Surface Interest, Texture on Tap for Spring '04

— April 01, 2003

Surface interest was the news for spring 2004 fabrics at the European PreView textile show this past January in New York. From weave effects to dimensional woven jacquards, eye-catching textures abounded.

Colors featured for the season included a group of reds with creamy neutrals and a group of blues and grays. Slightly toned-down acidic colors such as green, orange, yellow and turquoise were especially popular, and the darks were intense shades that looked burnished and dusty.

Finishing techniques were used on all kinds of fabrics to change the hand or the look. At Ottavio Crotti SRL (Italy), linen/wool/Lycra spandex herringbones and stripes with a new water-resistant silicone finish were on display. The finish gives some of the wool/Lycra fabrics a silky feel.

At UCO Sportswear (Belgium), sales manager Johan Van Den Heede noted denims are lighter weight, cleaner and more dressed up with herringbones, pin stripes and narrow cord stripes that almost look like corduroy. Colored denim is important - pale sage, khakis and bleached-down blue with a touch of green.

At Olmetex SPA (Italy), Luca Breschi, U.S. export manager, showed unusual Teflon-coated outerwear and sportswear fabrics. The fabrics are made with a special silk yarn mixed with polyester microfiber that is so fine, a garment can be folded into a "cigarette pocket" without creasing. Crushed silk sheers had a paper-like hand, while crushed satin was embellished with metallic overprint for a tone-on-tone look.

Libeco Lagae (Belgium) showed CarefreeZ finish for linen. The linen is frozen at 0 degrees Celsius with a liquid to make it softer, machine washable and tumble dryable. Ulster Weavers (U.K.) also featured a new finish for linen designed to offer a soft hand - Tumble Soft Relax (TSR). Linen burnouts were also on display. To create these fabrics, linen is woven with wool, and then the wool is burned out to create stripes and checks.

Prints, which starred at the recent couture shows in Paris, will be important for spring '04. Printed satins were highlighted at European PreView. At Komar (France), Pucci- and Asian-influenced designs were shown on textured jacquards and satin. Luciana Sikula, creative director of Miroglio Textiles USA Ltd. (Italy), reported several print directions, including variations on spots and stripes, the Asian influence and romantic and vintage florals, especially '50s pop art florals.

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