Skip to main content

Fall 2021 Textile Trends Meditate on Post-Pandemic ‘Transition’

The fashion industry is adapting to the realities of the global coronavirus pandemic—and making adjustments based on the fact that its impacts will be long felt by shoppers.

Fabrics group Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics’ Directions Trend Committee has made its textile trend projections for fall 2021, and the theme of “transition” is likely to play key role in the season’s innovations. “Change is the only constant in a pendulum rhythm between tradition and future, techno and craft,” the organization’s analysts wrote.

Comfort, self-expression and a reconnection to nature will become important objectives for shoppers in the wake of this year’s events, analysts said. The industry is undergoing an evolution that underscores these values, by promoting sustainability and the creation of a true circular economy. In recent months, inclusivity and a focus on social justice have also come to the forefront of consumer consciousness.

Analysts identified four main textile trends they believe will embody the theme of transition in the season’s textile offerings.

Feel good

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics Identifies 4 Fall 2021 Trends
A pastel yellow padded coat, the embodiment of the Feel Good trend story, makes a turn at Copenhagen Fashion Week in January. Shutterstock

Built to envelop their wearers in comfy, cozy warmth, these fabrics are made with both natural and synthetic fibers. Consumers will relax into soft, supple fabrics that elicit almost therapeutic effects.

Made with a broad range of soft-colored neutrals and gentle, soothing tones and textures, these protective and functional fabrics are often padded, inflated or quilted. Dense, combed wools and soft, brushed surfaces add a vintage charm, while lightweight wool, silk and cashmere blends, raised mohair and ultra-soft jersey lend an ethereal feel.

Related Stories


Impact is a color-soaked textile trend story full of striking prints.
Impact is a color-soaked trend story full of striking prints. ANDREW MORALES/WWD/Shutterstock

Dynamic prints, bright, arresting colors and engaging patterns define the Impact trend story. Inspired by the ‘90s tech world, Impact blends beauty with dynamism, bringing saturated monochromes together with bold, eye-catching patterns.

Fabrics will include recycled polyester and cotton, jersey and jacquard knits for geometric designs, and leather and latex.

Laser, enamel and embossed finishings will adorn these fabrics, bringing to life the extravagant prints and lush colors.


Earthy neutrals and camouflage, like the dramatic coat Winnie Harlow wore for Jean Paul Gaultier, feature in Preservation.
Earthy neutrals and camouflage, like the dramatic coat Winnie Harlow wore for Jean Paul Gaultier, feature in Preservation. WWD/Shutterstock

“In a world that feels increasingly fast-paced, unstable and digitally driven, we will find new appreciation in the preservation of cultures and products that have withstood the test of time,” analysts said. A reconnection to nature will also emerge as a focus of the Preservation trend.

Sustainable fabrics, bulky wovens, alpaca and coarse wool blends, eco-friendly fur, vegan leathers, and stiff cottons with functional coatings will embody the look, in bold stripes, checks, jacquards and natural camouflage prints.

Earth tones, neutrals and pops of bright, yet organic, color will punctuate the line, bringing to mind minerals, vegetation and soil.


Lyric styling relies on luxurious jewel tones, brocades and metallic accents.
Lyric styling relies on luxurious jewel tones, brocades and metallic accents. Shutterstock

Opulent, flamboyant and a total rebellion against minimalism, Lyric places emphasis on luxurious, muted jewel tones with roots in nobility and aristocracy.

Fabrics like rich satins, moire, taffeta, crushed velvet, fine chenille, and draped jersey with liquid coatings emphasize the trend’s richness, while multicolor baroque florals and jacquards lend depth to the materials. Wool, silk and cashmere blends, along with rare laces and extra-fine tulle add a feminine flourish, while brocades, metallic accents, sequins and rhinestone appliques dazzle the eye.