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Pitti Immagine Filati – Wool Puts in a Bravura Performance as a Technical Yarn

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AW 2016/17 was a colourful and fancy affair with a lot of wool at its centre, according to trends standing out at Pitti Immagine Filati in Florence, 1-3 July. A leaning to the exclusive and luxury end of the international market continues, with some collections showing new, named collections with the most elaborate and most rarefied fibres blends and yarn constructions aimed at the most elite collections.

At the same time there is a broadening out of the market-place targets with performance yarns from natural fibres ever more important in the offer from the Italian, Scottish, Japanese and English specialist spinners at Pitti Filati.

Prime among these is wool as a performance yarn, leading to garments which are as easy to care for as those from manmade yarns. Pitti Filati picked out wool as a major example of the latest technical yarns.

A case in point is H2Dry developed by researchers at Zegna Baruffa. It was presented at Botto Poala’s collection and specifically aimed at the care of precious knitwear. Machine wash and tumble drying, higher wrinkle resistance and natural elasticity for lasting performance teamed with a process to take out body moisture, leaving the body dry were listed as the main aims of the process, to add performance to natural fibre yarns. Two pure wool yarns were chosen RE-Active fine wool with counts to 2/80Nm for almost weightless knitwear, and K-wool, in counts more suitable for traditional knitwear.

Wool was seen blended with many different fibres to produce the desired, often fancy effects. These included precious fibres and also synthetics. At Filpucci 2/48 wool and fine linen was seen, alongside wool and ultralight nylon for a wavy effect, or Lyocell and wool, chosen for a smooth handle ideal for the couture effect of cool, clean knitwear. Cashmerino light – 90extra fine Merino/10 per cent cashmere featured at Botto Giuseppe.

An interesting use of wool came with the first showing of Perino yarns from New Zealand, which blend 40 per cent brushtail possum hair, soft and light, with other animal fibres notably the established Merino yarn already used in designer collections and a new Merino/silk and possum fur blend.

Superfine 140s wool in 90 stock shades were announced at Botto Giuseppe who also underlined the performance of such as 360o a wool yarn which could be used as a base for both knitwear, jersey and loom woven fabrics.

As noted at Pitti Uomo, the term merino is being used widely for wool, particularly in high end collections as a value indicator Pinori showed soft air merino/nylon, the combination of wool and synthetic contributing to the airy construction. Stretch merino and comfort fabrics in general were a major feature of winter yarns and as IWTO Member Safil explained, extra fine merino and patented technical fibres make a mark destined for sophisticated knitwear, rather than exclusively for sportswear.

Source: IWTO – Janet Prescott


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