Green is the New Black

A quick round up of Pitti Imaginine  Filati 83   AW19/20  ( June 27 – 29th2018)


There was a real sense of optimism and hope in the air at this year’s Pitti Filati show, from the graphic pop art façade, wall of polka dot mannequins and optical outdoor café.

With all the colour and sunshine outside it was a little difficult to think of winter; however the dark blinking lights of the trend area brought the season into focus.

There was an overriding feeling of technology having taken over. A series of giant I-phones projected images of just how connected and plugged in our lives have become. Scenarios and images of on- line shopping, and on- line dating, intimacy and communication reduced to selfies, likes, swipes and emoji’s. The influence of the gaming scene was also evident with avatars of heroes and assassins and their uniforms and armour imitated in knit.

It all culminated in a very eclectic, anything but minimal, display of patch worked techniques, layers of pattern, novelty yarns and technical stitches.

Even the colour palette this year was vibrant and upbeat with graphic summer Bright’s, mixed with winter darks and punctuated with metallic and sparkle effects in a folkloric, futuristic mash up.


Almost at odds with this extremely technical inspiration were the themes of natural fibres and the concept of sustainability.  All the top mills had either recycled, ethical or organic options in their collections. Most decided to spread the statement across the outside of their stands. It’s becoming a hot issue amongst designers, who are looking to be more transparent and informed of the complete life cycle of their products. More questions were being asked and mill agents had to be more prepared than ever to have answers and to produce evidence of their level of responsibility. Italian mill, Filmar rose to the occasion with a virtual reality tour of the cotton fields in Egypt, including the factory.

And so to sum up:

Natural is best, the cleaner more responsible the better. Alpaca is the new cashmere and mohair and merino try to clean up their act, with animal well-fare in the limelight. Wool and cashmere prices were a hotter topic than even Brexit, with high and rising prices due to increased demand from China. 

In complete contrast, high shine, reflective metallic, sequinned and sparkle effects were the novelty of choice.  Eyelash yarns and chenille qualities were making yet another comeback.

Jacquard and colour work in every guise, mixed and matched In unusual unconventional marriages was probably the newest statement and on reflection, the odder the better, a strange mix  of cultures and ethnicities,  of retro and futuristic, traditional and technological, but always with a nod to sustainability, as  after all Green is the new black.




*Pitti Imagine  Filati is Europes’ biggest premier yarn trade show for the knitting sector. It takes place twice a year in Florence.

Jo Storie is a freelance designer and consultant with a background in Luxury Knitwear design. 


Jo is an independent designer, all her musings and observations are her own and don’t reflect any prejudices or bias towards any other company. All photographs are her own unless otherwise stated.

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