London-based Textile Forum grows as demand increases for “unique fabrics from companies that hold stock in the UK”.
The fabric sourcing fair took place on Wednesday and Thursday this week at One Marylebone near London’s Regent’s Park.
Founder Linda Laderman said: “Visitor numbers were approximately 10% higher than in March 2014 and 15% higher than October 2013.
“Visitors come to source interesting, high quality fabrics which they can order in small quantities with quick turnaround. There are a growing number of fabric companies that realise there is business to be gained from keeping stock in the UK.
“The plan is to expand to a new floor for the next show in March,” she said.
More than 50 collections were on display from mainly British companies, ranging from luxury silks and fine worsted cloths to leather, faux leather and fake furs, as well as digital prints, lace and bridal fabrics complete with crystal embellishments.
First-time exhibitor MYB Textiles is mainly known for its interior fabrics but decided to take a stand at the fair as is gaining growing interest from the fashion industry.
“We have recently supplied Hobbs as part of the Make It British campaign so we wanted to be proactive and put ourselves out there in the fashion market,” said Hazel Ritchie, who is responsible for sales and design development at the Scotland-based cotton lace weaver.
“The show has been an eye-opener for us and we can definitely do more in this industry.”
Forest Digital also made its debut at the show this season offering a digital printing service on in-stock fabrics including silk jersey, cotton and modal cashmere.
“The show was much busier than we expected and we got lots of enquiries about our printed scarf service,” said Forest’s Kelsey Wright.
Carrington Fabrics has been exhibiting at the show since it began and was showcasing fashion fabrics, jacquards, basics and bridal collections. Managing director Robert Moyle said: “There has been particular interest in our bridal collections, with lace and pastels continuing to be popular.”
“Our visitors tend to come from three main groups: the new generation or young start-ups, existing brands and manufacturers, and independent designers,” explained Laderman.
Exhibitors confirmed this diverse group, noting a significant number of students with increasingly creative ideas, as well as designers interested in the stock-supported collections with low or no minimum orders. Companies Drapers spoke with said representatives from brands including Jack Wills, Tommy Hilfiger, Daks and Ragged Priest were present during the show over the two days.