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Environmental Yarns Show Strength at Filo Fair

Yarn manufacturers exhibiting summer 2010 collections at Filo looked to survive the economic malaise.

MILAN — Yarn manufacturers exhibiting summer 2010 collections at Filo looked to survive the economic malaise by placing a heavy emphasis on organic, recyclable and novelty yarns.

Visitor attendance was up 8 percent at the fair, which ended a two-day run Oct. 23, and exhibitor numbers increased by 12 percent. But Paolo Monfermoso, managing director of Filo, said the fair’s future plans were to “retain Filo’s niche heritage and above all, its quality.”

Metallic yarns in matte shades were a key look for many of the exhibitors. At Filatura di Pollone, sales manager Massimo Colombo said “purple is dominating the spring palette, with added filaments to give the yarns a brighter effect.

“Anything heavy, chunky or coarse is not popular in the market,” Colombo said. “Seasonless yarns are what the market is demanding. Cashmere and cotton mixes that can be worn both in summer and winter” were sought after by buyers.

Colombo stressed that selling strategies had to adapt in light of the worsening global economy.

“It’s a question of what we as a company can do for the customer and not simply what we consider is right for the market,” he said. “It seems obvious but it’s a difficult learning curve and requires a lot of energy, time and importantly an open mind.”

Filati Maclodio, a wholesale distributor of dyed yarns, exhibited Bioplus, a collection of organic cotton yarns with a detailed certification. However, Mauro Caviggioli, sales manager, said buyers are becoming increasingly skeptical of environmental claims.

“Buyers are questioning why there are so many organic yarns on the market and it’s raising suspicions,” said Caviggioli, adding that “customer assurance is vital and there needs to be better regulation.”

Biella-based Marchi & Fildi offered a new collection dubbed Ecotech, a certified organic yarn composed of recycled cotton and new fibers such as acrylic, bamboo and cotton. The yarn is certified by the European Oeko-tex standard ensuring that health-harming chemical substances are eliminated during production. Centrocot, which guarantees the certified traceability of employed raw materials, was also used.

Innovation remained uppermost in exhibitor’s minds, according to Giovanni Tessari, marketing and communications manager from Lurex.

“Competition from new markets continues to get stronger, especially from the Middle East,” said Tessari. “We are focusing on more technical yarns so customers can find something unique such as our very thin range of yarns for next-to-the-skin applications.”