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Textile Forum hits new heights
Nov '09
This October's Textile Forum had record attendance – up by more than 50% on March 2009 and the most visitors to the fashion fabric event since the show started in 2002– and there was also the largest number of collections on show.

According to Mario Omar, design manager at Alexon Brands, what's on offer at Textile Forum is “much more specific than the European shows I've been to. It's a real opportunity to find some luxurious, exhilarating fabrics and the large offer of beading and sequined textiles meant I could place orders there and then.”

Also enthusiastic about the show was Lynn Grimes, a partner at Richard Grimes BespokeTailors, who said there was a great offering for bespoke menswear and womenswear.

“It was a fantastic, buzzing show and has been the only exhibition to get me excited this year as there was a great range and quality of pieces which offered exactly what I needed. I can't wait to come again in March!”

Dedicated to providing high quality fabrics in small minimums and often from stock, this latest Textile Forum offered a treasure chest of fabrics – from wools and leathers to finest silks and shirtings. The inclusion of some great first-time exhibitors such as Holland & Sherry and The House of Edgar significantly broadened the range of fabrics on offer with their luxurious wools and cashmeres.

Regular exhibitor Chris Chatburn, general manager of Acorn Fabrics, said, “The new exhibitors brought us into contact with a different type of end user and the intimate, yet professional, design of the show meant it really allowed for relationships to be forged and cemented. It was definitely a busier show than ever before and buyers were willing to stay longer as there was so much variety on offer.”

New exhibitor Kristie Reeves, sales and design director, Joshua Ellis & Co, commented that “after exhibiting at European shows the opportunity to feature at Textile Forum was a really good way to expand our UK customer base. We met a wide range of people that we'd never have time to interact with normally and it was a great way to launch our new line.”

Costume buyers from opera houses in the UK and Norway were among the visitors. According to Ilaria Martello, costume supervisor, Royal Opera House, there was definitely more variety at the October show and she found suppliers she had not been aware of. “I was great to have a good overview of what's available. The response from exhibitors was excellent and samples I selected were sent quickly.”

Bridalwear specialists also found lots of interest at the show. Nicola Harvey-Rowley, proprietor, Nicola Anne Bridalwear, liked the open plan layout “which makes it a really friendly show and much easier to have chatty, interesting conversations with exhibitors and other buyers. I was looking for silks, of which there was huge abundance and I found some exciting new lines.”

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