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Pitti Filati goes green and technical

Green is the colour and green is the mindset for 2020, according to the many international yarn spinners, knitters, designers and influencers present at the Pitti Filati 84 trade fair held at the Fortezza da Basso from 23-25 January 2019.

Fashion research starts with yarn. Pitti Filati 84 proved it, where trends and colours for Spring/Summer 2020 revealed by designers and exhibitors at the Florence show centred on ‘green’ matters and advanced themes of technology and performance in this context.

Sporty themes gave rise to brighter colours, including mixes of natural with synthetic fibres and fancy yarns in genre collections. More sophisticated colours such as golds and teale, turquoise and red, black and white, were also suggested. Soft pastels brought undertones of pink in various shades as well as watercolour tones seen interpreted widely in the finest summer Merino. More grey asphalt tones and black were aimed at urban fashion highlighted with brights, seen at the Research Area.

Several images aimed to reinforce positive views on the textile industry; efforts on sustainability and social responsibility. The image of flying a kite on green issues at Lanificio dell’olivo was a good visual metaphor to start a conversation. A photo at Sudwolle illustrated a discarded wool knit disappearing naturally into grassland without trace, signifying true sustainability. The group’s multifarious Merino techno-yarns played a big part in the CKD (Creative Knitwear Design) project with The Woolmark Company.

Left: Botto Giuseppe sources much of its Naturalis Fibra from specific farms in Australia. Right: H2Dry washable Merino with high performance technical features was used for avant-garde streetwear design in the CKD Maglieria project.

Botto Giuseppe sources much of its Naturalis Fibra from specific farms in Australia. CEO Silvio Botto Giuseppe explained: “Sustainable customers are growing. They are concerned about the whole supply line. We find they also need to know about details of manufacturing and genuine certification.”

This year’s Pitti Filati knitwear show was a real event, full of vigour and colour, developed with young designers and professionals participating in the Rome-based Accademia Costume & Moda E Modateca Deanna on the CKD Master course. It involved high-profile spinners and big-ticket names in the industry. A very successful creative design show with a real buzz which electrified Pitti Filati. A selection of stunning garments was on display.

Participating companies included major partners The Woolmark Company, STOLL, Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia and Sudwolle. The CKD project aims to ensure real industrial and creative input into processes.


Napapijri and The Woolmark Company created a special brief ‘to improve the life of consumers and at the same time improving the planet’s well-being’ working on Fashion and Performance in the context of an ad hoc collection in the spirit of ‘Make it Better’. The designers received active input from The Wool Lab. The link-up between these substantial forces in the textile industry was described as a very positive experience for all by Zegna Baruffa’s Paola Rossi.

Zegna Baruffa luxury Merino yarns for summer exhibited characteristic qualities of fineness and softness, typified by Cashwool as well as yarns featuring wool and silk. H2Dry washable Merino with high-performance technical features was used for avant-garde streetwear design in the CKD Maglieria project.

The Spazio Ricerca, Pitti Filati’s trend area, the creative lab and experimental laboratory for the season curated by Nicola Miller and Angelo Ficus with a layout by Alessandro Morad, proved a must-visit for design professionals. Visitors carefully studied the imaginative surrealistic images and knitted interpretative fabrics via mixed media, including video.

These ideas anticipated the Summer Olympics in Japan, highlighting the inclusion of new street-based sports, like basketball, skateboarding and even river-surfing, giving scope for techno-yarns with a Far East twist and a less predictable end use than conventional sportswear.

The trend for soft footwear with high performance made from technical woollen yarn is gathering strength – in the street as well as the boutique – with several spinners including Sudwolle and Tollegno 1900 showing specialised techno-wool yarns developed for high-octane sport shoe brands.

Specialised techno-wool yarns developed for high-octane sport shoe brands were displayed by spinners including Sudwolle and Tollegno 1900.

David Marcante CEO of Sudwolle Group Italia stressed the importance of this successful development: “The yarn used is of fundamental importance. Thanks to the properties and structure of the wool fibres it is possible to enhance the potential of the footwear and heighten its performance.”

Tollegno 1900 Lana Gatto demonstrated sophisticated new digital imaging equipment introduced to aid customers’ yarn and fabric selection by bespoke digital design, a technology at last finding real acceptance and the collection of wool yarns including many performance features. CEO Lincoln Germanetti explained there were many advantages in sampling this way including the resulting detailed research on colours and trends.

That wool is gaining ground as a summer fibre is undeniable and Pitti Filati’s new yarns are shaping up to continue the trend. Graham A. Wilby, Director of Z Hinchliffe luxury fibre and lambswool specialists stated simply that “wool is in demand and despite higher prices and robust negotiations customers are choosing wool”.

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Janet Prescott is a seasoned independent writer and editor, contributing to diverse International publications. She is on the Council of TexSelect, a regular juror on Feel the Yarn at Pitti Filati and an invited Judge for the Professional Clothing Awards. Janet is working on a follow-up to her book Fashion Textiles Now, examining choices in a rapidly changing world.