Giving raw vintage character to year-round denims, irregularly flecked yarns enhance both surface and visual tactility. Along with slubs and noils, which create linear and sometimes streaky texture due to increasing and decreasing thicknesses along yarn lengths, sporadic specks and neps appeal to designers and labels going for rustic country looks.
Neps are groupings of entangled or broken fibers that create irregular knots and dots on yarns. When woven into fabric, these masses protrude to fabric faces. A result of immature cellulose fibers, neps do not take dye like the rest of the yarn, further heightening contrast, which only increases over time with fading. Along with flanneling and brushing, irregular yarns give snugness to fall and winter collections, but are also moving into lighter and crisper spring collections of selvedge denim, plain, oxford, crosshatch and chambray weaves.
Moving beyond playful rainbow flecks from last season, this idea matures with the introduction of linen, hemp, wool and silk to cotton twills. Snowy white and ecru dots offer high contrast against deep indigo. For yarn and material producers, heather wefts and more subdued multicolor stories could evoke tweed and donegal looks for outerwear and tailored separates.