Paris - As SpinExpo Paris prepares for its first edition in a brand new venue, a number of key trends are emerging. A key development to emerge from the Shanghai edition is that the knitwear market is increasingly revolving around reliable suppliers armed with style tips. There is also evidence of a growing trend in the circular knit sector of products that may be basic at the moment, but are rapidly becoming more sophisticated.
The SpinExpo Paris yarn fair is moving to a new exhibition venue for its sixth edition in Europe.
The event's new home in Paris is the Carrousel du Louvre, a high-end presentation venue with trend areas and a marketing space with audio-visual guides to the presentations on display given by the event's stylists.
Taking place from 4-6 July, this summer's event will feature a number of new exhibitors offering collections of fancy yarns.
Gain Hill, for example, is described as a pioneer in development and technological innovation in yarns. It is said to be extremely fast when it comes to reacting to market trends, producing yarns with a unique look at reasonable prices and with fast delivery times. This includes yarns that use natural and synthetic materials and sustainable yarns.
Gain Hill presents one collection per season and says it continues to develop new products in between seasons by engaging with its customers who are on the lookout for new products to keep them "ahead of the game" when it comes to creativity.
Gain Hill has a range of brushed, looped, ribbon, Lily and core spun yarns and offers a stock service for more than 20 yarn qualities. Its customers include Marks and Spencer, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Country Road, Catherines, J Crewe and Target.
Fashionyarn is a Chinese spinner specialising in no-pill core spun yarns, plied yarns (especially for Spring/Summer seasons) and fluffy fancy yarns.
Its R&D department works on annual collections, combining the concepts of its customers. It has its own dyeing unit and increasingly recycles the natural materials used in the development of its yarns. Its customers include Zara, JNBY, Peace Bird, Esprit, Bonita, Promod, Sandro and River Island.
Yarn Talk is a Chinese fancy yarn spinner specialising in rainbow and variegated yarns. It is the first spinner to specialise in this area and because the company is originally from Taiwan, it also has 35 years experience in brushed voluminous yarns, which account for 80 per cent of its annual production.
The company has also modified its machines to produce looped yarns that are very silky compared with standard looped yarns. It has two different gauges in its brushed yarn qualities, for which it has a stock service of 25kg per order. It has two offices in Hong Kong with customers including Ralph Lauren, Gap, AEO, A&F, Zara and Mango.
Etol Fancy Yarn
Also new is Etol Fancy Yarn, a Turkish spinner founded in 2007 in Bursa. This spinner produces fancy yarns for the production of knitwear and hand knitting wool and exports mainly to the United States, the UK, Germany, Italy, Poland and Morocco.
With a range of state of the art machines - Yumos, Crochet, Fancy Twist, Transfer, Folding and Skein), the spinner blends natural and synthetic fibres to offer as many creative options as possible using its machinery to achieve the best twists possible and allowing it to apply single and double strand effects to the yarns. Its best sellers are Dream Vision and Angel. It presents two collections per year with delivery times of between three and four weeks.
Customers include H&M, Zara, Mango, Moschino, Top Shop and LC Waikiki.
The most recent edition of SpinExpo Shanghai was held at the World Expo Centre in March. This Spring/Summer 2020 edition presented the collections of 183 exhibitors, including 19 knitwear manufacturers with more than 11,000 visitors.
The number of visitors from China remained stable, with 9,480 visitors (+ 9%), as well as the number of visitors from outside China with 1,891 (+ 12%).
There was also an increase in the number of Japanese visitors, which seemed to confirm this country’s economic health indicators, and more visitors from Europe and America.
Prospects on the American market, however, are not positive at the moment with many exhibitors severely affected by the growth in Japanese or European brands in this market, which has led to a reduction in orders from local giants and a demand for low-price products or products from South-East Asia.
"The threat posed by the U.S. government is one thing, but it is the competition from brands of superior quality and creativity that is the main game changer," organsiers said. "American buyers are always focused on price above all else."
Most first-time visitors to SpinExpo Shanghai were seeking alternatives to the increase in the prices of their usual suppliers in order to counteract the large stock/ increasing raw material prices/falling customer consumption equation.
The atmosphere at the event was dynamic and highly professional, and in a change from previous editions, all the stands were visited and all the collections studied in scrupulous detail, in a professional atmosphere the likes of which organisers said they had not experienced for a long time.
Clients of the key exhibiting groups who are regular exhibitors season after season, and who often include the products of smaller-scale spinners in their collections, have begun to buy their products directly from the source, preferring a lower price to the security of suppliers who guarantee them specialised products or solutions. "It is hard to know whether this trend will last or whether it is a one-off," said organisers, "but it offers medium-scale spinners the chance to find a type of client they would not normally work with."
The impact of climate change is also visible, organisers said and many spinners have either deliberately worked on trans-seasonal products or presented collections for both Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons.
"The knitwear market revolves increasingly around reliable suppliers armed with style tips, and we have seen a real development in the circular knit sector, with products that may be basic at the moment, but are rapidly becoming more sophisticated.
"Morale amongst exhibitors remained positive, but while some are considering focusing on new prospects, others are choosing to remain cautious and see what happens in the coming months. All prefer to rely on the European markets which are more professional in their approach, if smaller in scale."
The event seemed to be divided in two directions. On the one hand were the foreign visitors, who are looking for high-quality products, as well as more competitive prices from spinning companies that are new to them.
For these visitors, relationships come second to quality. On the other hand, there are the Chinese visitors, who were looking for products in stock and immediately available, and who are not particularly concerned about product quality.
"The cotton spinners are becoming increasingly interested in the circular knit sector because the position of spinners of fantasy yarns or carded wool is weakened by offering fashion products," organisers said. "This is why SpinExpo will be focusing on this sector in particular and proposing cutting- edge developments from next season. This sector is all about functionality and performance, and SpinExpo continues to make progress in this direction, thanks to its style team and partnership with Santoni. This area is key and reflects the change in attitude among consumers, a new way of experiencing fashion, which, far from being "dead", is in fact going full steam ahead.
"This period of reassessing models that, until now, have worked is a challenge that SpinExpo is happy to take on. The event has always focused on adapting to changes of all kinds, be they social, political, intellectual or directional. As for the area encapsulated by the term "sustainability", we have chosen not to expand on this until we are clear about exactly what exhibitors and visitors understand by this term."