Pitti Filati, the Florence textile show in Italy, was full of colour and new yarn ideas as spinners sought to tempt designers and buyers for spring 2010.
Overall attendance was down to 3,900 visitors compared with 4,700 a year before. However, 247 UK buyers made the trip, the highest number of international visitors after Germany.
James Tincknell, managing director of knitwear design house Sophie Steller, which exhibited at the show, said buyers from H&M, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Debenhams were all present.
A representative from cashmere spinner Z Hinchliffe said it had met key customers but that the market was nervous, making it difficult to get feedback to inform the next season.
There was a greater demand for eco-friendly yarns which were at a more premium price and focused on heritage trends.
James McArdle, managing director of Todd & Duncan, which specialises in organic yarns, said new brighter coloured yarns had been well received.
Mills that exhibited at the show were showcasing a greater choice of dyed stock in an attempt to be more flexible for their customers in the recession.
Colours ranged from greens and acid yellows, to pinks, blue, bright white and ecru.