RIBBED LOOKS HEAT UP FOR ’95
Byline: Margaret Mazzaraco
NEW YORK — Textured, novelty fabrics are making big noise for fall 1995, and denim manufacturers said the trend is stemming from corduroy.
Applications such as Bedford cord fancies, finer cords with soft finishes and ribbed fabrics are getting excellent response, said manufacturers, who added that browns, berries, deep and moss greens and carbon navy were the colors that were moving. The palette, they said, was moving away from soft tinted pastels and lighter, neutral tones.
Jude Hill, director of styling at Dan River Sportswear, a division of Dan River Mills, said textures were moving forward for topweight and bottomweight denims, in such styles as herringbones and chevron weaves, as well as Bedford cord fancies.
“These are selling well in indigo and brown tones,” Hill said, noting that based on early sampling, buyers were moving away from basic denim fabrics. “They want texture and something different.”
Gene Bekaert, vice president of product development for Greenwood’s denim division, said the firm had seen significant interest in its Silver Dust, a 14 3/4-ounce denim dyed with several dye stuffs, which, when wet-processed, provides a soft tone-on-tone look, he said. “The whole denim area is good,” Bekaert said, noting dark brown and green, burgundy and a soft blue were the top-selling colors. “And lighter-weight fabrics with texture prevail. It could be a cord or diagonal weaves and ribs, something we are working on.”
At Swift Textiles, Anthony Carno, director of merchandising, said Swift was highlighting very fine surface-interest denims, but with extremely soft hands. One, Union Railroad, is a cotton denim fine cord featuring three saturated colors — dark brown, moss green and a carbon navy. “The most important thing is the velvety hand,” Carno said. “The market is sampling this design heavily for overalls, shorts, workwear-type clothes and five-pocket jeans.”
Kathy Barton, vice president of fashion marketing for Burlington Denim, said texture, in the form of ring-spun striated streaky looks, was hot. One such style, which the company dubs Iron Horse, was selling extremely well in a darker, richer indigo, she said. Other fabrics with texture selling well were 12- and 13-ounce square weaves, faille weaves and herringbones. “To complete the finishing package of indigo dye shades, we’ve introduced a shade called Legacy Dwell Dyed, which is a 16-dip, very rich indigo shade with a red cast,” Barton said.
At Cone Mills, Greensboro, N.C., Debbie Vasquez, denim coordinator, noted that dark chocolate and billiard green were selling well.
“Our Bedford cord is our best sampling product so far,” Vasquez said. “Buyers still like the highly constructed denims, which include yarn-dye denims and the Bedford cord, in 11 to 13 ounces.”
Phil Goetz, vice president of the indigo denim sportswear division of Graniteville Co., Graniteville, S.C., said, “In December, we’re breaking with some new developments in heavyweights with innovative wash-down effects.” Graniteville is also introducing a new collection of ring-spun denims. “The yarn character of the denims reflects the importance of texture,” Goetz said.
Lola Gold, design director of Spartan Mills’ woven fabric apparel fabrics division, said her hottest denim was a 6 1/2-ounce minirib indigo denim for shirts and bottoms. “The name of the game is texture and buyers are looking for that,” Gold said. “We are working on other ribbed denim designs, along with various textured twills, including a cavalry twill and textured twills. Colorwise, we continue to sample the military khaki colors, including dark olive and dark khaki.”