For Stylesight’s most recent Materials Inspiration Feature on performance textiles, the trend and sourcing service asked Fabrikology’s Karla Magruder to weigh in as guest editor. Synergizing Karla’s expert knowledge of fabric development and sustainability with Stylesight’s top-notch global coverage, this report is a key sourcing resource for Fall/Winter 2015 and beyond. For those subscribers to Stylesight.com, check out the report by following this link to the site. Or contact us to learn more about this key materials report.
October 2, 2013
Every company says it is looking for innovation, and often turns to its vendors to provide it. Apparel firms are no different, looking to textile mills to foster innovation via the latest, most advanced fabric collections. Fabrikology knows that the way to innovation is to create it. To start, here is a quick reference chart outlining the choices to be made on the way to fabric innovation:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Interwoven Globe” exhibit was exhaustively predictable. It had the word “globe” in the title, enough politics to make it seem interesting, and included lots of prints and embroidery to attract the handmade groupies that surf the web for ideas.
Jaded as I can be about what goes on in NYC, I was feeling restless until I came upon a description mentioning the cochineal. Not Coachella (the very trendy music and art festival in California), but the bug that makes red dyes. My latest obsession is for bugs that have something to do with fabric creation, dye processes and clean fabric production.
Throughout history, cochineal beetles have been cultivated, namely by Mexican and Peruvian cultures. By the time Spain wanted in, the bug was as precious as the silkworm was to the Chinese. Red dye from the cochineal is quite unique, ranging from an earthy hue to a surprisingly vibrant pink, depending on processing. Sometimes, it takes a deeper look at an exhibit to find what makes it interesting. This was worth the time. I especially enjoyed seeing the influence of South American textile craftsmen.
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At Fabrikology, we are constantly talking trends, whether they be textile, apparel, market or general business. Over the years, we have developed, participated in or attended our fair share of fashion forecasts, and have seen the trend industry evolve. Capturing, defining and furthering consumer tastes has long been the goal of lifestyle trending, but the past five years have introduced a new element to the business: doing all this with an ever-increasing list of constraints thrown into the mix.
Beyond knowing a client's brand identity and consumer base, understanding its budgetary confines is a leading factor. Successful fashion forecasting goes beyond simply presenting trends; it must now include how to apply these trends to a particular brand's genetic makeup and to an industry constantly in flux. The challenge here is to ignite inspiration with strong messages yet to remain proactively reactive to change. Communication is one part speaking, two parts listening.
Founded in 1946, Guilford Textiles has built a heritage on its warp-knitting prowess, becoming one of the largest of its kind in the world. After its boom years of the '70s and '80s, the company exited the apparel sector due to the growing industry in China, but remained in the automotive sector, as a leader in warp-knit linings for vehicles.
Owned by the Lear Corporation, this multi-national company has reentered athletic apparel with ranges of polyester, nylon and spandex "Made in America" knits for the active, outdoor and yoga markets. Appealing to sport brands like Nike, Under Armour and Lululemon, Guilford continues to expand on its performance active and performance casual knits, which are garnering attention for their antimicrobial, stain-release, compression, stretch and wicking capabilities. For more information on this American success story, contact Allison at Concept III.
Intoxicated by overdoses of bright hues, blinded by the drama of optic black-and-white combinations, and confused about the color perimeters for “good taste” in prints, we are desperately seeking refuge in soothing, non-committal grey.
Our affair with grey has a familiar history; it is easy to coordinate, comfortable and approachable. It works for both grey flannel suits and grey heather sweats. Modern and classic at the same time, greys continue to romance us. Natural fibers dye beautifully in grey, although this is a bit trickier when materials are not au naturel.
Current trends feature grey as the anchor color for bluish tones; it also serves as the contrast color for gentle oranges and violets. Grey remains influential when used with denim or for grey denim.
Shades of grey can be used from head to toe, on all surface materials that adorn the human form. Textiles, stones, metals, plastics, leathers and even pets draw inspiration from the grey tones stirring our imagination.
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Since 1856, Draper Knitting Company has been producing high quality “Made in USA” fabrics. Focusing on circular knitting, non-woven stitch-bonding and high-pile sliver knitting, the family-owned business also has its own dye house, enabling vertical development-to-finishing under one roof. Looking to the future, the centuries-old firm now includes a standout sustainable collection and tactical textiles for personal protection.