As the Spring/Summer of 2013 goes into sampling, product development teams are busy with their sourcing from accessories to new developments in fabrics. Textile traders have already studied the market and stocked the latest in fresh prints, innovative weaves and creative patterns in fabrics of all kinds. Predicted to be a much vibrant but still an uncertain season, Team Apparel Online talks to some known names in the business, charting out in demand fabrics, prints and inspirations, while also reflecting on the momentum in business…
As varied as it can get and with no clear picture of the season, the fact is that almost everything is available in the market and no one knows what will sell. Elaborating on the reason for such a variety, Rakesh Gupta, Owner of Checks n Stripes said, “Looking at the current economic environment, the market is still very stagnant in general with almost no place for innovation. Considering the fact that so much innovation has been done in the past, every trader has more variety and lesser quantity as no one can judge what the buyer will be asking for. Unlike before where we used to have a set of colours and patterns that everyone used to follow, the demand is unpredictable and more customized depending mostly upon the region and the buyer.” Adding onto this observation, Anil Juneja, Owner of G.S. Enterprises said, “There is certainly a dip in the business as there is almost no demand from the EU and the US. One of the major factors for such a slow market is labour cost, due to which orders are going to Bangladesh and China. Even with new developments the export market is unstable for us and therefore we are now getting stronger in the domestic market.”
Highly affected by the fluctuating cotton prices in the past, the last seasons saw a sudden shift to polyesters wherein almost all buyers world over were looking for cheaper synthetics to suit their budgets, which is a changing situation today. Not only is cotton coming back in demand but even other natural fabric types are available to reduce the market of polyesters and its blends. Enlightening the current situation, Bashi M.P. Singh, Owner of HP Singh said, “Even though there is a visible decrease in the poly market, synthetics are still in demand but not with the premium buyers. The fabric is lacking demand due to its unsuitability to climatic conditions, especially in Asia and South Asia. Apart from cotton, viscose is picking up with a lot of buyers enquiring for the same.” Vinay Goel, Owner of Textures added, “The demand for cotton and polyester is still 50-50 for us. While half of our business comes from cotton, cambric and voile, and remaining half consists of developments in poly chiffon and crepes which are being demanded by the US. According to my experience cotton can never go out of demand, as people can never stop wearing cotton, owing to its traditional breathable characteristics.”
Focusing on top weights ranging from 40’s, 60’s to 80’s counts, the company Check n Stripes, deals exclusively in cotton and has also contrastingly claimed to be receiving a strong business in this market. Mostly weaved, there is a demand of madras checks, 60’s count checks and stripes, dobby’s and the new in trend fabric of seer sucker. Another trader stating to be experiencing a good market is Sachdeva Fabric World, which works largely with linen fabrics. While linen has picked up in a big way owing to the warm climate during summers, the fabric is receiving a good response from both the markets of home and garments. Shashank Sachdeva, Owner of the company elaborates, “As linen is generally expensive, people are not only looking for 100% linen, but are also looking for cheap knockoff fabrics that imitate linen, along with a rising demand of blends with cotton and polyester. While solid colours pure linens remain a classic, colours in trend are shades of mauve and pastels with no dark colours being asked for. Once the order is placed, we generally add washed out looks and tie&dye later to the fabric for an enhanced raw feel being observed globally.”
Seeing a mix of both prints and embroideries, with embellished and embroidered fabrics with sequins and hand stitches picking up, the next summer undoubtedly will remain to be a season of prints and bright colours, neon and pastel shades
Seeing a mix of both prints and embroideries, with embellished and embroidered fabrics with sequins and hand stitches picking up, the next summer undoubtedly will remain to be a season of prints. Inevitably in bright colours with also a demand of neon and pastel shades, inspirations seem to be coming from everywhere when experimenting with the print patterns and the market is booming with all sorts of Aztecs prints, traditional prints, tropical and animal prints with snake skin patterns, vintage English and African tribal inspired prints. Oriental flowers and Indian paisleys are the two raging motifs that clearly show a design shift towards the eastern influence, apart from some geometrical figures and big bold florals. Enhancing the effect further, developments are present with blurred, washed out and innovative pixilated effects over the prints, giving a fresh touch to the overall visual appeal.
Amongst the other fabric types, catering to the high-end market are embossed fabrics, fine textured dobby’s, high-end silk’s, jacquard with metallic effects with floral, tribal and antique patterns and damask which are most likely to carry on for the next winter as well. To provide a touch of shine, sourcing teams are looking for satins, and for the more drapey silhouettes there is an increased demand of soft fabrics in lighter weights that are more fluid. For the feminine touch, the mood is generally of intricacy and finesse, which is catered through developments in laces and crochet. Adding onto the transparency trend there are numerous varieties available in laser cut fabrics mostly in polyester or nylon. Specialty fabrics are also witnessing a rise for active wear and not the usual daily wear. Both knits in lighter weights and thick knits imparting a sweater look in summers along with specialized patterns are also the next big thing, as the demand is no longer for basic knits.
With the world going ‘glocal’ (globally-local), the demand for traditional textiles in increasing bringing back a newfound focus on handlooms. “Ikats and handlooms are in major demand, but based on an unfortunate past, the Indian handloom industry is shrinking with less weaving centres. Apart from big yardages, lots of borders are in demand made from traditional handlooms but the industry is not being able to cope up with the growing orders,” said Bashi, as he believes that the future of the handloom sector is surely bright if offered adequate support.