Yarns for Spring 2025 Are Crisp, Airy, Lightweight
MILAN — The year ahead is poised to be a tough one for yarn spinners, as the dampened macroeconomic climate is likely to dent consumer confidence and spending — trends that will ultimately trickle down to them in the form of lower order volumes.
“‘Black swans’ and ‘grey rhinos’ such as wars, regional conflicts, inflation and more are around the corner,” said Boris Xue, owner and chief executive officer of Consinee Group, the Ningbo, China-based cashmere spinner, which in 2023 posted $836.9 million in revenues, up more than 10 percent versus a year earlier.
He summed up the feeling of uncertainty and volatility experienced by many among the 115 industry operators, eight of which hail from abroad, gathering at the three-day textile trade fair Pitti Filati starting Wednesday to unveil their spring 2025 collections, hinged on lightweight, see-through and crisp textures.
“Inflation is having a strong impact on end products, hitting consumption, especially in Fashion,” said Alberto Conti, cofounder and CEO of Monticolor, a spinner based in the outskirts of Brescia, in Italy’s Lombardy region. The company posted sales of 31 million euros in 2023, down 9 percent compared to the previous year.
“Never has the landscape been as characterized by polarized and diverging trends as this year. This is due to the overall uncertainty looming,” echoed Lincoln Germanetti, president of Tollegno 1900.
“Markets are very unstable…. Textile makers have already experienced a season marked by strong downturns and knitwear, albeit brisk, will increasingly focus on mindful and measured production … avoiding waste,” added Alberto Enoch, CEO of silk spinner Servizi e Seta.
The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, high interest rates as well as logistics hiccups were cited among the most significant roadblocks to growth, requiring that yarn makers forge even stronger ties with their business partners.
“The year 2024 is going to be very complex; the vast majority of clients and markets are experiencing a contraction in sales. The premises are far from rosy, but I also believe that we are unloading growth amassed in the past two post-COVID-19 years,” said Silvio Botto Poala, CEO of the Biella, Italy-based mill Botto Giuseppe.
After growing in the midsingle-digit range in 2023, Botto Giuseppe expects a yet-to-be-quantified downturn in sales to bring its revenues down to pre-pandemic levels.
Backed by its investors Chanel and Brunello Cucinelli, knit yarn specialist Cariaggi saw a slight contraction in sales to 139 million euros last year. The company’s CEO Piergiorgio Cariaggi highlighted an improvement in its earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization and expressed pride for the company’s business performance, “the fruit of ongoing commitment and investments that allowed us to grow and strengthen our presence in Italy and abroad,” he said.
Along the same lines, Lorenzo Piacentini, CEO of the Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia wool mill, acknowledged that “2023 has showed contrasting trends, with growth in first half compared to a year earlier, and a downturn across the sector in the second half.”
Boasting clients operating in the high-end and luxury space, he said that, despite uncertainties, “consistency in our strategy and a focus on the market segment that is more focused on quality and among the most attentive to sustainable development represent a guarantee of resilience of our business and offering, which have been able to attract a loyal clientele.”
According to preliminary data provided by Sistema Moda Italia, the Italian yarn spinning sector registered a turnover of 3.1 billion euros in 2023, down 4.2 percent compared to the previous year.
Executives were aligned in their concern over conditions in China and the U.S. While the former’s economic performance is still “indecipherable,” in the words of Servizi e Seta’s Enoch, albeit showing signs of recovery for Fashion in the third and fourth quarter last year, November elections in the U.S. are creating hope around an economic rebound.
Despite the uncertain financial outlook, Italian spinners, faced with a fragmented and demanding market, especially in the luxury segment core to their business, cannot skimp on investments. For all companies, research and development on products catering to luxury and high-end brands and embedding real sustainability is a priority as part of day-to-day operations.
