NEW YORK — Sheers, novelty linens, embroideries and jacquards were key attractions at last week’s Texitalia and Jardins d’Elegance, the joint presentation here of Italian and French apparel fabrics for spring-summer 1995.

The three-day event, which ended last Thursday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, drew about 970 buyers, up from the 750 attending last spring’s show, which highlighted Italian fabrics only.

Sampling was active among the 44 Italian exhibitors and the seven from France. Even with the cost increases on some fibers, particularly linen, prices overall were still considered attractive because of the continuing weakness of the lira.

Some Italian exhibitors pegged prices on current goods at even to 10 percent below a year ago. Some French exhibitors noted they were holding their prices in check to meet competition from the Italians.

In the main, though, buyers seemed to be taken by the variety they were finding, meeting their particular needs.

“There’s quite a range from day to evening, not just one specialty,” said Greg Mann, a designer with dress manufacturer Steve Fabrikant, while looking at sportswear fabrics at Deveaux SA, Lyon. Mann said he was interested in textured, novelty fabrics, primarily in linen and linen blends.

Ahmed Akkad, president of the designer dress firm bearing his name, was viewing stretch fabrics at Verel de Belval, St. Andre Le Gaz, France.

“I work mostly with stretch and they have stretch,” he said, noting he especially liked the wool, nylon and Lycra spandex crepe that he said he’ll use for dresses and jackets.

“I’ve seen several collections, and I like Cortex’s because I have an interest in pleats,” added Ildi Marshall, president of Ildi Marshall Ltd., a better dress firm here. “They’re in bridal pastel colors and they look alive.”

Marshall also noted she was seriously considering sheer embroideries at Lanificio Lamberto.

Among the exhibitors, Michelle Giordano, director of marketing and export at Castellanza & Borri SpA, Busto Arsizio, Italy, said the news was color, especially with ecru in linen and in linen and viscose blends, done with a soft worn look.

Giordano also showed yarn-dyed plaids and stripes and ethnic prints in such combinations as blue with ecru, orange with ecru and cranberry with ecru. He also was getting requests for “lady-like” fabrics such as pastel tone-on-tone florals on lightweight linens and embroidered linen fabrics in white.

At Zibetti F. LLi SpA, an embroidery fabric mill in Gallarate, Italy, and a newcomer at the show, open weaves and transparent embroideries in viscose and cotton were favored, said Patrizia Ferrario, who heads the firm’s export sales.

Solstiss, a French lace mill in Caudry, France, reported it was doing well with small geometric-patterned laces in 100 percent cotton, and in rayon and cotton blends with a soft drapy hand.

“It follows the Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe trend, which we did for Lagerfeld, of soft fluid small-patterned laces in natural fibers,” noted Francois Damide, president of Solstiss Inc., New York. They were sampled here in natural colors like ecru and ivory.

At Forestyle, Lyon, France, the best sampling weaves were reported to be small tapestry jacquards in a taupe beige silk and Lycra spandex, and an off-white silk and linen gauze with a distressed look.

At SETB, Lyon, a velvet, silks and scarf house, Gilles de la Briere, president, said he has had three good days of making contacts. The firm has been working in America many years through agents, he said, but he also wanted to find new customers in other areas like shoes, accessories and home furnishings. There was heavy sampling in crushed velvets, patterned crinkle silk and viscose velvets, leaf motifs, cut velvets and tapestry jacquards with metallic and chenille accents, he said.

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