From cotton/silk blends to knitted denim, buyers were treated to a plethora of fabrics at the London Textile Fair in the Business Design Centre, Islington, London.
Holland & Sherry
For spring 17 the cloth merchant went big on cotton, highlighting a lightweight 250gsm double-faced 100% cotton in a gingham check for skirts, jackets and dresses, available in cheery shades of turquoise, Irish green, bilberry and sunflower yellow. To cater for the perennial trench, Holland & Sherry also showcased a special 310gsm 100% cotton cloth treated with a breathable waterproof finish in nude, grey, cherry red, French blue, khaki, navy and black.
No minimum order
020 7437 0404
“Today we’ve mainly been looking for prints and jacquard fabrics. We’re particularly keen on Aztec prints for the upcoming season. We’re broadly looking for UK-based mills with short runs, but also a few places in France and Istanbul. We’re a very trend-led label, so we need things to be on a very fast turnaround and we find the UK is faster. The show is good this year, not too busy yet – and we’re confident we can get the best for what we need.”
Despite being based in Southall, west London, Partap Fashion Fabrics has the capacity to make 15,000 metres of embroidered fabric a day at its factory in India, from which it supplies the likes of House of Holland, Topshop and Marks & Spencer. The manufacturer boasts more than 100 embroidery designs for womenswear and lingerie, ranging from delicate paisley and micro-florals to geometrics, and an interesting repeat circle motif inset with a leaf pattern. Aside from the embroidery, Partap’s spring 17 collection continues to ride the trend for 1970s nostalgia, impressing visitors with a textural horizontal-stripe fabric, in which the yarns have been pulled into a distorted chevron shape, similar to a line showing the frequency of sound.
Minimum orders: 10 metres to 15 metres
020 8813 8264
“I’m on the hunt for my spring 17 fabrics, in particular jersey and woven fabrics, as well as some more technical fusion fabrics. The key for me is newness. I’ve seen some two-tone jacquards, which I think will be a very big trend for this season. I’m impressed with the range of exhibitors this year.”
The Bradford-based mill debuted its first blend of fine merino wool with the luxurious touch of silk and dry handle of linen. This lightweight, 195gsm Panama weave cloth (a simple criss-cross pattern typical of summer fabrics) came in wearable shades of rusty brown, ochre and a smart denim blue featuring a prominent check, which designer Kenneth Forsyth thinks will be a key trend for spring 17. The mill also offered a plain 100% merino 295gsm cloth in a fresh palette of lavender, aqua and powder blue. Ideal for jackets and dresses, the cloth’s leno weave (a gauze-like structure), gives the appearance of linen but with the crease recovery of wool.
Minimum order: 70 metres
“This show is early in the season, so it’s very important to pull together trends from what we see today. The show has got better and better over the past few years. While I do think it’s quite womenswear orientated – more so than other shows – I see a lot more relevant mills for my market than I used to. I’m looking for suiting and shirting fabrics today, mainly from the UK and Italy for their heritage, but if the product is right we would look elsewhere.”
Brook Taverner and Joules are already fans of this heritage West Yorkshire mill, which is hoping to raise the profile of its pure Shetland wool tweed fabrics with its trade show debut at this season’s London Textile Fair. Marton Mills’ contemporary take on tweed is emphasised by the rich palette of its jacket and overcoat fabrics, woven in rosy shades of heather and bramble, woodpecker green and a delicate sandpiper blue. One of the manufacturer’s most popular styles is a pale oatmeal cloth livened up with a delicate overcheck in pink and sage green. For a more statement look, Marton Mills showed a duck egg blue base, overset with a chocolate brown, orange and buttery yellow check.
Minimum order: 1 metre
0113 284 3364
“Boucle fabric is key for us. We need two key boucle fabrics for the collection, but we need to get a lot of options to account for duplicates. We’re also looking for eye-catching, interesting weaves and surface textures – a combination of matte and shine. We always do a lot of research on the companies we want to talk to before we arrive, but there have already been a few that have really drawn us in. This is by no means the biggest fair I go to, but it’s very good for seeing new things, as it’s that little bit quieter.”
One of the few denim manufacturers at the show, the Portuguese specialist focused on blending cotton with cellulosic fibre Tencel or linen for lightweight summer cloths. Favoured by the likes of Toast, Jaeger and Urban Outfitters, Troficolor’s focus for spring 17 is on 3D structures, created by either weave effects or print techniques. The mill highlighted a lightweight 100% cotton fabric woven in a check for summer shirts and a honeycomb-effect screen-printed denim. Knitted denim in blends of cotton and linen are gaining in popularity, particularly for jackets, reported international sales manager Mario Ferreira. Knitted fabric now represents 25% of the Portuguese mill’s output.
Minimum orders: 50 metres-200 metres
+351 966 778997
“Today I’m looking for dress fabrics, softs and jacquards, as well as interesting 3D materials and techniques – something a little unusual that will appeal to the clients we buy for. Really I’m looking for the next “lace” – something that will be really popular, the next big thing. I’ve seen a few unusual airtex-backed pieces today that are definitely appealing. The event is good, very full of a nice variety of exhibitors. I do miss the trend boards that were up here in July though – they were helpful for buyers.”
Attracting interest at the show from the likes of Hunter, sourcing leather for its sandals, the specialist supplier has also seen demand for sheepskin fabrics for shearling coats, hats and scarves. Director Amos Hill is notes increased demand among buyers for fluffy cream-coloured close-crop curly wool sheepskin styles. Among the other stand-out cloths are a luscious long-fibre wool in a khaki green and a tight-curl Mongolian wool in a candy pink for shaggy coats, scarves, hats and trimmings. The selection also included an eye-catching metallic bronze bubble foil bonded to a leather base and soft suede in burgundy and bright orange.
1 skin minimum