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Modest showing at Texfusion amid market uncertainty

Exhibitors reported lighter footfall at this season’s edition of London textile fair Texfusion, as market concerns continue to take their toll on the industry.

A total of 165 exhibitors participated across Texfusion and the London Print Design Fair, at Islington’s Business Design Centre in London on 31 October and 1 November.

The trade show’s visitors during the edition were said to include Shop Direct, Topshop, Tesco, Next and Ted Baker.

According to show organiser John Kelley, the mood of the show was flatter than previous editions. However the exhibition’s international reach has helped boost its momentum, with Kelley considering a dedicated space for the show’s Chinese exhibitors in future editions.

“It’s still a big industry in the UK,” explained Kelley. “People are always looking to buy, but not with the gusto of previous years.

“That said, there are lots of bright spots. We have new exhibitors from Brazil and more from Asia, particularly from mainland China and Hong Kong. There’s nothing specifically for China here [in the UK] despite it being the largest producer in the world, so we are considering a dedicated space for our Chinese exhibitors.”

The show’s modest footfall did not significantly affect all exhibitors, however, with both returning and new to the show manufacturers pleased with the turnout.

Noel Wong, co-owner at Hong Kong-based manufacturer Novetex, said his business was attending the show for the first time in a bid to break into the UK market. “Most of our discussions with potential new customers have been positive, and it’s been busier than other textile shows we’ve been to in Paris and Istanbul recently.”

Kim Stockton, director at UK womenswear textile designer Owens & Kim, agreed the show had been positive overall. “Footfall has been a bit slow but sales haven’t been down. It’s been good for us. It’s always been important for us to [have a presence] here – if you’re not at the show, people will wonder what’s happened to us.”

Equally, buyers at the show said it was a “great” source of inspiration.

Henry Manning, director at printed clothing business Indy Custom Apparel, said: “We’re looking for different ideas and materials to use for new products we’re trying to launch, and there are a lot of interesting people here. We’re particularly interested in sourcing from Pakistan and India, which this show [caters to].”


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