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STRETCH IS HOT AS IFFE OPENS

Byline: Michael McNamara

NEW YORK — The International Fashion Fabric Exhibition opened on an up note Monday with a record turnout of buyers, many of them looking for new ideas in stretch and surface treatments for fall 1996.
About 3,800 buyers attended the start of the three-day show, which ends Wednesday, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Nearly 3,000 attended opening day of the last edition, in March.
“Stretch is what’s happening in the market right now,” said Enrique Samuel, buyer for Vacario SA, a Mexico City-based sportswear supplier who was making his first visit to the IFFE. “There are a lot of different types of suppliers here, and by spending two days here we’ll get a lot of new ideas.”
“It’s been said that novelty fabrics have been hot for three years now, but there are all kinds of novelties,” said Howard Stephens, president of Stephens Fashions, a San Francisco-based moderate ready-to-wear manufacturer. Stephens, who will also be attending next week’s Los Angeles International Textile Show, said he’s at IFFE “because there are more exhibitors, especially from Europe.”
Stephens said he was looking to sample textured fabrics from Fabrictex, Symphony Fabrics and de Marco California Fabrics.
Some opening day news:
Fabrictex unveiled its collection of wide-width, structured, stretch circular knits, available in blends variously using nylon, cotton, polyester and rayon. It’s the first time Fabrictex has done circular knits in wide widths.
Ge-Ray Fabrics introduced a line of nylon microfiber blended fabrics called Chamonix. The collection is aimed at the sportswear and swimwear markets and is the first time it has used nylon microfibers.
Jay Rosen, ex-president of the former Knit Techniques Inc., has joined Baras Jersey, a knit converter here specializing in high tech fabrics. Rosen, who as of Monday has no formal title, will handle all administrative, styling and selling duties. Baras also named Rosen’s wife, Joanne Rosen, designer.
The novelty knit product line of KTI — the rights to the designs are owned by the Rosens — is being merged into Baras. KTI had been the marketing and styling arm of Claredon Knits until the two severed their relationship in February, and KTI subsequently closed.