Fresh mixtures of material and new directions for some old favorites highlighted the Paris textile shows.

This story first appeared in the February 21, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

• Plastic-look finishes: Several companies launched plastic-look fabrics, including a polyester and cashmere blend in the new Bucol Project high-end line, and linen and silk with a polypropylene waterproof coating at Cerruti’s Parcour selection.

Prints: “I loved the tropical prints, especially palms, and the English allotment-style designs with fruit and vegetables,” said Rebecca Murphy, print designer at Turkish retailer LC Waikiki. Italian weaver Miroglio Textile unveiled its Metri d’Arte project, which takes inspiration from the art world for a series of prints where artists Stefano Arienti, Massimo Caccia and Maggie Cardelus created 21 different fabrics.

Nature Meets Performance: Louis Gérin, joint artistic director of Texworld, said technical fabrics were increasingly using natural fibers, adding, “You are seeing the use of silk, for example, not because of its feel but for its technical properties.”

Jeff Griffin, founder of the men’s wear label Griffin, lauded Limonta’s range of wools, cottons and silks lined with triple layer membranes. Carven designer Guillaume Henry singled out a bottle green silk and polyester fabric by Clerici Tessuto.

Muted Brights: “We are seeing fewer pure neons for next summer,” said Gérin. “Rather, it is as if bright colors have been tinged with black to produce petroleum-like shades.”

Trompe L’oeil: Synthetic fabrics that resemble silks or leathers that resemble fabrics, for instance. Light-yet-stiff outerwear fabrics.

3-D Structures: At Le Cuir a Paris, Portuguese tanner João Carvalho presented an array of mesh-like 3-D leather designs.

Activewear Meets Fashion: Entering new terrain, Liberty Art Fabrics presented sweatshirt and nylon outerwear fabrics digitally printed with the company’s traditional floral prints.

Lace: Either richly decorated in bright colors — even pushing through to neons — and new finishes, such as metallic films, or au naturel, such as cotton laces.

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