Italian spinners will be out in force at the next Expofil yarn show in Paris that takes place on December 5-7. Sixty-eight Italian companies have booked space at this event,four of them for the first time.

This means the French will be outnumbered at their own show with 53 exhibitors. The Spanish come in at third place with 3l.

Of the quartet of Italian newcomers two, Filcomo and TVE, are throwster texturisers and two, Filati Laine Cervo and Lo Cicero, are specialists in what Expofil's organisers describe as "fantasy" yarns.

Also making its debut at the Paris show will be Unifi, the European subsidiary of the Japanese Kuraray group. Its particular forte is the production of hi-tech polyester filament yarns under the Kuralon brand name.

As is to be expected of a show which looks forward to spring/summer 2002, the emphasis will be on yarns suitable for the creation of lightweight fabrics - especially ultra light cotton yarns to make up into the muslins which are expected to be a major fashion story for summer 2002.

Unlike traditional muslins, many of these new semi see-through cotton cloths will be circular knitted using not cotton but polyamide/triacetateor silk/polyamide blended yarns.

To satisfy the ever growing interseasonal market, there will be renewed emphasis on superfine wools. And for the top end of the trade, cashmere in intimate blends with fine cotton.

Cotton will again be important in the revival of poplin as a high fashion fabric, but with current stress on soft handle rather than starchy, stiff finished fabrics.
Also new for summer 2000 is the expected take-up by fashion apparel manufacturers of cotton or viscose terry cloth fabrics. These would normally be sold into the bath towel trade.

Side by side with this trend, the forecast is for continued interest in any form of yarn that will lend a lustrous, preferably iridescent, look to a completed garment.

However it is pearly rather than directly sparkling finishes which are predicted to dominate the summer 2000 evening and glamour wear scene. This also encompasses the underwear market and, through keep fit kit and swimwear, also exerts a strong influence on sportswear.

In line with the fascination for all things pearly, soft greys and skin tone pinks will be back in style. Although some spinners say they see a clear coral as the first choice for their customers, particularly garment manufacturers selling into the beachwear business.

In leisure clothing generally the interest in "dirty " denims, which first manifested itself in spring 200l, is expected to extend across the whole market. Colours that look as if they have been mellowed and yellowed by age will take over from the super brights.

On the dark side of the spectrum, combinations of dark green with dark blues - a look being lyrically described by some producers as "tropical rain forest meets tropical seas" - will replace both conventional navy and bottle green.

All these predictions will be represented in the displays of both yarn samples and demonstration fabric swatches in the popular Trends Forum section of the show.

Incidentally, the upcoming Expofil will be the last to take place at Espace Branly. The regrets expressed by many regular visitors about the show leaving its conveniently central location will, the organisers believe, be more than compensated for by the extra space once it goes to the Paris Nord complex at Villepinte in June next year.

By Sonia Roberts.