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Kingpins Amsterdam Preview: What’s New for Spring/Summer 2021

Kingpins Amsterdam kicks off this week, revealing a first look at new denim fabric innovations and trends for Spring/Summer 2021.

With the industry’s impact on the environment under a microscope, here’s a look at how mills are ramping up sustainable initiatives and solutions across fiber, dyeing, finishing and more.

To dye for

For Calik Denim, investments in sustainability are not only for its own production processes, but for its clients, too. In its second season, the mill is building out its water-reducing D-Clear technology to more of its collection. The technology uses 40 percent less water in the indigo dyeing process and 83 percent less water during finishing, and reduces the volume of chemicals used per meter by 94 percent.

Adding to this, Calik is debuting Denethic, a range of fabrics that have washed effects without actually having to go through the washing process. The fabrics are produced to have the appearance of being rinse washed, rinse and enzyme washed, or bleached. Denethic fabrics can be used for cut-and-sew garments, or laundered for heavier wash effects, but with less water, chemicals, energy and time. The concept includes vintage-looking and crosshatch fabrics in both mid and light washes.

Prosperity Textile is dabbling in indigo-free denim with authentic washdowns. The Revelation Blue collection features a new proprietary eco dyeing technology that is aniline-free, hydrosulfite-free and saves 60 percent water. The mill also developed a type of 3D dyeing to achieve a ring-dyed look that is laser friendly. The fabrics have more contrast detailing with highs and lows.

As more brands adopt laser finishing, mills like Artistic Fabric & Garment Industries (AFGI) and Naveena are working on complementary fabrics that make the technology more efficient and accurate.

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“It has become clear that lasers are going to play a vital part in the future of sustainable laundry processing, saving tremendous amounts of water and chemicals,” Hasan Javed, AFGI director, said. “Over the last year we have done a deep analysis in our fabric R&D department to develop a perfect blend of the right fibers, shades and finishes to empower our state-of-the-art laundry in the garment division.”

AFGI’s solution is M-Power fabrics, a range of denim fabrics that are designed to empower the use of lasers. The fabrics are made with 100 percent cellulose fibers to avoid heat damage and melting under the light. Meanwhile, the dyeing process is adjusted for the perfect pH and concentration to ensure richly colored dyes, but with enough clean fibers in the yarn so wear patterns are visible. M-Power fabrics are also sulfur free, making it the perfect canvas for the lasers to create crisp or vintage images.

Naveena’s Denim X.0 collection includes new laser-sensitive fabrics called Beam Denim. The fabrics are specifically designed for laser applications, allowing for easy chip-off and reduced finishing time. Additionally, the mill says the fabrics are easy on the environment, saving on energy and water and eliminating harsh chemicals.

Rudolf Hub 1922 aims to make laser finishing more effiecient with the application of Rudolf Laser Primer, a technology made up of four processes that can “significantly enhance” aesthetics of indigo and sulphur dyes and achieve important energy savings. The chemical specialist worked with two customers over the course of eight months to develop the process.

Better ingredients

Mills continue to diversify the types of fibers in their collections.

AFGI introduces the Pure Collection, a line of fabrics made from more responsible sources including post-consumer recycled denim, post-industrial recycled cotton, organic cotton, Better Cotton, hemp, post-consumer recycled polyester, Tencel Refibra and more.

Artistic Milliners bows Bio-Vision, a new platform that offers brands the “best (and evolving)” options for biodegradable/compostable ingredients for zero-waste design concepts. The fabrics, which are compliant with the Ellen McArthur jeans redesign guidelines, eliminates poly in stretch constructions. The resulting fabrics are comfortable and maintain the same performance standards as fabrics made with poly.

For Prosperity, the focus is upgrading the mill’s recycled cotton line. Its Reindigo fabrics are made with 100 percent indigo yarns that are recycled from the cutting waste fabrics and indigo yarn waste. No further indigo-dyeing processed is needed to achieve true blue denim looks thanks to the original indigo tones that came with the recycled indigo ingredients.

Prosperity Textile
Prosperity Textile Courtesy

Fashion moments

Calik channels the ’80s with its concept called High Retro. However, this new take on the decade is reworked to speak to the tastes of contemporary denim consumers. The fabrics replace authentic salt-and-pepper effects with a cleaner and smoother appearance.

Athleisure and comfort continue to be an area of focus for Naveena. The mill’s new Easy Fit fabrics combine stretch and shape retention with high elasticity and less compressive force than typical stretch fabrications. Meanwhile, Naveena’s four-way stretch fabric, Reflex, responds instantaneously to the wearer’s movement.

Artistic Milliners takes on “ridiculously comfy” fabrics with Buttery Soft, a range of gender-neutral fabrications engineered with an integrated multiprocess to give fibrous softness that holds up in repeated home launderings.

Bossa has a range of soft summer fabrics lined up for the season. The fabrics are easy to bleach, comfortable and suitable for relaxed fits. The mill is also softening up its collection with color, particularly with gray and purple. Gray—from bleached-down black to almost white gray—serves as a new summer alternative to blue, while deep and faded shades of purple speak to Gen Z’s optimistic mood.

“We wanted this collection to give off warm summer vibes and happy thoughts,” the mill stated.