By  on November 7, 2006

MILAN — Yarn manufacturers exhibiting collections for the summer 2008 season at Filo last month were regaining confidence and momentum as buyers hunted for higher quality and more special products.

The 26th edition of Filo, under new management by the Biellese Industrial Union, ran Oct. 25 and 26 at the Centro Congressi Stelline here and saw manufacturers showing natural yarns woven into micro-fineness for summer. The technical yarn fair's exhibitors grew to 62 from 55 in the previous edition and visitors increased 19 percent to 2,537.

"This fair is considered niche, but it is doing extraordinarily well," said Carlo Boselli, managing director of MarioBoselli Yarns. "All the exhibitors here are specialized and I see a return of clients searching for that."

Andrea Ongetta, president of the Treviso-based firm Ongetta, also recognized the resurgence of European mills.

"Things are going well because the Italian textile industry has taken back some of the ground it lost to the Middle East," Ongetta said. "It's a good moment now and it's shaping up to be a good 2007."

She added that the mill expected 2006 sales to be up 20 percent from the $48 million generated in 2005.

Most manufacturers worked on variations of ultrafine natural yarns like silk, cotton and bamboo, using new tauten techniques in the weft. Soft, slippery and dry hands were used to finish the yarns.

Iafil led the pack on yarn fineness. The company showed an ultrafine cotton it named Finest 180/2. When spun into fabric, the cotton resembled a gossamer-like organza silk.

"This is the finest thing we have ever done and I'd say it's finer than silk. We mercerized it to give it a glossy finish — you can't mercerize silk," said Ales Rigamonti, Iafil's product manager.

Rigamonti said the cotton, which is priced at 86 euros, or about $110, a kilo, was likely to be used for bridal and couture garments.

Iafil also developed a yarn dubbed Sotto Sopra with a hidden color in the center of the thread. When woven into fabric, Sotto Sopra reveals its center color in any tailor-made design. Iafil showed it in a Prince of Wales check. Rigamonti said clients could customize colors in fabric made of Sotto Sopra yarn in the washing process.

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