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Regeneration and craftsmanship highlighted for Spring / Summer 2021 apparel fabric trends

15 Jan 2020

The Intertextile Directions Trend Committee has set the theme of REGENERATION for Spring / Summer 2021 apparel fabric trends. As global climate activism looks to regenerate the fashion industry and demand rises for high tech features and cultural craftsmanship, four key trends will represent the theme: Sobriety, Preservations, Spontaneity and Diversity. On-trend fabric samples from exhibitors will be displayed onsite at Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition 2020, from 11 – 13 March.

Photo © NellyRodi™ Agency
Photo © NellyRodi™ Agency

With environmental, societal and economic challenges in the modern world, the textile trends look to represent a change in perspective, inspired particularly by young activists who will be the future consumers of fashion. According to a study by McKinsey, 70% of Gen Z consumers try to purchase from ethical companies, creating demand for sustainable and crafted fabrics, while retro colours are predicted to meet a desire for nostalgic and vintage fashion.

View the full Trend Guide here.  

The Intertextile Directions Trend Forum is a key stop for major trade buyers at the fair, creating a valuable opportunity for exhibitors to submit fabric samples for display and attract more buyers to their booths. The trends are decided by a committee of top forecasters from around the world: NellyRodi™ Agency (France), Elementi Moda (Italy), Sachiko Inoue (Japan) and Doneger Creative Services (USA). NellyRodi™ Agency also offer their creative expertise in the design of the Trend Guide. This edition’s Trend Forum designer (I.S. Planning, Japan) will conduct tours on days 1 and 2 of the fair, while design and trend seminars will also take place as part of the fringe programme.


“Sheer and natural tones reveal a raw and poetic humanity. Well-known classics and crafted heritage are reinterpreted in a way that will last and be better for the natural world. New colours and fabrications are to be developed using modern technology.”

Colours are fresh, luminescent whites, nudes and pastels. Silver yarns can be added. Fabrics are lightweight, gentle to the touch and iridescent (jacquard on transparent backgrounds, burn out effects) or sheer (tulle, lace, mesh). 


“Urban farmers and gardeners reinvent tomorrow’s world. Function leads fashion. A return to natural fibres is the core as consumers opt to buy less yet buy better. Simple workwear, and durable innovative essentials.”

Colours are natural neutrals – khakis and greens complemented by warm browns and sunlight yellows. Fabrics are well worn, simple workwear fabrics, such as compact basic cottons, linens, denim. Technical fabrics include recycled, waterproof and breathable fabrics.


“A cheerful, joyous way of rediscovering adolescence for a more light-hearted attitude to everyday life. Made with love, humour and integrity. Revisiting the vintage allure of the 70s.”

Colours are sunny, cheerful and retro, mixing primary colours with nostalgic neutrals. Fabrics mix artificial and natural: cotton, triacetate, linen, piqués and twills. Retro prints include 70s floral styles, picnic plaids and nautical stripes.


“Precious craft and heritage. Influences that honour the bold and the resourceful, teams and neo artisans. A deep desire to stand out and be different.”

Colours are bright and mix deep pigments – reds and indigo, accented with metallic or neon yarns. Fabrics are rough and rustic – cotton, cupro, linen, paper, as well as summer blends of worsted with silk and handmade recycled polyester knits. Prints include craft-heritage looks – ikats, batiks, shibori.

Online and mobile pre-registration is now open for trade buyers:

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition 2020 is co-organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre. For more details on this fair, please visit: Information from the international textiles sector and Messe Frankfurt’s textile fairs worldwide can be found at:



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Information from the international textiles sector and Messe Frankfurt’s textiles fairs worldwide can be found at:

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,600* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €733* million. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). For more information, please visit our website at:
* preliminary figures 2019