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Firms Spin a Tough Yarn at Filo Fair

Companies turn to new markets and techniques in economic crisis.

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MILAN — Confirming the crisis in the Italian textile sector, which registered a 15.3 percent drop in production during the first half, yarn manufacturers showing at the Filo trade show said business is still difficult.

Despite the worrisome scenario, Filo organizers said they were satisfied with the results of the fair, which ended Oct 11.

“During the two days of the show, we registered a very proactive mood, confirmed by Filo’s closing numbers,” said Filo manager Paolo Monfermoso, highlighting that the number of exhibitors increased to more than 80 this season from 72 the previous show. “As usual, we also registered the presence of high-qualified buyers, with a very clear vision.”

Marco Dotto, Botto Poala marketing sales area director, said, “The overall situation is pretty difficult, even if the higher segment of the market is still doing well and it seems that luxury companies haven’t been hit by the crisis. The middle segment is the one suffering more from both the general slowdown in Europe and the competition coming from Far East-based companies.”

At Filo, Botto Poala presented a wide, summery collection of linen and silk yarns with varied finishings, from fluid and shiny to more rustic effects. To complete its offer, the company showcased the “Black Tie” range, consisting of light wool yarns featuring different twisting for an elegant, sleek look.

“We have recently attended a trade show in Shanghai to understand how that kind of market could perceive our products,” said Laura Mauri, commercial manager at Filatura Pettinata Luisa 1966 Srl. “Even if it’s hard, as a niche company we could focus on very specific yarns that Chinese mills don’t produce. This is not a great period. Last season was difficult and even if textile companies are currently showing a bigger attention to our products, I don’t know how much this interest will turn into effective purchases.”

For spring 2014, the company, located in the Biella area, focused on natural fibers for high-end linen, cotton and silk yarns. To attract buyers’ attention, Filatura Pettinata Luisa 1966 also introduced printed cotton yarns featuring geometric motifs in a vivid color palette, ranging from a bold combination of turquoise, purple and lilac, to a more soft gray and pale pink mix.

“The processing technique to obtain this kind of yarn is extremely difficult and accounts for 80 percent of the final cost of the product, which is around 96 euros [$125 at current exchange] per kilo,” Luisa said.

“The market is still suffering and there is a huge competition on low prices, but we didn’t revise our price list to get more orders,” said Fil-3 sales manager Rossella Magnolfi.

The Prato, Tuscany-based company presented its innovative “cleaned” linen, produced with a special machine that removes the fibers’ imperfections, making the yarn clean and smooth.

Worsted wool spinner Italfil also focused on special finishing, showcasing its “treated wool” — coarse wool yarns are treated with a process to remove flakes from fibers. Fabrics made with these special yarns must be subjected to an additional treatment to stabilize the products.

“Italy is performing badly, while Northern Europe is holding up,” said the Biella-based company’s sales officer Federico Gabbi. “The crisis in Italy has forced families to reduce their budgets and cut those expenses that are not extremely necessary, such as those for garments.”

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