The 28th edition of Textile Forum held at One Marylebone in central London which ran till March 10 got a bright start, it attracted 20% more exhibitors than the last event in March 2015. Forty companies from the UK, Portugal, Japan, the US, France and Belgium showcased 85 collections, a year-on-year increase of 15%.
New exhibitors included Derbyshire-based lace manufacturer Cluny Lace Company, sustainable fabric brand Offset Warehouse, London embroiderers Hand & Lock and London-based clothing supplier Plus Samples.
Plus Samples production consultant Victor Rosenberg said that they looked at meeting new designers helpd with development, from creating the tech pack to sourcing fabrics and trimmings.
Textile Forum is a good show to see smaller designers, while they see the bigger players at PremiÃ¨re Vision and Munich Fabric Start, explained UK sales director Jamie Morgan.
Leeds-based silk specialist James Hare noted a lot of interest for its white feather georgette and neon orange organza cloth embroidered with a retro floral. Fellow exhibitor Holland & Sherry launched its capsule womenswear collection for the first time in the UK, with a bouclÃ© check in black and magenta or duck egg blue and orange catching attention.
Designers from opera and theatre companies, independent retailers, international designer brands and store groups were all in attendance, hailing from the UK, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Benelux and Israel, according to show founder Linda Laderman. â€œPre-registrations encourage us that [visitor numbers] are at least at same level as last year, if not more.
Around 50% were first time visitors, which was great as their exhibitors wanted them to deliver new contacts. They have worked hard on visitor acquisition and retention. They also saw lots of business between exhibitors.
Susannah Henley, seamstress and owner of womenswear brand Susannah Henley London, visits Textile Forum to source fabrics and trims for bulk production of 50m and upwards.
Freelance menswear designer James Howard, a first-time exhibitor, was on the lookout for fabric innovation. According to him, the quality at the show was very good, but the only problem was the exhibitors werenâ€™t very hands on when it comes to sampling. You need to wait and email for samples, while in the mean time you can source the fabric somewhere else.
The new customers are charged Â£1-Â£5 for shade cards and samples as it costs a lot to send them out, although they will refund once the order is placed. So far all the visitors have been prepared to pay.
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