Buyers and designers from Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Slovakia made up an increasing international presence on the first day of trade show Textile Forum at London’s One Marylebone on March 4.
Now in its 13th year, the show saw visitor numbers rise by 10% on March 2014, according to pre-registrations, ranging from small designers and students to bridalwear buyers, sportwear brands and couture labels.
Approximately 95% of the 50 collections on show were from the UK, with a minority from Japan, France and Belgium. Two new exhibitors for the spring season are Japanese print company Nunoya and UK occasionwear and embellished fabric specialist Chrisanne.
It was a busy first morning for fine worsted cloth weaver Holland & Sherry. “We’ve seen a mixture of buyers, designers, tailors and start-up businesses asking about the key colours for the spring 15 season,” said sales administrator Hasnaa Nabeebocus.
Exhibiting at Textile Forum helps lace specialist Alan Litman connect with designers, boutiques and small concession labels it might not meet at other shows. “This kind of customer is always interested in what our minimums are and tend to buy between 3 metres up to 30 metres,” said sales manager Dean Marriott.
“We also see London-based multiples like Debenhams, River Island and Next as it’s their local show. We stock over 2 million metres of fabric at our warehouse in Nottingham, meaning we can supply customers with the fabric they need the next day. They appreciate this flexibility.”
Lancashire-based Acorn Fabrics uses Textile Forum to meet small designers outside its usual made-to-measure shirtmaking clientele. “It’s really good to diversify and meet young emerging designers who are using our fabric in new and innovative ways,” says director James Chatburn. “They’re particularly loving our 100% cotton Oxford plain weave fabric in powder pink, baby blue, yellow and white.”