February 05, 2011

Fabric trends for spring / summer 2012?

As I told you this week, I visited the fabric fair Fabric Start in Munich on Thursday for work. Our main aim was to find out about the fabric trends for spring/summer 2012. So let me walk you through what is happening at such a fair. At the entrance there was a long row of large Gütermann spools, each containing a different trend colour. From these spools every visitor unravelled some thread in order to have them readily available when needed. Although the image above is from last summer, it illustrates what it looked like. 

The image below actually shows this year's fair and what the booths looked like. Even though we do not order fabrics directly from fabric suppliers, the fair is important to get a first impression of the new trends. Whenever we liked a fabric, we ordered a swatch, which we will use later on as inspiration or order through one of our apparel suppliers if we want to actually use it.  

The fair was quite an experience for me and I had a great time although most suppliers seemed to show the same stuff over and over again. And concerning the trends for 2012, there really did not seem to be anything different from what is being shown in stores right now. Lots of flower prints, big and small, old-fashioned or abstract, I was really sick of flowers at the end of the day. And of course lots of animal prints. Overall, there was not much in between flower and animal prints. Some fruit prints inspired by Stella McCartney and Prada and an assortment of digitally printed fabrics which stand out through their sharpness of print and riot of colours. Below you find a little mash-up of these trends. 
 Fabric trends for SS2012, all fabric images from alfatex.de

Maybe the lack of new ideas means that the crazy fashion cycle is finally slowing down a bit. What do you think? Do you even care about fabric trends or do you just buy whatever you like? I would certainly like to hear your thoughts on this :)


  1. I enjoyed your summary about the fabric fair. I often wonder where does one go to order fabric wholesale for a store. I can't travel to Munich, but I like how you explain each photo. Is there a fabric fair in the US to purchase fabrics?

    Each time I mention selling fabric, I'm met with the decline of fabrics and people sewing. My passion is teaching sewing and my own fabric shop. What do you think?

  2. Caring about fabric trends can be beneficial to an extent. It's good to stay on top with what is appealing to the masses. However, at the end of the day, I think it's important to stay true to your own sense of style which is what sets designers apart. I believe this is how new fashion trends are made and of course, a bit of confidence and influence helps.

  3. Thank you both for your comments!

    I'm sure that there are also fabric fairs like that in the US. However, this fair catered more to the industries producing clothing than to shops selling fabrics since the minimum amounts that one has to purchase are quite large. I think it's that you follow your passion even though it is difficult at times. I still believe in a resurgence of sewing and other crafts and therefore keep my fingers crossed for you.

    I also heartily agree with the statement that trends are created by us. It seems to me that stores can't predict what will be trend but rather put a lot of different trends out there and then what is picked up by the consumer is considered to be trendy.

  4. So much of what you see at these shows is often dictated by what has been selling. They are often stuck and are being safe because to developed new fabric is a costly venture. Much of what they are showing is from what their customer, large design houses and garment manufacturers have developed. They often recolor the prints but it’s what has already been in some company’s lines for a season or two. So it all looks too familiar to feel that it’s new. Until someone comes along and has the money to invest in development of "new" prints or the textile companies start to develop it themselves you may see the same o’l stuff again and again.. having been in this industry for 25 years its all so repetitive.