THE WORK OF THE SWIMWEAR WEAVER

31 July 2017

Interview with Xavier MINSAC, Sales Director at BILLON Design

 

The requirements for choosing fibre are crucial for swimsuits – it’s these high standards that make all the difference to consumers: for a fashionable and contemporary look that incorporates technicality and performance.
XM : French women say that after comfort and well-being, the look, price and material are very important for 51%, 42% and 35% of them.
Source: IPSOS for Mode City & Interfilière July 16

 

What are the main qualities of a swimwear fabric: lightweight, quick drying, capable of retaining the swimsuit’s shape, resistant to chlorine and sea water, offering UV protection and comfort thanks to thermoadhesive finishes… How do we look after such technical materials?

XM : When we develop our fabrics, we obviously think about the look. All of our fabrics are very visual, but this alone isn’t enough, as the fabric must also be pleasant to the touch and needs to keep its shape. It must follow the movements of the body, without discomfort. It should be completely forgotten, but still flatter the body… The swimsuit really has become a beauty item.
It needs to be simple to look after. This too should be forgotten… Simply rinsing with water after swimming then drying it flat is enough.
For the rest, we take care to make it durable.

 

Are you attentive to the DNA of the brand that orders your fabrics? The identity of the lingerie brand should be found in its swimwear products… Do the brands require you to keep innovating?

XM : The DNA of our customers is our DNA too!! In today’s highly competitive, and totally open, world without borders, the Brand is the only benchmark left for consumers. When buying a
branded product, the consumer should identify with the concept and values of the Brand. Each collection should therefore tell a story that’s part of the brand’s DNA. Our customers need us, the
knitter (BILLON offers a wide range of knitting and dye finishing solutions) to invent the fabric, supporting this story. It has become our job. We no longer sell our collections, they serve as a basis for further in-depth work. We no longer just meet a need; we need to anticipate a demand. For each Brand, we must have a different, specific and tailored creation.

BILLON DESIGN

A French company founded in 1904, Billon possesses a rich collection of archives. Based near Lyon, the firm has been known as D2P Billon since 2013. It employs 30 people and generates a turnover of €3.2 million.
D2P Billon is a leading specialist for creative fancy knits in Lycra®, dyed yarns, and piece-dyed fabrics. The firm’s production process is totally integrated, from the purchase of greige and dyed yarn, to knitting with its 26 looms, to finishings. Billon offers a selection of stripes (large and small repeats), structured Jacquard knits, plain and striped ribbing, crochets, Lycra® laces, ponchos, and pareos. A new investment programme will enable the company to make its dyeing processes more eco-responsible, and new knitting machines will boost the company’s capacity.
D2P Billon is present in the men’s and women’s fantasy knitted swimwear and mid-range and high-end ready-to-wear markets. Its leading partners include Seafolly, Princess tam.tam, and Lise Charmel.
Latest innovation: Multi-coloured, flat knit LYCRA® jacquard with a high quality feel and a vintage style print based on the standard line of 56 different hues of dyed yarn.

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