December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 45 Tops that float away from the body and can be easily layered are popular in women's wear. (Image courtesy Alternative Apparel) HAVE THEM IN STITCHES "A predominant theme to remember when considering upcoming trends for 2017 is fab- ric innovations," says Margaret Crow, S&S Activewear. "We all love to wear soft fabrics, and there are so many options available now that we expect nothing less than pure com- fort. On the fashion side of the spectrum, gauze, 50/50 blends, slubs, and French terry continue to improve and are offered in more categories and a deeper size range." Crow continues to explain that slub fab- ric in T-shirts will only grow into a stronger trend going into next year, as there continue to be style introductions with this interest- ing fabrication. A slubbed fabric is created by adding slightly thicker, raised threads throughout the weave, resutling in an im- perfect, organic, and natural look. It used to be that this made the fabric rougher, but new techniques have given slub fabrics an inherent stretch and a soft hand. "Slubs are not just prevalent in fashion-purpose T- shirts," she says. Several new styles are being introduced in the spirit wear category, such as short-sleeve and raglan-sleeve styles with on-trend athletic striping. Further expanding on the comfiest fab- rics we'll see in next season, Crow points to French terry as a surefire hit. Like slubs, French terry has been around for a while, but it's become popular as a lightweight alternative to fleece, she states. The oh-so touchable fabric is still warm and cozy, but offers an upscale look, adding to its charm and value. Many of the 2016 trends will have a place in the coming year and are expected to be enhanced, Alternative Apparel's Nurain Alicharan reports. It is predicted that we will continue to see brushed fleece and ev- ergreen patterns, such as stripes, as well as polyblends in the upcoming year. Leah Hulon, Expert Brand, echoes these sentiments, stating that she predicts there will be continued forays in new novelty heathers and fabrics with texture and sur- face interest. "For women's wear, I would say the off-the-shoulder look will be preva- lent, as well as soft, easy, away-from-the- body pieces that can be belted."

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