By  on July 10, 2007

NEW YORK — Buyers attending next week's round of international textile fairs here will witness another evolution of the city's textile week, as two major shows move to new venues.

New York textile week kicks off on July 17 and includes Première Vision Preview, the Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition, Texworld USA and the second edition of Prefab: The Supima Premium Fabric Show.

After two successful shows at Penn Plaza Pavilion in Midtown, Texworld USA will move to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the far West Side in order to accommodate a growing exhibitor list. Texworld USA will run July 17 to 19.

Stephanie Everett, group show manager for Messe Frankfurt, which organizes the show, said the new location should alleviate frustrations exhibitors and buyers had at the previous location. Buyers struggled with the show being spread between two floors of the building and the show's organizers had limited facilities and services with which to work.

The move has already attracted more exhibitors and will allow organizers to add elements to the event, including a trend area and a lounge for VIP buyers. Everett said the number of exhibitors has expanded to 195, up from 150 at the previous show. Exhibitors will be present from 16 countries.

"One of the biggest benefits is that for the first time we're going to have a trend display," Everett said. About 80 exhibitors have submitted sample fabrics for the trend area.

Everett believes the trend area should help buyers get a better idea of the capabilities of Asian mills.

"I think a lot of buyers in New York are still unfamiliar with the Asian mills," Everett said. "This will help give them an idea of what these companies can really offer."

Messe Frankfurt's partnership with Lenzing Fibers will also continue. Lenzing has changed the name of its Innovation Asia show to Lenzing Innovation, a name meant to convey the broadening scope of the show. Lenzing Innovation will operate as a show within a show and will have approximately 31 companies.

The Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition will also be moving to a new home for its show, which will run July 17 and 18. The Istanbul Textiles & Apparel Exporters Association, which organizes the event, has moved the show to the Puck Building in SoHo. The organizers said about 50 mills will exhibit, however, the number of exhibitors presenting collections at recent editions has typically ranged between 35 and 45 mills.Première Vision Preview continues to be one of the most important shows for finding the latest fabric innovations and trend information. It will take place at the Metropolitan Pavilion July 18 and 19.

Jacques Brunel, Première Vision's general manager and international director, said 3,000 people have already registered and four of the six scheduled trend seminars are full. More than 130 exhibitors will show collections. Mills will be present from France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Turkey, Japan and Taiwan. Brunel said the show's first South Korean mill will also be exhibiting. Another nine South Korean mills are expected to be present at the Paris Première Vision show.

"The Korean industry is very strong and dynamic," Brunel said. "They are very strong in performance and technical fabrics…it's an improvement in the offer of the show."

The weak value of the dollar is presenting the biggest challenge to European weavers, Brunel said.

"Weavers make efforts to keep costs down by increasing their investments in technology and equipment, improving their creation costs so they can save 4 to 10 percent a year," he said.

Those improvements are quickly wiped out by the poor exchange rate. Making things more difficult is the fact that buyers often return to a supplier looking to purchase fabrics expecting to pay the same price as they did in seasons past.

Despite the pricing difficulties, Brunel said American buyers are returning to the quality and innovation that European weavers can provide.

"Some big customers have come back to these weavers," Brunel said. "They know it's much more expensive, but there's security in quality and services."

The second Supima Premium Fabric show will take place July 17 to 19 at Gotham Hall and will include 17 companies exhibiting fabrics using high-quality Supima cotton.

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