As designers, fabric buyers and merchandisers converge on the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York this week for Texworld, Apparel Sourcing and Avantprint as well as Première Vision at Pier 94, buyers are looking for products that stand out and meet various end-user demands that include more sustainably produced garments, improved fit and comfort. There’s also a demand for higher-quality fabrics as well as novelty knits — and products that can be made to meet the needs of fast fashion.
There’s also the ongoing growth of ath-leisure and activewear, which places an emphasis on textile innovation. Fit, strength, stretch and durability are some of the desired attributes in this segment. Also top of mind is how to meet the Millennial-driven desire for organics as well as products that are not only made sustainably but ethically as well.
Color and fashion trends will also be sought after. And the ability to reduce lead times, as well. Speed to market is becoming increasingly more important thanks to fast fashion as well as consumers’ preference to buy in season. Trade issues are also of concern as the impact of looming policies from President Trump continue to be weighed. Increases in the cost of certain raw materials — including wool — are expected to impact pricing, and brands are concerned about how consumers will react.
It’s complicated, and buyers are feeling the pressure of an end-user market that is forcing retail and apparel to transform itself. Here, WWD presents vignettes of just a few of the exhibitors presenting at these trade shows, and how they’re positioning themselves in the current market to meet these complex demands as well as their perspective on trends.
At Cap Yarns LLC, the company produces ring spun yarns for knits and wovens. The firm uses cotton, polyester, rayon, wool, nylon, flax, acrylic, modacrylic and recycled fibers. Yarn features include triblend, heathers, nubs, slubs, mélange mock twist and custom blends.
Andy Long, vice president of sales and marketing at Cap Yarns, said they “continue to see ‘effect’ as an important trend in knit apparel. Our customers are looking for both physical and visual effects. Cap Yarns has added capabilities to help satisfy these demands with the addition of injection, siro and siro slub to go along with our other specialty nub, slub, mock twist and multifiber blended yarns.”
For Texollini, investments were also made to meet changing market demands. The company is a vertically integrated textile mill based in Long Beach, Calif. Texollini has added new equipment to their factory and invests heavily in research and development. The firm’s 250,000-square-foot facility is one of the largest circular knitting mills in the U.S.
By leveraging various technologies, the company is able to serve the military, medical and industrial fabric markets as well as offering a variety of stretch fabrics that include spandex, and feature Lycra. Texollini’s proprietary textiles are Superfino and Vaportex. Texollini also caters to contemporary ready-to-wear, activewear, swimwear and intimate apparel markets.
At Design Knit, a family-owned mill based in Los Angeles, the focus is on trends and fashion-forward novelty knit fabrics. Design Knit’s technological innovations are fashion driven, according to the company.
Underscoring sustainability, Design Knit uses Tencel yarns for its activewear, ath-leisure and fashion collections. Tencil is used in stripes, solids, dress weights, spandex qualities and sheer layering options, according to the firm. Tencel is preferred for its breathability, natural wicking properties, softness and luxury feel, the company said.
Design Knit will soon introduce its “technically driven bonded fabrics” for sweaters and sweatshirts, as well as debut its “fine technical interlock collection.”
At The Lenzing Group, the company continues to focus on innovations to create a wide product offering of sustainable fibers. Incorporating dissolving wood pulp to standard and specialty cellulose fibers, the firm produces high volumes of three cellulose fiber generations: Lenzing Viscose, Lenzing Modal and Tencel lyocell fibers.
The firm launched its Refibra lyocell fibers earlier this year, which is made of recycled cotton scraps, as well as EcoVero viscose, which allows for the identification of fibers at the yarn, fabric or garment stages. Also released this year was Lenzing’s “Naturally Positive” sustainability report that connects global brands, stakeholders and NGOs to participate in industry-wide sustainability initiatives.
Colombian-based Textiles Lafayette, which has been in business for more than 70 years, has 1,600-plus employees at its 900,000-square-foot facility. The company serves markets that include fashion apparel, home textiles (including linen and upholstery), uniforms and sports (high-performance textiles). The company also specializes in specialized textiles for specific industries as well as textiles for digital printing. With fashion apparel, the company also offers finished collections as well as textiles and has recently deployed social media campaigns.
On the social responsibility front, Textiles Lafayette monitors its machines to ensure a safe environment — including noise levels. The company has an on-site day-care unit, a doctor’s office as well as services for mental health. And in a partnership with the ICBF, or the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar, the company has programs that help families who live near its operating plant by offering. The programs and services include education and various professional services.
For Aysan Tekstil, high-quality fabrics and customization are points of differentiation. The Turkish luxury fabric company creates custom design fabrics, and offers specialized manufacturing for its global client base. The company’s portfolio includes woven and knitted men’s suits, pants and jackets fabrics — a market segment that has seen an uptick in demand.
Its products are created by high-speed electronic machines, which can produce a variety of custom design fabric samples. The firm’s investment in high-tech warping equipment enables it to generate a wide range of sample fabric blankets in numerous colors.
For More Business News From WWD, See:
Amazon, Wal-Mart and Apple Top List of Biggest E-commerce Retailers
Consumer Preferences Reshaping Retail Landscape
As IoT Grows, AT&T Sees Broad Deployment of Connected Devices and Products