By  on March 16, 2010

LOS ANGELES — The latest edition of the GlobalTex textile fair marked the show’s first anniversary and saw designers and manufacturers gravitating toward stretch, texture and cutouts for spring.

GlobalTex, which ended a three-day run March 4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, drew 135 exhibitors, marking a slight increase from the 125 the show tallied at its debut last April.

Market Center Management Co., which organizes the show, recruited a number of foreign mills eager to expand their businesses on the West Coast, particularly with the independent designers in contemporary sportswear and premium denim. Among those making their debut in Los Angeles were England’s Acorn Conceptual Textiles, Turkey’s Bossa and Portuguese firms Teviz and Lemar. Vendors were able to meet with designers such as Mik Serfontaine, Alex Caugant of Vintage Laundry and Pegah Anvarian.

“The trick for us is to make a collection where we touch everybody — the tailored people, the casual people,” said Okan Toklucu, a sales representative for Bossa, which traditionally exhibits at Première Vision. “We try to have a variety.”

Among the fabrics Bossa featured were a single-wash rinse cotton woven with indigo yarn and washed cotton, priced between $4.50 and $6 a yard. The mill also received a positive response for ultrastretchy cotton and a polyester, viscose and Lycra spandex blend that could be cut into leggings.

Stretch was an important performance attribute for many designers who were looking to capitalize on the popularity of jeans leggings. Stretch Modal and organic cotton blended with Lycra did well for India’s Balavigna Weaving Mills. Denimerica said women’s denim makers liked indigo sateen woven with spandex that offered 30 percent elasticity.

Cauvery Clothing Co., which specializes in men’s shirting and trousers, tried to cater to small companies that buy low quantities. For instance, its minimum is 300 meters for stock fabrics costing between $1.80 and $3 a meter.

Textured textiles were a boon for Acorn Conceptual Textiles, which offered design concepts for embellishments and knits for between $600 and $650. Acorn’s weblike knits attracted Anvarian, who’s launching a leather and knit line called Archive001 this fall.

“It’s about 3-D texture,” Anvarian said, pointing to a dove gray knit tank riddled with holes and layered with tiered ruffles at Acorn’s booth. “It’s about tailored open knits rather than being shredded all over the place.”

Black and white gained momentum as popular colors, although bright tints and floral patterns were spring standbys. The ubiquitous animal print was updated in a mélange of geometric shapes, zebra stripes and cheetah spots by Los Angeles’ EBI Fabrics Corp. Trims were elaborate, as seen in the tassels and chain metal that were in big demand at Enkay Exports Ltd. from India.

Pricing remained a concern for designers and manufacturers who have been regaining their footing in a shaky economy. Mills that were able to provide quality and innovation convinced some buyers to part with their money.

England’s Strella Fabrics Ltd. twisted organza into florets on tulle, but cost $323 a meter. In addition, one of Solstiss’ most popular item was its priciest — ivory lace embellished with silk petals and beads in a design resembling a flowering cherry blossom branch, for $470 a yard.

Italy’s Miroglio tried to find a compromise between high European quality and inexpensive Asian costs by partnering with Chinese mills. Some of Miroglio’s materials produced in China included fake suede enhanced with laser cutouts for $6 a yard, and lightweight denim-like fabric made of viscose and Spandex, Lyocell and cotton, or cotton and polyester, with an average price of $4.50 a yard.

Shifting European know-how to Asia appealed to Arlene Nilsson, the Los Angeles-based designer of an environmentally friendly brand called The Hemptress. Using with hemp, recycled leather and silk blends, she strives to work with suppliers from China, South Korea and Japan because it won’t take as much fuel to ship their materials to her factory in China.

“Being eco-friendly, you have to think about travel because of the carbon footprint,” she said. “If I see a really great fabric from France, I probably won’t use it because my factory is in China.”

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