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FW 2021 : Top Fabrics

Let’s Talk Tactility

Tactility has been the overarching theme of the FW 21 runway season. Consumers have been deprived of human connection and the sensation of touch for more than a year now. Simultaneously their domestic life within soothing environments and new smart working lifestyles have put comfort and cocooning qualities on top of the requirements regarding textiles. It comes as no surprise, that knit is the top material of the season, being featured in an astonishing number of 1713 looks. While comfort is not so much about sweatpants anymore, we can see more sophisticated knit adaptions in slimline and fluid dress or set styles.

Linked to this uncompromising need for comfort and tactility, textured (+11% growth), furry materials (+35% growth) and fleece (+36% growth) have increased on the runway. Consumer demand for versatility, of balancing the purpose of a product with a dressy component, puts focus on new fabric manipulation techniques and a generally soft-touch. The trending textured materials and (fake) fur adoptions of outerwear, tops and accessories perfectly combine those needs of surface tactility while adapting to day-to-night dressing.

Quilted fabrics are gaining momentum as well, being used for new trending pieces like blanket coats or ballooning puffers. Here, interpretations are ranging from more crafty approaches, over sophisticated shiny quiltings that recall bedtime intimacy to geometric motifs with sleek and sportive finishings.

Talking about dressing up, a range of fabrics that feed into the prospect of returning nightlife by igniting associations of indulgent glamour are taking the stage. Sparkling and shiny materials have risen by 10% compared to FW20 and were featured in 1192 looks, making them one of the most used qualities of the shows. Sheers, Lace, Velvet and Satins are similarly part of the top fabrics and will enable you to capture the concepts of returning party-seasons and consumers drive to re-celebrate all the events missed-out in 2020. While those more dramatic and lustrous materials answer to new desires, other top fabrics answer to new circular values.

Sustainability and a new taste for repurposed aesthetics explain the material trend for patchwork (+11% growth) and crochet (+167% growth). Their hand-made appeal also makes those products feel more unique and therefore enable more meaningful connections between garments and their wearer. 

What fabrics to choose for a woman post-pandemic?

According to those top material trends, you should try o balance consumers needs of comfort and dressiness. For more commercial products hyper structures might translate into soft seersucker, and full-fur or teddy pieces into shearling details or furry hems. The idea of sheers can be adapted in mesh and chiffons, while your knits should consider cables and openworks for refreshed updates.

But first, take a closer look at all the fashion show fabric trends and the data, tracked by Livetrend Technology, to back-up your design decisions: 

Impressive Knits

1713
-10%

VS SS20

Spark and Shine

1192
+10%

VS SS20

Empowered Leathers

655
-40%

VS SS20

Barely-there Sheers

445
+11%

VS SS20

Tactile Textures

440
+11%

VS SS20

Augmented Furs

372
+35%

VS SS20

Out of Bed Quilting

263
+31%

VS SS20

Purposefully Patched

177
+11%

VS SS20

The Culture of Crochet

56
+167%

VS SS20

Fancy in Fleece

19
+36%

VS SS20

Textures of Comfort and Dreams

As the season puts a focus on materials, while shifting away from prints, try to be as innovative and comprehensive of consumer drivers as you can. Consumers will want to embrace soft sensations on their skins, which will need to be able to resonate their surface-appeal on screens previous purchases. Especially for elevated basics and more transitional garments 3-D textile structures, which indicate an ease of movement and supreme comfort, are fabrics to include within your assortment. Product presentation and merchandise are key here, but the selection of the right material will already impact the potential of creating new best-selling highlights. 

In order to understand all the information on those top fabric trends, make sure to understand your numbers:The trends are organized by the number of outfits on the shows, displayed on the left. The index of growth, which compares this season to Fall Winter 2020, can be found on the right. The graph in the center represents the evolution of the trend over the last three seasons.