Metallics Make Fabric Impact at Proposte

Carole Sloan, June 5, 2006

Cernobbio, Italy – A color palette that focused on pinks, purples, browns with blues of all shades, lots of greens including avocado -- and the now-standard black and white -- were the key color stories at Proposte here.

This high end decorative fabrics exhibition at Villa Erba is not only a showcase for the cutting edge of design in decorative fabrics, but it also is the platform for fabric technology innovations. And in both arenas, this year’s Proposte did not disappoint visitors.

An important segment of the exhibition focused on decorative sheers. In this category, metallics were used as a key design element. New technology is making seamless constructions available up to 330 cms. And yarn-shrinking techniques created major advances in the base cloths that were used for textural effects and prints. Burnouts in rich color palettes also offered high decorative appeal.

A major new direction for the Italian mills that form the nucleus of Proposte, as well as the high end mills from other European countries, was the emergence of indoor/outdoor high performance fabrics for the home.

As usual, silk constructions and designs were paramount, but this year they were enhanced with new twists such as metallic pigment print accents, metallic yarns and embellishments and printing and pleating. Expanding on the pleated looks were fabrics that created similar effects with yarn-shrinking processes.

While chenille has ebbed as a fashion yarn, chunky-looking fabrics abounded and many new offerings used unusual design and technology effects to create the look without the weight. Pocket weaves also offered fashionable looks and fil de coupe effects continued to be an important weaving technique.

Pattern scale was a singular design statement at many fabric companies with repeats up to several feet, as well as tromp l’oeil effects that created the look with smaller repeats. Much of the impact was reminiscent of the 1980s.

click any image for larger view

A scroll motif highlights a large scale sheer using metallic on a blend of polymide and linen at The Isle Mill. Milano from Deslee is typical of the giant scale designs shown at Proposte, here in avocado in a polyester/viscose blend. A giant scale herringbone check in fashion shades including purple and black was featured by Ta-Bru in an all-cellulose construction.

Seamless novelty sheers in 330 cm lengths were the highlight at Lodetex, shown here in Rita, a Trevira CS polyester construction using a shrink yarn to create a pocket effect. Large scale designs were prevalent on sheers as seen in Pozzi pale blue leaf motif of Trevira CS polyester. Technology and high style luxury combine in a new design, style D-3166.6 at Ratti that uses metallic pigment printing on a silk/viscose velvet.

Ernst Beck showcased a tossed floral motif is used on a burnout sheer in raspberry, a viscose/polyester blend. Swirls in a contemporary layout are shown in a pink/purple/aqua combination at Molteni.
Zaide, the centerpiece of a three part collection in black and white at Prosetex, combines the three design elements in silhouette: people, chandeliers and bouquets.

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