Wool Yarns a Firm Choice for Summer 2018

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CENTRO STELLINE, MILAN – There was a substantial amount of wool, both pure wool and blends, to be seen in the new summer collections presented at the 46th edition of Filo Milano earlier this month. These yarns are aimed at designs for Summer 2018, and with designer labels and top brands well into discussing fabrics for that season, this first look at what is on offer is highly significant, indicating with a further move towards luxury for the new season. 

Developments in wool were specifically highlighted.  Zegna Baruffa’s collections included Botto Poala’s top quality new Merino wool yarns for weaving, achieving complex effects with gold and black. Fine micron wool Super 120s and 140s for new classics, and linen blended with cashmere silk and wool gave a wavy look.  Discreet shine was achieved through wool/silk blends. 

Südwolle group’s Safil collection showed Active Lux yarns in pure wool in various forms; twisted, Siro spun Crepe and stretch, while intimate blends of wool with fibres such as Cordura high tenacity nylon were suggested for high performance outdoor clothing. These yarns give technical performance and also have a natural sheen. A shirt line had new wool and wool blend yarns for high performance shirtings, using total Easy Care Wool, and their Summer Shirting combined Total Easy Care Wool and 50%Tencel.

HF Yarns, acquired recently by Südwolle, made its debut at Filo with fancy yarns using new twisting technology such as wool/cotton/nylon with 3D fancy effects.

There is an enduring appetite for glamour. ‘Customers are reluctant to move on from shine in many forms,’ explained one exhibitor, and it is still a big feature of fabrics for the summer 2018.  This was seen by a large number of silk blends, including light fabrics made glossy with wool and silk, some with a polyester shine for knits and fabrics which were smooth and had a sparkle.

Coloured Lurex yarns were soft and malleable, the polyester presented in reds, greens, blues and other fashion tones. The most spectacular new yarns were the new soft gold and silver Lurex.

Brick orange, a darker turquoise and a greyer yellow were key accent colours, while natural tones and the innate characteristics of fibres were also valued, including undyed qualities.   Natural dyes, as seen on the stand of Tintoria di Quaregna, exhibiting for the first time at Filo, had a selection of colours and the original nuts, barks and plants on show, fascinating many stand visitors. Natural dyes have been developed into repeatable, dependable colours for the textile industry.  Quaregna is the only one worldwide to have been awarded the Woolmark for natural dyes. This is seen as a significant accolade, fitting into the philosophy of many companies at Filo who stress the importance of traceability and sustainability of their yarns. 

Quaregna also showed its brand-new collection of the pure wool naturally dyed yarns they have developed for hand knitting; in natural soft pinks, cochineal and blue indigo for a denim tone.  Hand knitting is still a growth area in Northern Europe, the US and Australasia in particular.  The company reported interest at Filo especially from Japan, and China in particular where there is an emerging commitment to ecological products.

All in all, it seems that wool’s performance qualities, softness and its eco credentials are steadily increasing its appeal for summer.

 – Janet Prescott 

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