"Demand for net fabrics has never been greater," according to Italian specialist producer Cifra SPA. Traditionally Cifra's most important outlet was the hosiery trade but today its openwork fabrics are finding buyers across the whole clothing trade.

Nets with water repellent properties are selling particularly well into the sportswear trade and to producers of T-shirts, Cifra says.

Where is stretch integral to the finished fabrics Dupont Lycra is used, and the material made up on raschel machinery which operates in tandem with double needled jacquard equipment.

By Sonia Roberts.