Finish will play an ever-increasing role in the creation of fashion textiles, said the organisers of the Moda In Italian trade fair who were in London recently providing potential visitors with a sneak preview of the fabrics and garment accessories that will be on show in Milan from September 10-l2.

Tipped as particularly important for the creation of textured effects, ranging from lacy cut-outs to seersucker-like puckered surfaces, are the latest generation of Japanese made water-soluble yarns which simply disappear when the completed fabric is washed as the final stage of the manufacturing process.

Post weaving or knitting wash treatments are also used to produce mellow tones similar to sun-faded shades. In printed fabrics the same effect is achieved by the simple expedient of using the reverse side of the print as the fabric face.

Other regularly employed finishing techniques include resign soaking, most often employed where the garment manufacturer wants to create the impression of a raw edge but without risk of fraying, and the use of polyurethane coatings which incorporate glitter dust-like metal or reflective fragments.

Meanwhile the fashion for marrying fibres with different, often diametrically opposed, properties in the same fabric continues to gather momentum as in the case of basket weave textured tweeds composed of blends of cashmere and hemp.

By Sonia Roberts