As well as the creativity of the designers, the basis of all textiles is their raw material; the fibres that the fabrics are knit, woven or sewn from. To turn fibres into a fabric, the textile processing industry needs a thread in the form of a yarn or a spun yarn. At this early stage of production, the basic properties of the finished product are already determined: in this value-adding process, the blends of the different fibres are created and the yarn thickness is a very important feature of the later textile. And finally, the yarns are dyed and finished.
One observation we are seeing is that the fibres used by yarn producers are undergoing major changes. This development is affecting the market for natural fibres as well as that of chemical fibres. While in terms of natural fibres we are seeing a return to yarns from ancient cultivated plants like flax, ramie or stinging nettle and a boom for more sustainable fibres, among the developers of chemical fibres we are observing a real demand for the newest fibre innovation: recycled fibres manufactured in closed production cycles on a polyester, polyamide or nylon basis; artificially produced spider silk from protein enzymes and a boom in cellulose-based fibres like viscose.
Yarn Expo, which takes place twice a year in Shanghai and is the world’s biggest trade fair event for the yarn and fibre sector, anticipated this development and has divided its 493 exhibitors into segments: the Fancy Yarn Zone, Natural Cotton Yarn Zone, Colourful Chemical Zone, Quality Wool Zone, Green Linen Zone and e-Commerce Zone. The concept is being well received – over 17,000 professional visitors from 83 countries came to Shanghai between 11 and 13 October to inform themselves of the latest and most innovative fibre and yarn trends, as well as to source and order them, making the previous edition of the trade fair the most successful in its history. Yarn Expo is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; the China Cotton Textile Association; the China Wool Textile Association; the China Chemical Fiber Association; the China Bast & Leaf Fibres Textiles Association; and the China Textile Information Centre.
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