By  on September 11, 2007

PARIS — Texworld will mark its 10th anniversary during the edition of the fabric fair slated to convene Sept. 17 to 20 at Le Bourget here.

The number of American visitors to the event is expected to remain stable at around 300, with regulars such as Banana Republic, Macy's and Polo Ralph Lauren confirmed.

But new adventures are afoot for Texworld, which plans to accommodate a rising contingent of exhibitors proposing finished garments and full-package services.

"Texworld is about the world of textiles and I'm delighted that all levels of development are mixing," said Michael Scherpe, the fair's president, adding that about 3,500 of the visitors expected, in particular those from the mass distribution sector, have expressed demand for fabrics and finished garments at the fair.

"One of our main strengths is our representation of non-European garment manufacturers," he said.

For example, the event's new hall three will introduce the CTAF, Salon Professionnel du Tissu et du Prêt-à-porter Chinois (Professional Salon of Fabrics and Ready-to-Wear).

The initiative, covering about 10,000 square feet, will showcase around 85 mid- to high-level Chinese textiles firms, made up mainly of garment manufacturers. Catwalk shows will take place twice daily. Key players from Ningxia, the world's largest cashmere producing region, will be in attendance, as well as some of the country's most important denim manufacturers.

"In February, we'll be extending the hall's finished garment section to international players," Scherpe said.

After its introduction in February, the salon's international full-package section, which represents firms offering thread to finished product services, will double in size to around 40 exhibitors, principally from Asia.

"The main attraction is the lower price points and flexibility offered by these firms that control the entire chain of production," said Scherpe, adding that the sector primarily concerns big-volume buyers.

Computer-savvy fabric hunters, meanwhile, will be able to log on to one of 10 new research terminals as part of a new fabric database dubbed i-tex. The service will enable visitors to peruse textiles available at the show according to criteria such as composition, delivery dates and prices.

"For now, each exhibitor was asked to submit around 10 fabric samples, but we hope to catalogue entire collections in the near future," said a spokeswoman for the event.The system soon may be made available for restricted long-distance access.

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