The 16th edition of Milano Unica, the Italian Textiles Trade Show held between 6 and 8 February 2013 at Fieramilanocity in Milan, has just closed its doors registering a +5.5% increase in visitors compared with the same edition of 2012 and over 19,000 visitors.

Present at the show were Silvio Albini, President of Milano Unica, Michele Tronconi, President of Sistema Moda Italia, and Sir Paul Smith, designer, prominent British entrepreneur and great admirer of made-in-Italy textiles - read the story abut the opening event on

The mood characterising the show was lively and its corridors were pretty busy despite the decrease in exhibitors from the 440 of the February 2012 edition, down to 417 at the present edition (-5.6% exhibitors, even though exhibiting space remains consistent with past editions of the show, at 62,200 sq. meters).

Despite total Italian textile manufacturing sales decreased 5.1% in 2012, registering approximately 8 billion euro total sales (euro 8,365 billion in 2011), the upcoming March edition of Milano Unica China in Beijing will present an increased 128 exhibitors (+35% than a year ago when it hosted 95 companies).

“We need to continue to rely on our own forces. We need to focus on further reinforcing our presence in the international markets - I may be an inveterate optimist, but on this I am certain. The world is large and there is much room for our businesses and products. Obviously, there is not only China. There are also our consolidated markets, which we should not neglect. But, above all, we should look to the new markets, where the world is growing, where consumers are young, digital, with an increasing purchasing power and increasing awareness of quality and innovation." Commented Silvio Albini.

The show presented very interesting innovations for S/S 2014. Great attention continues to be devoted to sustainable topics - especially in the packaging and the labelling segments as presented for instance, by Cadica Group that launched Cadica Responsibility, a series of labels made with recycled materials such as, for instance, PET, leather remains, leftovers from the production of fabrics as well as woven ribbons that are made by employing milk proteins.

The denim world remains a key inspiration source for many fabric manufacturers. Bocchere, a specialised silk manufacturer, presented their new “Denim Loves Silk" series of indigo chambrays and denims made with 62% cotton and 38% silk blends available in weights ranging between 6 and 3/4 oz for chambrays, to 14 oz for denim). Cotonificio Albini also opted for a series of cotton checked fabrics as well as a denim and chambray interpretation of the well-known indigo fabric.

Strong colour contrasts will characterise the S/S 2014 season in the shirting as well as in outerwear markets. Schoeller, for instance, opted for printed highly functional fabrics as well as double face combination of knitted fabrics mixed with functional woven fabrics. Schoeller also presented the new Solar+Technology a fabric that absorbs sun rays and helps the release extra warmth to the wearer. Other functional aluminium fabrics by Scholler are offered in a wide series of colours from pastel to metallic shades. Alcantara opted for a variety of different soft geometric patterns, employing perforated and wrinkled effects in both its regular thickness (Regular 0.8), and in the new lightweight version (Slim 0.6) highlighting their versatility as both accessories and apparel.

A key element in accessories is personalization. YKK's newest zippers, for instance, can be personalised with logos and brand-related colours in most different details such as the drawer, the button-stop as well as the side ribbon. Another special zipper employs a small leaf-shaped Swarovski Element for its drawer.

Swarovski Elements presented a wide selection of new cuts, colours and ideas. The new Light Silk colour has just debuted with a very sophisticated parchment hue. New cuts include its new Cabochette Pendant shaped as an in-between of a pearl and a drop. Also new are the Lemon Fancy Stone and the asymmetric Meteo Fancy Stone cuts.