Members of the denim cognoscenti once gathered in New York at the latest edition of Kingpins, the invite-only trade show that spotlights international denim and sportswear fabric mills, wash houses, full package manufacturers, trim suppliers and service and information providers relevant to the industry. Held at Skylight Clarkson Square on Manhattan’s Lower West Side on Tuesday and Wednesday, the show had 66 exhibitors, all of whom eagerly shared the latest in manufacturing and fabric innovation.

Jeanologia lasered photo
Jeanologia lasered photo
Among them was Turkey’s Orta Andalou, whose US rep Allison Wohl showed returning and potential clients the company’s extensive range of fabrics. These included categories such as Ultra Flex, a stretch denim with 30% recovery, Body Science, a group with a soft hand thanks to Modal, and D Craft, a series of vintage-inspired stretch denims. A jeanswear designer from Marc by Marc Jacobs was among the many people she met with during the show.

At the busy Jeanologia booth the Spanish fabric-treatment company displayed and discussed the various effects that can be efficiently achieved with its state-of-the-art Light Scraper Laser technology. These lasers, which re-create designs and images made in Photoshop, can produce everything from standard whiskers to exact duplications of HD photographic images. The company is also hawking a new washing method that saves copious amounts of water and energy.

Artistic Fabric Mills swatches
Artistic Fabric Mills swatches
Although Artistic Fabric Mills from Pakistan showed its latest denims–including one that stretches so much that it would allow one to make indigo running pants, a 100% cotton cloth that is as silky soft as Modal and a silver-gray group that will never brown out–the focus there was also on the past. Henry Wong, the brand’s director of product development and marketing, presided over the first public showing of AFM’s Loom Chatter Library, an extensive collection of often rare books about textiles and denim that clients can look through for inspiration.  Its crown jewels include an early Sears Roebuck catalog featuring old-school workwear and a personal “sewing diary” from circa 1906 created by a woman who kept swatches and wrote notes about every fabric she ever worked with.

Mexico’s Global Denim was also on hand to show its s/s 2016 collection called “Ramp Up.” Its highlights include supersoft feminine stretch, masculine rigids, masculine stretch and a black, white and gray group. The company is also currently building a new finishing facility across the street from its headquarters; it should start shipping for s/s 2017.

Kingpins also featured four seminars. Their topics were: shaping denim, s/s ’15 denim runway trends, forecasted denim trends for s/s ’16 and the evolution of the sustainability movement in the sector.

The next Kingpins will take place in Hong Kong March 24-25.