UK: Masters Of Linen Previews New Look Collections
Linen like you've never seen it before - that's the 2001/2 winter message from Masters of Linen issued via their corporate display at the autumn 2000 Premiere Vision. Masters of Linen is the organisation that promotes the interests of the 10,000 growers, 22 specialised spinners and 96 weavers and knitters who jointly comprise the EU's linen industry worth 180 million euros a year. It is an industry that provides jobs for some 140,000 workers, mostly concentrated in the traditional production and processing areas of Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Northern Ireland. In a London preview of the collections they will be presenting in Paris - the first presentation for two years - Masters of Linen particularly stressed the value of the fibre to clothing manufacturers offering interseasonal ranges. But even more important was the emphasis on how far linen and linen blends have moved from the conventional concepts of what linen is and does over the last two years. Latest collections from members include furry fabrics in blends of linen and mohair by the De Vaudricourt division of Hauterive, and near translucent, sparkle dusted fabric in linen and polyamide from Spanish producer Tomas Prate e Hijo. Delicate see-through cloths, many further embellished with drawn thread work, were featured by Belgium's Libeco-Lagae. This company has been supplying the fashion trade with linen and linen blends since 1858. Among the Ulster contingent, John England is softening the characteristically dry handle of linen in comfortably cuddly blends with wool, mainly using classic men's wear patterns such as bright overchecks on muted colour grounds.
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