09 June 2019 Newsletter

09 June 2019 Newsletter

Dear Sector Stakeholder,

This communication serves to keep you informed, and as always, we encourage you to engage with us regarding any activities or developments that you wish to learn more about, or any questions you may have.

This year, SAMC visited the Pitti Filati Fair in Florence from the 26th to the 28th June.

Pitti Filati is a global yarn fair comprising three different sections:

Pitti Filati – concept lab and platform representing world-class yarns

Fashion at work – style consulting, stitch and prototype development, printing on knits, knitting
machinery, accessories and trimmings, dyeing and finishing, and more
Knitclub – supplier platform showcasing quality knitting mills capable of interpreting brands
technical and creative needs

SAMC’s attendance was aimed at accumulating new knowledge and insights regarding yarns and knitwear applications, to be used to inform innovation, product development and possibly even technology demonstrations.

While our learnings are broad, we have attempted to share some initial observations below and a more detailed report will be compiled over the next few weeks:
1. Sustainability has become a core message communicated by all stakeholders, and many companies promote their sustainability.
2. Competing natural fibres, including alpaca, are unable to imitate mohair’s unrivalled lustre.
3. Trends lean towards blending mohair with other yarns when knitting to create a softer handle, different texture, or unique dimension to the final product.
4. Yarn structures are becoming more and more ‘fancy’, with spinners emphasising the fibre’s excellent lustre, texture and colour properties.
5. The majority of mohair spinners and knitters are blending with sparkly materials such as sequences or lurex, creating opportunities for formal occasion pieces.
6. The combination of majority kid mohair with silk as a premium natural yarn is very popular and was a best seller for many spinners we met with.
7. Post-knitting processes were found to be frequently used to improve the wearability and handle of mohair knitwear.
8. The intarsia knitting pattern is a big knitwear trend, and mohair is perfect for this, predominantly relying on finer yarns and higher gauges.
9. Mohair yarns are on trend with regards to colour and spinning frames are not capable of innovative constructions.
10. Loop yarns are widely used. They appear to create a denser knit
while still remaining light weight, with a final product that is less likely to be harsh against the skin.

During May this year, SAMC and MSA invited interested local fashion designers to visit the Eastern Cape to develop a better understanding of the mohair value chain.

Over the course of 2 days, 4 design houses such as Erre, Isabel de Villiers, Lukhanyo Mdingi and The Fields Store were given a guided tour aimed at exposing them to local industry capabilities.

We are pleased to note that designers Erre and Isabel de Villiers have ordered samples from Ruskorex, a knitwear manufacturer that was visited outside of the organised tour. Exposure of the designers to mohair value chains enables them to develop mohair products to feature within their collections.

Many of the designers we have engaged with this year mentioned that they don’t know how to go about identifying suitable manufacturers or how to work with them. The tour was aimed at overcoming that challenge and encouraging the inclusion of mohair within local fashion collections.

SAMC is hosting a 4-day ‘Knitworx: Knitting with Mohair’ course in Cape Town from the 16th to the 19th of July 2019.

The course will be delivered by global knitwear innovators Knitwear Lab. Knitwear Lab is designed specifically for designers, design houses, spinners, knitwear manufacturers, fashion and technical textile students, retailers and knitwear buyers.

The course is aimed at providing practical knowledge specific to mohair and yarn, dyeing, fabric production, communicating with industrial knitters, designing knitwear and other crucial skills.

The purpose of the workshop is to educate industry players on knitting with mohair, to enable and inspire them to develop compelling end products and to support an increased local conversion of mohair.

While invitations have been extended far and wide, we still have a few spaces available. Attendance is charged at a nominal cost of R2 500 per person excluding travel and accommodation costs.

Please contact Abraham Willemse directly via abraham@samohaircluster.co.za for more info or to book your spot.

Historically, the Cluster has processed project proposal applications based on their potential growth impact to the respective participant. While this approach has delivered competitiveness improvements to the participants’ businesses, it has delivered limited impact on their supply or value chain network.

In many scenarios, South African companies are managing supply chains that typically develop a product to fulfil a customer request, when they should rather be considering the development of value chains. A value chain approach delivers an opportunity to coordinate a set of interrelated activities to create a competitive advantage.

The Cluster has adopted a value chain approach for the development of project proposals, ensuring that the proposals not only support the various links within the supply or value chain, but also consider competitiveness improvements to the value chain participants.

SAMC is already utilising this approach to develop project proposals and finding that while it challenges thinking, the project plan is more effectively able to consider longer term sustainability and competitiveness.

Should you wish to learn more, please feel free to contact us.

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