Denim Fabric Takes a Forward Spin at Texworld USA

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photo credit: Arthur Friedman

Denim was a focus fabric at Texworld USA, and the spotlight was clearly on specialty fabrics and treatments invading the basic space.

Companies were showing printed and colored denim, along with enzyme washes and laser treatment, even throwing in some glitter and glitz along the way.

Aztex Trading, which designed a denim trend area for Texworld, also exhibited its wide array of denim from mills in its network mainly from the Western Hemisphere, including Mexico, Los Angeles, Colombia and Peru. Graham Anderton, a principal in Aztex, noted that the company also works with development centers and finishers in Italy and Spain.

“The mills we work with generally focus on niche denim aimed at brands in the specialty market,” Anderton said. “They also feature non-denim fabrics in a jeans silhouette.”

One mill, Official 39, was showing treated washed denim with a white and black printed effect on white denim, distressed black washed denim and leather-look fabric, as well as Lycra and indigo denim looks.

Patricia Medina, also a principal in Aztex, said the company is trying to develop a deeper network to promote Western Hemisphere denim manufacturing, which has taken some hits in recent years with the closing of mills in the U.S., notably Cone Mills shuttering its White Oak facility. Medina noted that Aztex is working with Cone’s Mexican mills.

[Read more about Cone Denim: Cone Denim Expands Oeko-Tex Certification to Mexico Factories]

At M&L Guangzhou Textile and Garment Co., general manager Cindy Zhong said the Chinese mill has an annual capacity of more than 20 million yards, with spinning and weaving machines, as well as dyeing and finishing and wash facilities.

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The company, which dubs itself “M&L Denim Made With Love,” was showing a wide range of denim looks, including colorful prints, washed and distressed finishes, as well as rich solid colors.

Zhong said, “We have also developed abrasion-resistant fabrics and elastic fabrics with soft feel.”

M&L makes goods for the likes of Evisu, Lee Cooper and Versace jeans.

Irene He, manager of the Denim Sales department at Hebei Xindadong Textile Co, also in China, showed the mill’s diverse groups of specialty fabrics, using various washes and treatments, all meant to look anything but basic. She said the company has a global customer base and also manufactures more basic denim not featured at the show.

Tricia Carey, director of global business development for denim at Lenzing, said Lenzing’s Refibra fiber derived from post-industrial fabric scraps, is getting much traction in the denim market, including a capsule collection from Adriano GoldSchmied.

Carey said colored denim is important going forward, and Cone Denim is using Lenzing’s Modal Future Black for luxurious black fabric.

“We are utilizing the lyocell technology with closed loop manufacturing process that reuses more than 99.5% of the solvent,” Carey said. “Refibra fibers are strong, soft and can be blended with other fibers for knits, wovens and indigo fabrics.”

“The challenge is in the production end and finding the right mills to work with,” Carey said.

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