This week we’ve been in Florence for the 74th edition of knit and yarn trade show, Pitti Filati. Running from the 22-24th January, 103 brands gather to exhibit the latest developments in the textile industry, allowing industry insiders to preview yarn collections for SS15. We were there to check in on the progress of current commercial movements and to uncover fresh direction and innovations. Here’s the pick of our findings!
Pitti’s over-arching theme for the SS15 was ‘Play’, which was broken down into trend stories of Stage Play (mime inspired), Play Glam (rock inspired), Performance Play (a surreal story), Play Time (toy inspired) and Sport Play (body and soul inspired). A visually stimulating trend area set these themes off brilliantly, with the event’s designers working with international knit students to bring the show to life.
A new emphasise has been placed on yarns with stretch properties and Viscose came to the fore as a major player in super-stretchy textiles. A full-needled version provides a stretchy, yet sturdy fabric with many potential fashion uses. With both bodycon and drape knitwear trends having been huge commercial successes in the last two years, this development will breathe new life into their categories.
2. Tape Yarn
Tape yarns enter the stage as a fun update to spring and summer texture. Lightweight and special in quality, these would be a brilliant update to the cropped knitwear we’ve seen sell so well over AW13/14 and backed by designers into SS14. Topshop Unique nodded to this trend in their SS14 collection inspired by island holidaying. If too strong, or costly, on a full garment, tape yarns could provide textural interest when used in a panelled detail.
There’ve been exciting developments in linen fibres, with Flipucci exhibiting their “Grammont” yarn, which is 100% linen, yet is a hairy yarn – a complete new look for the traditional fibre, and one that we see having many uses as brands and retailers enter into new markets and climates.
Linens were reworked to take on more fluid forms – a new handle for the yarn achieved by minimal twisting from Chiavazza. Interesting linens were also created when mixed with cotton and then dyed – the fibres have different dye rates and result in some spectacular irregularities.
With nearly 4,000 products currently online identifying as ‘monochrome’, the good news for retailers is that this trend is going nowhere. The success from SS13 will be built upon during 2014, and by the time SS15 comes round there will be complex and geometric yarn combinations for retailers to engage their customers with.
Topshop’s £47 monochrome quilted sweater came into stock in late September, selling out by early December. It was brought back in early January at full price, but sold out rapidly. Chanel have backed the trend in knit for 2014, and Karl Lagerfeld sure knows a commercial hit when he sees one…
Lustrous fabrics and glossy surfaces are trend hot property right now, selling well for the mass market in trousers and skirts whilst the luxury market is doing well with metallic or shimmering dresses. The shine trend is set to last, given new direction by yarn innovations such as viscose/poly/nylon blends and a “Helix” yarn by Todd & Duncan which is 74% cashmere and 26% two tone metallised Lurex. A representative from Filapucci reported that shine yarns were getting the most interest from show magpies, sorry, attendees.
An increased number of hairy textures and chunky yarns and gauges spells huge potential for knitwear to overlap with outerwear, whilst simultaneously there were light and airy, open stitch developments which can push knit into the summer season. Fine gauge jacquards were a good example of this – a complex and high quality knit, but with hot weather properties. A trans-seasonal approach from the mills exhibiting is refreshing, widening the commercial time frame and purpose for knitted items. Developments in printed knitwear, especially sheer printed, further ramp up knit’s fashion abilities.
Last week we were at Bread & Butter, covering trade show trends in the youth and denim market. Missed that? Catch up here with our Top Brands.