. Continuing are skins, small shirting florals, dots and paisleys. Print bases at Josef Otten GmbH & Co., Austria, are heavy cotton/silk blends, seersucker, polyester sateen, heavy linens, silk chiffon and viscose crepe. There are blurred florals, abstracts and mono-colored flowers outlined in white.

Miroglio Group, Italy, has spectacular dramatic flowers, sunburst stripes, animals in their natural habitat and enormous borders. Italian printer Friulprint's line, created by five young British-schooled designers, ranges from colorful abstract florals to architectural designs.

Silk producer Ratti S.p.A., Italy, has sophisticated fabrics with dimensional effects, transparent foil coatings, prints with a faded look, bleeding watery florals and new paisleys. Best seller at R. Allegri & Filli S.r.l., Italy, is a color-reverse, crinkled-surface taffeta.

Bucol, France, showed an elegant line with prints that are splattered, melting, blurred or paintbrush-stroked. Colors are subtle.

Jacquard weaver Stephen Walters & Sons Ltd., England, showed handwoven effects, understated textures and patterns, touches of luster or metal and soft mélange colors.

Fantasy knits at Jackytex S.p.A., Italy, are light and liquid, and include fringe, chenille, shiny printed laminates and double gauzes. Knits at Texdam, Spain, are crinkled, puckered or open; and include eyelet embroideries, diagonal stripes and placed patterns.

Techno specialist Mectex S.p.A. produces all of its fabrics in Italy. Nylon stretch cloqué and ultra-sheer taffeta with a soft or crisp hand were pointed out. Performance features include bistretch, moisture transport/absorbency, antibacterial function, and flame retardation.

Komatsu Seiren Co. Ltd., Japan, showed a 7-denier, 11-grams-per-square-meter transparent woven polyester fabric with reflective luster.

At Texworld, Rieter Machine Works, Switzerland, presented possibilities available using its textile machinery. Fabrics and garments on display were created using yarns spun on new ComforJet® equipment.

Many Texworld exhibitors are vertical manufacturers. Many are also garment manufacturers. Nishat Mills Ltd., Pakistan, sells stretch denim woven with Invista T400® elastic fiber. There are soft sugar finishes.

Techno finishes at Alok Industries, India, offer soil-release, antibacterial and insect-repellent properties on cotton/silk knits, fine yarn-dyed dobbies and herringbone shirtings that have been gas-finished. Some fabrics are knitted or woven of organic cotton.

At Bordo Tekstil, Turkey, organic and Pima cottons, linen and bamboo are fibers of choice. Fabrics include silky-touch twills; jacquard interlocks; and jersey for T-shirts, dresses and intimates.

Hangzhou Zhongsang, China, a dyer and finisher of casual and outerwear fabrics, is selling ottomans, twills and poplins. China-based Jiangsu Textile Industry (Group) Import & Export Co. Ltd. showed jacquards, piqués, interlocks, fleeces and basket textures knitted with cotton/spandex, Modal, Tencel, bamboo viscose and polyester.

May/June 2009