Last month, Pantone introduced the Pantone Fashion, Home + Interiors Polyester Swatch Book, designed specifically for colour management in polyester, poly-blends and synthetics. Laurie Pressman, vice-president of the Pantone Color Institute, discusses the need for the book and the colour trends in polyester

Laurie Pressman

What prompted Pantone to introduce this book?

We introduced it to provide our clients working with non-organic materials an easy-to-use portfolio of trend-relevant colours for their palette development. So far feedback has been positive, which we are very excited about!

How do the colours seen on polyester and other synthetics differ to those seen on cotton, and why?

All materials absorb colour differently.

Colours on polyester as well as many other types of man-made materials display a greater hue intensity than those that appear on cotton or more organic fibre.

Why do you think there has there been an increased demand for more saturated, intense colours?

Social media has influenced the demand for more vibrant colour as it stands out from everything else, as has the increase in performance-based materials we see coming into the market. The craze for neons is another factor – showing up not just in beach, street and activewear, but also in luxury, outerwear and even in packaging and furniture.

How did Pantone select the colours included in the polyester swatch book?

The collection of colours was curated based on market need and trend relevance. Creating a palette that crosses through all colour families, covering both core and looking to where colour is going based on trend, gives us the confidence that our clients will have the right colours at their disposal.

What are the key colours for 2019 and 2020 in fashion?

There are never just one or two key colours for fashion, especially today when so many turn to colour to visually express who they are. What I would say is that we are seeing a lot of contrast in the harmonies; ie, a bright orange with a taupe, a turquoise with a steel grey, neons with naturals, hot and cold, etc.

There has been an increase in performance-based materials

And for sportswear/athleisure?

The same as before: there is never just one colour and I don’t think that product categories are as separated as in the past. Years back one would never expect to see earth tones or softer, rosy shades in sportswear and yet, here they are. There is so much colour and clothing crossover and trends in colour are crossing through every category.

How do you see the market for polyester/synthetic garments and textiles developing?

We see the market for polyester/ synthetic garments and textiles developing as new markets highlighting engineered materials continue to emerge and new inorganic materials are introduced.

Keep in mind that the story of the market today is one of material innovation, something that in turn is driving the market need for greater hue intensity and trend-relevant colour beyond those formulated for natural fibres.

Do you think environmental concerns over the use of polyester are likely to have much impact on the growth of the market?

More and more companies are looking at their impact so yes, I do think environmental concerns will continue to play more of a role. Already some companies are beginning to work only with recycled polyester as well as other recycled materials.