Fashion Fabrics: Youth Sets the Pace
Nearly everyone has become fashion-conscious over the past few years—from matrons in miniskirts to men in Edwardian-cut suits. As a result, fashion has emerged as a potent new economic force, generating an upturn in the textile industry.
Bangor Punta is a major factor in that industry through its Fashion Fabrics group. During fiscal 1968, Fashion Fabrics added 30% to total revenues and 15% to profit contribution.
In a special survey of the textile industry, Goodbody & Co. noted that several key factors are helping to expand the industry's share of the consumer dollar: more leisure time, improved living standards, rapid growth in disposable income and changes in fashion.
Goodbody also cited the continuing shift in the population mix toward the 15-to-29 age group—expected to rise by 32% between 1966 and 1975.
According to Fortune magazine, these young people are intensely interested in clothes and are not only fashion-prone, but also "able to communicate their love of fashion to others."
The need for youthful, carefree fashions is being met through Bangor Punta's Fashion Fabrics group, headed by Crown Fabrics and Knitbrook Mills.
Crown is a leading fabric converter and a specialist in synthetic fiber technology. The demand for synthetics has grown at a rapid rate, and it is estimated that synthetic fibers will account for 50% of this year's total fiber consumption. In addition, the introduction of textured yarns is seen as one of the most significant developments in the textile industry since the launching of synthetic fibers.
In styling today, the "look" is the thing. Crown determines what blend of synthetic and natural fibers will give the fabric proper "look," feel and drapability. Through research and development over the past seven years, Crown has created such innovative fabrics as CRUISEWAY, SCOTLIN, SHINTO, and SCOTCH TWIST, which is sold commercially under the name of ROB ROY.
Knitbrook styles, produces and markets bonded knitted fabrics—one of the fastest growing segments of the textile industry. The growing sophistication in knitted fabrics comes from blended yarns of man-made fibers. Bonding consists of joining two separate fabrics by fusion or adhesion with a thin layer of polyurethane foam, which gives the fabric wrinkle-resistant and shape-retention properties. Bonded fabrics give improved wearability to garments, while adding stability and strength as well as ease of construction.
The Fashion Fabrics group primarily sells to high-volume manufacturers of women's and children's dresses, sportswear and suits. During 1968, the group continued to expand sales to the large chain and retail stores. It is expected that this trend will continue in 1969. In addition, the Fashion Fabrics group will enter a vast new market with sales to manufacturers of men's wear.
Source: Bangor Punta Annual Report for the Year Ended September 30, 1968, Page 14