SAMPLING ACTIVE FOR NOVELTIES, STRETCH AT L.A. TEXTILE SHOW

Byline: Michael McNamara

LOS ANGELES--Novelty knits, stretch fabrics and goods with drape and texture are among the attention-getters at the fourth edition of the Los Angeles International Textile Show, which ends today.
The three-day show at the California Mart, co-sponsored by the Textile Association of Los Angeles (TALA) and the Mart, features 350 fabrics, machinery, computer design and trimmings firms. Opening-day attendance at 2,080 was the highest seen by the event, according to the sponsors. A year ago, opening day brought in 1,831 visitors.
The strong attendance so far has allayed some exhibitors' fears that the show was beginning to reach its plateau in terms of importance, and based on the first day's action, exhibitors noted, sampling is up as well.
Fabrics on display are primarily for fall 1995 lines, although several domestic print converters are showing spring 1996 ideas. Buyers on the hunt for novelty knits saw them in such yarns as acetate, rayon, polyester or cotton. Stretch goods were scoring in spandex and nylon, polyester or cotton.
Enrique Javier, sales director for Mexico City blouse manufacturer Jovisto, making his fourth trip to the show, said, "I am trying to make a presence in the activewear market, and anything that has a stretch to it, I am looking for."
Javier, who said he is searching for printed fabrics at JBJ Fabrics, Tandler Textile and Lida, also said he had planned on making a stop at Symphony Fabrics Corp. "because I want to sample some of their acetate goods."
Howard Stephens, president of Stephens' Fashions, San Francisco, a maker of moderate ready-to-wear, said rayon and Courtaulds's Tencel were two items high on his list of fabrics. He noted that in rtw, "drape and texture have become the key consideration for shopping for those fabrics."
Bill Girrier, marketing manager for Globe Manufacturing Co., a manufacturer of spandex making its first Los Angeles appearance, said he had gotten tremendous response from buyers looking for spandex to incorporate into several areas--warp knits, circular knits and hosiery.
"We're making a big dent in the warp knit area," Girrier said, noting that Globe may be adding capacity to its Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant sometime during the next year.
"We are going to be discussing it very soon, and it's something that needs to be addressed," Girrier said. Globe, in June, completed a spandex capacity increase, adding 4 million pounds to put its total at 16 million pounds.
"If we do anything, we'll have to probably increase the output by about one-third."
Despite the brisk traffic, some buyers and exhibitors raised questions surrounding the scheduling of the show, noting that it falls in between some firms' selling and buying seasons and that it also comes too quickly on the heels of the International Fashion Fabric Exhibition, held last week at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.
As reported, TALA and the Textile Distributors Association, a group made up mainly of New York mills and converters and a key exhibitor segment, are at odds over the scheduling of the show. While TALA prefers the October and April dates that have been generally in effect so far, the TDA is pushing to have the shows held in August and January. The TDA appears to have won the first round in the battle of show dates, as the next event will be held Jan. 23-25.
A meeting Tuesday between TALA and the TDA only served to reconfirm the January dates for the next show, and officials said the fall show dates would be discussed further then.
Seymour Schneiderman, chairman of TDA member Symphony Fabrics Corp., said that while he favors changing the dates, he's noted that sampling has been as active as ever at his showroom.
"But for us to get a full attendance here for our fabrics, we'd like to see the dates changed," Schneiderman said. "We would probably always show here, even if the times aren't changed, but it wouldn't be as productive for us."

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