The new trend has been predicted and guided by The Wool Lab working extensively with spinners, weavers and knitters to develop particular qualities to show the potential for fine wool and luxury blends to be used both in suitings and knitwear for warm weather.
Buyers are up for novelty as markets begin to turn towards the light and look for originality and colour in knits. This metaphor is literally true, with semi-transparent looks almost, ubiquitous and in many different blends and constructions.
Some qualities were so light that they echoed spiders' webs. Baruffa's white froth was cool, light and Merino; the essence of new Cool Wool. Very fine yarns used for diaphanous knits and net looks, took bands of different fancy stitches and delicate gauze. They contrast light with dark, matte with shine and solidity with transparency.
Zegna Baruffa in particular showed some exquisitely precise fabrics in 3D effect ribs and complex patterns, one colour or with another coloured yarn peeping through, showing the perfect regularity and precision of the spun yarn, Merino in particular, and at times partnered with silk.
Printed yarn and over-printed jersey gave very avant-garde looks with a recurring theme of graffiti and street art running through many collections, but upmarket, being seen with pure Merino, cotton, cashmere and other luxury fibres.
Nevertheless with yellows, reds and greens, the theme is vibrant and relevant to a consumer attracted to classic quality looks with novelty and the shock of the unexpected. Ribbon yarns, knops, marls and prints gave an extra dimension to classic high-class yarns. These were seen both in very fine, see-through constructions and thicker gauges.
Colours featured an abundance of white and cream, with icy pastels, pale chalky rose as well as sugar-pink and above all the season's colour - blue. This ranged from dark inky blue though heathery tones to cobalt and sky for classic crêpe designs to voiles and net, including navy. Pale greens, turquoise, pink and lemon gave a sophisticated tone for spring which several spinners had chosen early Warhol Monroe images to illustrate.
A younger market picked up on bright, tropical pinks and oranges, shown in stripes and bold blocks of colour. Unusual constructions such leaf jacquards or Ecafil's fish-scale turquoise looped ribbon yarn targeted youth, as did ranges of natural dyes, now washable and easier to care for, developed by Tintoria di Quaregna and including new deep natural indigo for wool. At the sophisticates' end, Lurex and other metallics had with tiny points of light inset in self-coloured panels in wool, silk and cashmere knits.
"We are creating a feeling for wool for a new generation" said one designer.
About The Woolmark Company
The Woolmark is the world's best known textile fibre brand, established in 1964. The Woolmark brand is owned by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), a not-for-profit company owned by more than 27,000 Australian woolgrowers. AWI's vision is to be a significant contributor to a vibrant, stable and profitable wool industry providing the world with the best natural fibre. The company works throughout the global supply chain - from woolgrowers through to retailers.
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