Tactile Trends.

Sustainable Design and Material Futures

The Wool Lab - 6 Colour + Fabric Trends for Spring/Summer 2019

The Wool Lab - 6 Colour + Fabric Trends for Spring/Summer 2019

Each season the Woolmark company publish a trend magazine called The Wool Lab which features key textile and colour trends for the season. The magazine is an authentic source of inspiration for fashion/textile designers and makers. It also plays a role in connecting research, spinning, weaving, designing and making for creative stimulation throughout the chain.

For the Spring/Summer 2019 season we feature colourcards and commentary from 6 trend stories as told by The Wool Lab. Enjoy!


Eccentric and aristocratic style inspired by Glyndebourne, a lyric opera festival held every year in England.
The green of the groomed lawns is the backdrop of women’s long dresses and men’s smokers in perfect dandynian English style. Chic atmosphere of picnics adorned with butlers, silverware and champagne.

Pinstripes, Glen checks and flannels characterise this fabric story. Muted blues, beiges and pastels blend into the calming surroundings of an English country garden and whisk us into a world of opera and eccentricity providing much needed escapism.

Artists House

The atmosphere is that of the influential group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists who influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism in the first half of the 20th century. The artist and his more intimate places, opening a window to his soul. Influenced by different culture, oriental dresses are mixed in harmony with more contemporary pieces.

Early 20th century arts have been a popular topic both on and off the runway recently with a paticular buzz around Charleston House, the artist residence of Bloomsbury famed Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The Wool Lab story Artists House reflects intense greens and watercolour pastels in paintery patterns and tapestry inspired fabrics and jacquards.


Mixing patterns and materials in an overlaying puzzles to give new freshness to the basic garments by finding a new stylistic expression, balancing colours, volumes and surfaces.

Checks, graphic patterns and pleats play a big part in this story of mixing. Treatments and finishes are equally important in matt/shine effects, bleaching and coating whilst the colour palette is made up of neutrals with a focus on accent colours like fuchsia and acid yellow.


The desire to flee from everything to places of rare and unspoiled beauty. Casual and comfortable clothing, (as well as) sophisticated but never dull, wide and soft. Sleek fit becomes the perfect romantic traveler’s dress code.

Escapism is a prominent trend in terms of consumer behaviour. In this Wool Lab story Escape we see a literal translation as photography features beach scenes and hideouts. Colours are neutral and fabrics are include vichy checks, stripes and melange with lightly washed finishes adding to the unspoiled and peaceful mood. 


Code word? Break the rules. Young and self-ironic: change doesn’t frighten them, they want to get out of the monotonous comfort zone. Weird colour combinations and unusual shapes from different eras.
An experiment created by the assembly of different styles creating the potential for a fashionable renewal. This new style is a tailoring mix of different geometries made by a spontaneous and very personal attitude.

Younger generations feel the need to rebel against being categorised and manipulated by the media. In Ribald this topic is addressed through the revision of classics. Structures and patterns include Fil coupé and canvas with finishings left raw or bonded giving stark contrasts. Colours feature primary colours mixed back with staples like khaki and denim.

Lab - Feel Good 

An ancient, ecological and creative art, natural dyeing using plants, berries, barks, roots, spices and fruit and flowers, you can create an unique fashion. In the fight against pollution, the uniqueness and the peculiarity of the stained material is also encouraged: dyeing with herbs allows different fabrics and yarns to obtain uniquely characteristic colours and shades, depending upon the process.

In this theme The Wool Lab look at natures colours to inspire interesting dye effects. Leno weaves, twill and gauze give textural qualities with hand made techniques in prints, dyes and coatings. This is a story about embracing natural imperfections and inconsistency.

After learning about 6 trend stories from The Wool Lab are there any stories that resonate with you more than others? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Trend Summary

  • Escapism and connecting to nature are still key messages for SS19 as seen in Escape and Glyndebourne.
  • Geometry and mixing unexpected shapes and elements is influencial in print, styling and pattern cutting as seen in Layered, Artsists House and Ribald.
  • The colour blocked influences from Cubism and Fauvism inspire us again as they did Vanessa Bell at the turn of the 20th century as seen in Artists House
  • Self expression is a key consumer trait as seen in Ribald 
  • Plants provide unique colour recipes for yarn and materials as seen in Lab - Feel Good

Further Reading

Tactile trends have previously published a variety of trend articles that tie in with the concepts outlined in The Wool Lab trend portflio. See the links below to learn more:

Charleston House AW18/19 - ''To show how Charleston House is manifesting itself as a fabric trend we have outlined 5 fabric directions for you; brush strokes, textural collage, cubist damask and decorative utility''...read more

Surface Seduction AW18/19 - ''Tactility and shine takes on a whole new meaning when sharply contrasted, think about the impact a dead dry, matt fabric would have when paired with a wet touch vinyl, or a floury cupro mixed back with a slippery satin''...read more

Woolmark AW18/19 - Wool Lab trends are brought to life by creative photography, styling and archive fabrics to make up an inspirational magazine called 'The Wool Lab Preview', which aims to stimulate creativity and give inspiration to spinners and weavers...read more


We would like to invite you to join our trend community. For our monthly round up of trend news including events, collaborations and opportunities you can sign up for our newsletter here.

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