Servizi e Seta opened a new manufacturing division at its Ochieppo Superiore, Italy, plant, internalizing some of the production phases, and bought new machinery to enhance its linen and blended yarns. Its CEO said that more investments are in line for 2024 and 2025, as it aims to become a fully integrated manufacturer, and self-sufficient, courtesy of a new photovoltaic system supplying 100 percent of its energy demand.
Consinee Group said it allocates 6.5 percent of its yearly sales to R&D in an effort to enhance its sustainability features and build a fully integrated supply chain.
Similarly, Cariaggi is earmarking 6 million euros to expand its plant and add new custom-made machinery, while Botto Giuseppe’s investments are geared at reducing its environmental footprint, from new low-consumption equipment to processes retrieving 30 percent of water used across spinning.
As much as the quiet luxury trend continues to be a hot topic, yarn spinners are banking on sleeker and crisp threads, done in a subtle, yet colorful palette, for spring 2025.
The ongoing demand for sustainable threads — if not by end consumers, certainly by Fashion brands — as well as people’s longing for life in the outdoors offers a chance to hinge on nature-inspired collections, said Angelo Figus, cocurator together with Nicola Miller of Pitti Filati’s research center.
At Cariaggi, cashmere is blended with other natural fibers, from silk to linen, to create a knitwear mélange, with textured yarns in an ice-pop color palette combining hints of purple and pink with more subdued shades.
At Servizi e Seta blends are also ubiquitous, in the Alaska yarn pairing silk and Organic Content Standard-certified cotton aimed at more casual garments and, on the dressier front, the crepe Global Organic Textile Standard-approved silk and cotton blend Maine Crepe and Vermont Crepe, defined by a flowing and crisp texture, respectively.
Other crepe iterations, including Opacum Crespum crafted from Global Recycled Standard-certified recycled silk and Mustard and Rosemary embedding Forest Stewardship Council-approved viscose sourced from Lenzing in combination either with silk or wool, have a bright and crisp texture befitting the summer season.
Summery crepe with a fluid and airy feel is front and center in the Monticolor collection, too. The spinner introduces Organza, crafted from organic cotton and recycled polyammide with a see-through effect. The company reinvented its cotton spinning expertise in multiple ways, for example doubling down on the use of recycled cotton threads. The cable-spinned and undyed Vimine pre-consumer recycled cotton has a tactile, almost grainy, texture and is the most advanced sustainable product the company offers, developed as part of its link with Re-Verso, a collective of cashmere, wool and cotton specialists joining forces to develop circular products.
The Stringa and Strafilo cotton yarns are offered in the “bio” versions made from double-twisted organic cotton.
Botto Giuseppe, which recently joined the Slow Fiber movement, also experimented with bolder iterations on its bestsellers. Reassuring yarns done in desaturated, dusty pastels furthering their airy and see-through effect and billed as “cloudlike fibers,” include the Slowsilk and Hairy Silk yarns, while vibrant colors such as yellow, red and lime green swathe the silk and cotton blends Okinawa and Moorea. A mineral, bright texture characterizes the Charme yarn, a blend of silk, polyamide and Lurex, as well as the fluid Furetto 100 percent silk yarn.
Sticking by its cashmere-leaning offering, Consinee Group offers summery blends with hemp, silk and bio-based fibers, while Zegna Baruffa, drawing inspiration from the Garden of Eden and its elements for an earthy and watery palette, introduces the Casquette yarn, an ultrafine, 17.5-micron merino wool fiber that’s lightweight and airy.
The latter company also expands its H2Dry family with machine washable, low-pilling and easy-care qualities, developed in partnership with The Woolmark Company. At Tollegno 1900, which has ditched identifying the season in collection names as it moves toward a timeless, four-season offering, the appetite for crisp yarns echoed in the Responsible Wool Standard-certified Harmony, 100 percent merino wool yarn and the Flaxy blend of European Flax-certified linen and merino wool.
Yarns for Spring 2025 Are Crisp, Airy, Lightweight