Sparkle, sheen and shot effects permanently built into yarns spun from their branded Tactelo fibre will be a major fashion story for summer 2002, says DuPont.

And looks of this type have already featured strongly in the ranges of yarn suppliers from France, Spain, Italy and the UK who showed at the recent Expofil trade fair in Paris.

Most of the sparkle effects destined to appear in piece dyed fabrics have been created with tri-lobal Tactel using the latest, most technologically advanced, spinning equipment.

"However as well as uninhibitedly obvious glitter, many fabric manufacturers are now demanding the more subtle sparkle effect which we are calling the 'refined glitter' look," said Du Pont. The company adds that the look made its debut in the yarn market two seasons ago, but seems likely to really come into its own from spring 2002.

Among the throwsters who have particularly taken up this effect in their new season's ranges are, in Italy, Continental Fibre, in Spain Torcidos Ibericos and in France Condamin et Prodon.

In the UK Mowbrays, best known as a specialist supplier to the knitwear trade, is making extensive use of textured Tactel in yarns that have the added appeal of a sparkle element.

Meanwhile where all-over high lustre effects are called for, the DuPont recommendation is Tactel diabolo - always a popular fibre choice for the satinised surface fabrics that are the classics of the lingerie trade. However with demand for such fabrics now coming not just from underwear and nightwear producers but all areas of fashion garment manufacture, DuPont forecasts booming sales for this Tactel variant in the season immediately ahead. 

"Tactel diabolo is also much in demand where the requirement is for a metallic sheen but without the loss of soft handle in the finished fabric," said Du Pont. "While the best method of achieving a combination of texture interest and sheen is to use Tactel micro-touch false twist."

The German house of Zu seems particular adept at using Tactel in its twisted form. "Meanwhile for shot fabrics, giving the illusion of colour changes according to the angle from which they are viewed, the bi-spun technology of Tactel strata makes it an ideal fibre selection, while the hyper bright polymers used in the creation of this Tactel variant satisfy the fashion trade's renewed appetite for ultra bright fabrics," was the fibre producer's comment.

Customer demand from the garment industry is also encouraging the development of more fibre and yarn qualities suitable for circular knitting and for the production of seamless garments.

In this sector of the market, the present trend is towards greater use of man-made and natural fibre blends for sportswear and underwear ranges where function is more important than fashion styling.

And with what DuPont describes as "the modernisation of natural fibres" its Tactel division is now exploring new areas of development which involve blends with wool. These include Tactel micro-touch combined with merino to produce ultra lightweight woven fabrics as applicable to summer as to winter wear and, for the knitting industry, yarns suitable for the manufacture of l8 gauge single jersey jacquard.

By Sonia Roberts