This October’s edition of Lineapelle previewed colours for autumn/winter 2004/05. And this year, autumn/winter colours really did mean autumn/winter colours. Browns, reds, oranges and all the other warm and striking colours nature reveals as summer turns to winter, stretched across the Trend Selection area as far as the eye could see. Only occasionally could a splash of more eye-catching colours be seen, such as greens and pinks, and even then the tones were still very subtle and natural.

Around the Trend Selection area, an abundance of hair-on cow hide material was evident. Conceria Carbi-pel are a family-run company who have always specialised in hair-on cow hides since their founding in 1975. ‘We produce a small quantity of very high quality hides of European origin and launch a new range of articles each year’, explains Grazia Biolo.

This year’s theme is a camouflage effect with gold and silver colours proving to be the most popular at the exhibition. The company are mostly active in the furniture upholstery market but they also produce leathers for bags and shoes.

Soft is the new black

One of the most obvious themes in terms of products on show at Lineapelle was softness. One such company, whose leathers were selected for display in the Trend Selection area, was Italian tanners BT Venetapelli. The company unveiled several new products at Lineapelle including leathers called Anil Soft and Cashmere where the names speak for themselves.

‘Our new products are extremely soft and in natural colours’, explained Giuseppe Cazzola. ‘We source small cows from Poland and France where quality is more important than price, and with a customer base including top names such as Ferragamo, we are very happy with business at the moment.’

Conceria Osci also concentrate on particularly soft leathers for shoes and leathergoods and have specialised in glove production since 1920. They source their raw materials mostly from the Mediterranean but also small leathers from Africa. ‘Softness is becoming more and more important nowadays’, says Giuseppe Osci.

‘Customers are looking more towards comfort and are moving away from firm leather. In the shoe sector for example, our customers are opting for leathers with a soft and natural feel. It isn’t just about fashion anymore, people want fashion, softness and comfort.’

This was a sentiment that was also reflected by Luca Paganoni from Centro Servizi Pellicceria (CSP). The company produce high-quality furs and skins such as lamb and goat, including swakara and karakul lambs from Africa and Asia, chosen specifically for their unique curl pattern even after the skin has been tanned.

With big name customers such as Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, Paganoni explains that softness is very important. ‘Obviously the look must be nice but that’s not always enough and softness is nowadays just as important.’

All that sparkles

Glitter also caught the eye in the Trend Selection area. Conceria Signorin have this year extended their range of glitter leather, a hard-wearing selection of leathers for bags and shoes. The range was first launched last year and new designs have been added this year. The company also hope to add more designs such as flowers in the future.

Conceria Signorin also had another range of split leathers on display in the Trend Selection area. Called Floc, the leathers feature a criss-cross pattern and have been specifically designed for the Asian market. ‘We have a partner in Asia who buys and sells wet-blue’, explains Andrea Signorin. ‘We have especially designed the range for Asia but it has also been very successful here at Lineapelle.’

Whether it’s glitter or tassels, producing something that stands out from the rest seems to be a method many companies are employing to stay ahead of the game. This is certainly the case for Italian tanners D’Alessio Galliano.

The company produce lamb and goat skins for bags, shoes and leathergoods, and have some very distinctive designs. The company bring a lot of art and craft to their work and the result is a range of intriguing leathers with acrylic, leather or wool added to the finished leather.

‘This is what has kept us in business’, explains Enrico Miglio, art designer. ‘Our products are so unique and this has meant that we haven’t suffered as much as some of the others over the past couple of years. And everything we produce is hand-made.’

Of particular note is the company’s new range of doubleface leathers. This is the first time they have ventured into this sector and so far the range has been very successful.