Sustaining the fashion world at Pitti Filati


Pitti Immagine Connect, the digital multi-platform of the Florence shows was pressed into full service last year when lockdowns began. For 2021 the concept of the digital platform has been honed into an understandable and useful way of replicating a little of the busy, much anticipated Florence fairs. Both will survive undoubtedly in some form.

Pitti Filati, sitting happily in the Pitti Immagine Connect platform that includes Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo, enjoyed a much longer window than usual for the three months that the shows and collections were open, with the commercial section still active.

The main lesson of Pitti Filati is that, including as many aspects of the physical show as possible works well.  A streamed Fashion show and presentations, conversations with CEOs and individual designers can still take place giving a special edge to the Pitti Immagine experience.

History has simply accelerated a process of change already underway, which today becomes reality

At Pitti Connect The Woolmark Company launched its new online platform, The Wool Lab Digital, freely accessible to everyone in a dedicated area of Regarded as an indispensable tool for many different design areas, it is another step towards the exchange of information, artistry and inspiration which will it is hoped carry the industry forth after the difficulties of the past seasons.

Sustainability continues to be the important area throughout Pitti Filati – it can’t be underestimated; yarns are the driving force of the supply chain. In this, Zegna Baruffa was one of the earlier adopters of the philosophy and keeps ahead of the pack, aiming for transparency and data driven analysis.

Radically Honest Zegna Baruffa – the blues. © Pitti Immagine.
Radically Honest Zegna Baruffa – the blues. © Pitti Immagine.

Research area

‘History has simply accelerated a process of change already underway, which today becomes reality. After experiencing smart working, the invasion of private space made public, an obsession with hygiene, and isolation that is also overexposure’ – These were the words to introduce Spazio Ricerca area reacting to behaviour post-Pandemic.

The famous Research Area designed by Angelo Figus and Nicola Miller starts with New New, a typically cerebral approach which delights designers. The duo anticipates a rush to new, bright essentials of life, after a long lockdown and even a move away from recycled clothing towards everything new. Their prediction is a new period of optimism and renewal in which fashion will play a part and green theme abound.

Anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and lately anti-viral treatments indicate the growing role of fabric in wellbeing, another frequently mentioned goal. Alpes Manifattura Filati are already tackling this, among their other up-market yarns, with quality cotton yarns from selected and controlled raw material where sanitized treatment, antibacterial and antimicrobial, are guaranteed for 20 washes.

Alpes sustainable fabric. © Pitti Immagine.
Alpes sustainable fabric. © Pitti Immagine.

Alpes priorities identify yarns with the most important environmental certifications across the board. Linen is pleasingly described as ‘ancient and modern at the same time’; naturally bio and eco sustainable.

European Linen and organic cotton as named materials are a frequent choice this season, for example, Sesia manifatture with highly rated Giza cotton.

Lanificio dell’Olivo HQ is based in Prato. Their forte is to mix noble and natural fibres with innovative materials within new sustainable structures; collections are bright and fancy.

Lanificio dell’Olivo. © Pitti Immagine.
Lanificio dell’Olivo. © Pitti Immagine.

The aim is to create sustainable yarns of quality. The lockdown maintains CEO Fabio Campana has given extra impetus to development. ‘The company has invested in digital development, we have also devised a Dream Box of elegant samples with a QR sent to specific customers, that leads to the website. ‘Stock holding has increased immensely, and, you understand, stock for a fancy yarn maker is a big thing.’

Filidea part of the Marchi & Fildi group, has moved its knitwear yarns very much upmarket; it has completely re-thought the collection for a re-position and upgraded; its starting point is in ‘traditional values natural fibres and sustainability at all levels’. The aim is to create a versatile collection in the medium/high sector of the market. ‘Preferences for natural, biodegradable fibres lead to silk, European linen and GOTS-certified cotton, pure or in blends with Bember cupro, the regenerated cellulose fibre with GRS certification.’

Sustainable and certified yarns and performance feature contemporary elegance for knitwear brands.

Trending themes

Sustainability is the major emphasis in all collections, in all areas, including reviewing disposability of packaging.

Innovative and trend-setting proposals featured bright colours and complex stitches and focused on stronger and more balanced yarns; others were soft, lightweight and brushed. Cariaggi had light summer worsteds in cashmere and Merino in bright colours. Seasons, they said, are now more indistinct.

Cariaggi Whispers of Summer, lightweight worsted yarns bright colours in cashmere. © Pitti Immagine.
Cariaggi Whispers of Summer, lightweight worsted yarns bright colours in cashmere. © Pitti Immagine.

Fine and extremely fine yarns, most of them linear, take some moves into hyper-refined, chic, tactile and structured yarns designed expressly for contemporary knitwear. Colour palettes vary between light tones and bright colours for the new knitwear, with red and all shades of blues.

A palette with more acid tones, green and yellow is also emerging from the Trend Area. Lurex and top class metallics are also part of the colourful, shiny new reality everyone is awaiting. The message is that sustainable yarns can also carry major fashion themes. Trending fibres range from cotton, wool, silk, linen and other innovative fibres spun as mono-materials or blends, high performing yarns seen at Cotonificio Olcese dyeing them in a unique range of colour both single and mélange.

Cotonificio Alcese, the blues which never leave. © Pitti Immagine.
Cotonificio Alcese, the blues which never leave. © Pitti Immagine.

The safety and traceability of the supply chain are essential elements for Ecafil, who use the GOTS, OEKO-TEX and RWS certifications: ´synonymous with reliability and compliance with the criteria for a more sustainable fashion with quality, people’s health, animal health and respect for the environment as cornerstones of our product’.

Ilaria, the masters of the fancy yarns, mohair and innovators are proud of their investment in the business; their fantasy twisting system, and departments of spinning, winding, yarn cleaning and dyeing. ‘This process has allowed us to cover the complete production cycle and to protect, in this way, the quality of our product. Fantasy yarns for knits, weaving are important this year and every year.’ These centre round mixing natural fibres and synthetics with a larger or equal quantity of natural fibres in the ratio.

Different fibres are frequently used in particular precious and synthetic combinations like Industria Italiana Filati with superfine alpaca and recycled pet polyester; 82%Superfine alpaca with 18% recycled polyester.

Notable designs

Some combinations are very complex in order to achieve particular looks or feel. They included virgin wool/ wool cashmere/ polyamide, polyester or   wool cashmere /polyester. Tiny points of paillettes light on yarn, silver on red for a beautiful effect.

Brushed purple knits, mixes of Kid mohair extrafine Merino 50% and 50 polyester: 74% Linen and 26% cotton (Filartex). Mixed patchwork in bright colours, deep tones, many yarns with sparkle from polyester (dell’Olivo). Twisted cables in soft, green fluffy yarn at Gi Ti Bi Filati.

Lanificio Dell’Olivo’s Fabio Campana   gave us his verdict on the Pitti Connect platform ´It gets better and better, especially the colour obtained onscreen is better, which is essential’.

With so many elements it is evident that digital developments are at the heart of what is pushing the agenda in 2022 It is what is going on in the textile industry at the moment.

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