By  on September 13, 1994

NEW YORK -- Aiming to display the versatility of cashmere knits, Todd & Duncan Ltd. brought an array of blends and textures to its recent presentation here of yarns for fall 1995.

The presentation at the Fashion Institute of Technology marked the second year the spinner of both cashmere and lambswool, based in Kinross, Scotland, has held such an event here. There were three sessions, attended by a total of 125 designers, knitwear manufacturers and retailers. Yarns, samples of garments, a video and slides helped commentator Marie-Christine Vianny, consultant for Todd & Duncan, tell the story.

A long-hair cashmere, mohair and wool chenille for a fur look and a glossy cashmere and silk for jerseys were some of the attention-getters.

"Todd & Duncan has a new visage for its yarns, and the mood is groomed, grown-up, flexible and upbeat," said Vianny. "Our aim is to demonstrate a greater choice in yarn innovation and color manipulation to meet what the cashmere market wants -- apart from lower prices."

Vianny said the news is that classic cashmere has been transformed and has become a chenille or has been twisted with other fibers, such as nylon, to give the yarn a high-tech shimmer that will be important for next fall. Lambswool, too, has been updated, blended with cashmere.

"Lambswool has moved away from the well-trodden path of sporty classic looks into a more forward, more sophisticated end use by using it within one knitted fabric with cashmere," Vianny said. She noted that lambswool is also particularly appropriate for the felted look that's expected to be another key idea for fall.

Another texture is chenette, "to give an added dimension to surface effects in knitwear," she said, showing yarns of all-cashmere and blends.

One of the strong color stories was featured in a video segment entitled "Fantastic Fantasy," playing up such bright shades as orange, pink and turquoise.

Later, when asked about the outlook for fall 1995 cashmere business, Brian Walbank, sales director of Todd & Duncan, said he was optimistic "but we're all concerned about the availability and good quality of the raw material and price increases."Prices have already gone up 25 percent [this summer] and there could be another 10 to 15 percent price increase. But with the infrastructure business that we've got, we're confident we'll get a good supply of 100 percent cashmere."

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