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Textile Forum 'gets off to flying start'

London’s fabric fair Textile Forum “got off to a flying start” on Wednesday, with more than 50 collections exhibited and visitor numbers said to have exceeded previous shows.

The fair took place on Wednesday and Thursday this week at One Marylebone near London’s Regent’s Park. Founder Linda Laderman declined to provide specific visitor numbers, but told Drapers pre-registrations for the show were double that of the March edition and were also up on October last year, while the first morning felt busier than the same period during both of these previous shows.

More than 50 collections were on display, including cloth merchant Holland & Sherry, silk fabric specialist James Hare and cloth manufacturer AW Hainsworth & Sons. Laderman said the number of exhibitors has steadily increased by around 20% each season. Some 90% of the exhibitors were British companies.

For next year Laderman said she was looking to introduce exhibitors offering technical textiles and denim, as well as those supplying the lingerie and swimwear sectors.

Bethan Jones, owner of her eponymous womenswear boutique in Carmarthen, Wales, which launched its own label for spring 14, attended the show to source British fabrics for her spring 15 collection.

She said: “It’s an excellent show; it’s small and compact so you can see everything in one place, unlike Première Vision [in Paris], which is huge.”

First-time exhibitor Anila Preston, founder of the British Alpaca Fashion company, said its stand “had been inundated” on the first morning with “more than 100 people in the first two hours”. She added menswear indies were particularly keen to buy into a blend of British Alpaca fibre, silk and linen, as well as lightweight knitwear.

French lace manufacturer Darquer’s export sales manager Francois Heumel said it had received strong interest from bridal and eveningwear fashion brands and had already taken orders.

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