Woollen Weaves

As we inch closer to win­ter, the warm woollen wear ly­ing in our wardrobes be­gins to see the light of day once again, while newer trend col­lec­tions too make their way to the store shelves. Bindu Gopal Rao ex­plores.

Apparel - - Science Plus -

It’s that time of the year when the nip in the air is pal­pa­ble. It is also that time when ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ers get out their warm fab­rics and the sea­son when woollen rules the roost.

There has been a spree of in­creas­ing fond­ness for the knit­ted wear mar­ket in the coun­try. Un­like the usual de­signs in the usual fab­rics, a range of hues and cloth­ing ma­te­ri­als has been in­tro­duced and is be­ing cel­e­brated widely.

DE­MAND DRIV­ERS

Both knit­ted and non-knit­ted win­ter wear are in high de­mand, as they vary with the con­sumers’ bud­get and life­style. How­ever, knit­ted ap­parel is wit­ness­ing a faster in­crease in de­mand com­pared to wo­ven ap­parel. Ra­jat Wahi, Part­ner, Deloitte In­dia, says, “Light­weight knitwear is a trend­ing cat­e­gory and is ex­pected to con­tinue its growth in the com­ing years as it is more fash­ion­able as well as com­fort­able. Many ma­jor re­tail­ers are em­pha­sis­ing on cot­ton sweaters and light­weight sweat­shirts that de­liver both fash­ion and func­tion­al­ity.” With the con­sumer go­ing for smarter and func­tional wear, the In­dian woollen wear mar­ket has stepped into the era of cre­at­ing a bal­ance be­tween style and func­tion­al­ity. The choices are in­clin­ing more to­wards gar­ments which, along with sa­ti­at­ing the weather con­di­tions, are fea­si­ble to carry. Leav­ing be­hind the need-based win­ter mar­ket, the share of woollen wear has in­creased by leaps and bounds now. Ashima Sharma, owner of Ashima S Cou­ture says, “The lat­est launches in woollen ap­parel are woollen capes and pon­chos which are to be worn over a top or a sweat­shirt. Also, full-length woollen dresses with ap­pliqué patches are a western trend which will be seen trend­ing in In­dia too.”

NEW VIS­TAS

The ad­vent of year-round woollen fab­rics that can be worn not only in the win­ters, but also in the sum­mers is a given to­day. Sum­mer fab­rics made of fine wool which is light­weight and of finer

mi­crons are pop­u­lar. “To in­crease mmar­ket reach in an al­ready niche seg­ment, prod­uct re-en­gi­neer­ing is es­sen­tial. The prod­ucts are made with an op­ti­mum per­cent­age of wool, blended with poly and/or vis­cose in fine counts/mi­crons. The in­ten­tion is to make the drape im­pec­ca­ble, the fin­ish smooth and the price af­ford­able, cater­ing pri­mar­ily to the mass premium seg­ments. Grado from the House of OCM has re­cently launched these fab­rics as part of the mid-sea­son range. The prod­ucts span across su­perfine 90s to 140s poly/wool/vis­cose blends,” says Vikram Ma­hal­dar, MD, OCM. Fin­ishes/treat­ments are ap­plied to woollen fab­rics to fur­ther en­hance the per­for­mance of the prod­uct, such as the ma­chine wash­able fin­ish which is es­pe­cially treated with a poly­mer to im­prove the af­ter wash ap­pear­ance. Wrin­kle re­sis­tance is given through a chem­i­cal treat­ment that has a strong co­va­lent bond, which re­places the weaker hy­dro­gen bonds and gives more sta­bil­ity to the fab­ric. Aroma treat­ment on fab­rics (par­tic­u­larly for spe­cial oc­ca­sions) is coated with nano-cap­sules and em­anates the re­spec­tive fra­grance.

NOW TREND­ING

Hand-wo­ven stripes and ab­stract print stripes in weaves are a mas­sive win this win­ter. This sea­son could also be called aloud as ‘the sea­son of blends and mixes’. Gar­ments in cash­mere mixed with wool, silk and linen are the new­est launches in town. In terms of shirt­ing, cot­ton shirts with flan­nel fin­ish are also in vogue. TTo­day,day woollen wear has gone be­yond the cliché jer­seys. “The modern gen­tle­man now is as pre­cise as never be­fore. Be it a ca­sual day, a gath­er­ing or the wed­ding day, new heights of cre­at­ing trends are touched at every as­pect. Talk­ing about the trends for this win­ter, it is all about asym­met­ri­cal cuts and blends of prints and em­broi­deries. De­tail­ing in terms of em­broi­deries and quirky pat­terns is be­com­ing a must. Talk­ing about ac­ces­sories, grooms are go­ing for shawls in­stead of the reg­u­lar stoles with sher­wa­nis, thus adding a lit­tle quirk yet class,” says Sag­gar Mehra, Cre­ative Di­rec­tor at House of Su­nil Mehra. Con­sumers are mov­ing to­wards a more ver­sa­tile wardrobe space–the blazer has taken the prime role in a va­ri­ety of oc­ca­sions. “Although it is some­thing that ev­ery­one wears, its im­por­tance is even more em­pha­sised in the con­sumer’s wardrobe now. The new age ur­ban cus­tomer is also seen shift­ing from off-the-shelf jack­ets to a more cus­tomised/ tai­lored so­lu­tion. Blaz­ers can be worn with con­trast trousers and shirts to of­fice, and worn down with a pair of jeans and sneak­ers and a t-shirt for an evening out. An­other top trend is su­perfine 140s woollen shirt­ing fab­rics and kurta fab­rics in fine wool blends, which are the top sell­ers in the north­ern and eastern parts of In­dia,” adds Ma­hal­dar.

HAND-WO­VEN STRIPES AND AB­STRACT PRINT STRIPES IN WEAVES ARE A MAS­SIVE WIN THIS WIN­TER.

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