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Denim Mills Anticipate a Return to Vintage Americana Fabrics

It was only a year or two ago when denim mills feared a takeover by the activewear market. However, exhibitors at Kingpins Amsterdam last week revealed a Fall/Winter 20-21 season that looks beyond stretch fabrications with optimism.

New classics

Marbling effects from the ’80s were prominent in mills’ collections, particularly for the European market. While the U.S. still favors smooth stretch fabrications, Alvyda Kupinas, Kaltex America director of design, said Europe favors anything that looks American. The mill is also seeing interest in old-school red casts.

Soorty showcased fabrics that resembled classic Levi’s and Wrangler, with a new shade called Mars Blue offering a bright blue marble option. Soorty marketing and communications manager Eda Dikmen described the fabrics as “reinterpretations of old heroes” and expects that they’ll be future vintage pieces.

US Group’s collection, Authentic Appeal, serves exactly that—fabric with the iconic denim look. The line offers rigid options with bolder indigo textures and brighter twill lines. Naveena serves up heavy marbling and salt and pepper effects through technology that twists the yarns in a untraditional way.

Soft retro

Soorty’s Kiss Roll collection caters to demand for nostalgia as well. In this product range, the aims for “effortless chic vibes” with fabrications suited for every day denim essentials and upsized unisex designs. The retro-inspired mid shades can be updated with coatings or crispy weaves for more individual looks.

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Meanwhile, Panther Denim is continuing with soft pastels and corduroy that give a laid-back, ’80s feeling to women’s collections with a So-Cal twist.

Rodeo revisited

The Old West is calling at Panther Denim. Denim with authentic bases and vintage-inspired dirty washes, are among the factory’s key items for Fall/Winter 20-21. The reason for it, says Tim Huesemann, Panther Denim sales director, is to offer consumers something opposite from the perfect stretch jeans that overwhelm sales floors.

“Some brands want to start having something new to put next to the racks of dark indigo and black denim,” he said. The new version, he added, is less destroyed.

Panther Denim
Panther Denim

Color works

Winter whites are picking up momentum. Soorty presented a wide range of mid to heavy weight ecru fabrications, which complemented a line of soft muted military shades. The mill is also building up its selvedge assortment, adding an ecru selvedge to the mix, and its line of chunky 4×1 fabrications for garment dye. Jonell Yoeckel, Soorty’s VP sales and marketing in the U.S., says the additions reflect the growing popularity for cargo and wider silhouettes.

Black and inky shades of indigo remain a staple in fall collections. US Group’s Magma collection is based on deeper, richer colors that require fewer dye dips.

Soorty is seeing interest in its no fade Forever Black collection made with Lenzing Modal Black. Yoeckel said a partnership with Bestseller has is helped raise the profile of the sustainable fabric. Bestseller brand Only calls out both the mill and the fiber innovation on its hangtags.