N.Y.’S TEXTILE WEEK: Representatives from dozens of textile companies from Europe and Asia are expected to descend on Manhattan next week for a slew of trade shows.

At the high end of the market, European mills will unveil fabrics geared at the spring 2004 retail season.

I-TexStyle, an exhibition of Italian fabrics, runs Jan. 21-22 at Pier 60, which is located on the Hudson River at West 23rd Street in Manhattan. That is a new location for the show.

European Preview will once again be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. It runs Jan. 22-23.

Several trade shows featuring Asian mills are also set to run concurrently with the European shows.

Two Turkish events are set for Jan. 21-22: the Turkish Fashion Section at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and an Apparel & Trim section at Cipriani restaurant. Both locations are near Grand Central Station, at Park Avenue and East 42nd Street.

At The Tonic restaurant, at 110 West 18th Street, across the street from the site of the European Preview, lyocell maker Tencel is organizing the Innovation Asia show, scheduled to run Jan. 21-23. That show will feature exhibitors from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, all of which are selected based on their usage of lyocell.

The PanTextiles show, to feature primarily Taiwanese and Chinese textile firms, is set to run Jan. 22-23 at 17 West 18 Street, a block away from European Preview.

BIG HIRE AT NANO-TEX: Nano-Tex LLC, which develops nanotechnology enhancements for fabrics, last week named Donn A. Tice as chief executive officer.

That post was last filled by George Henderson, who is also chairman and ceo of Burlington Industries Inc., which is majority owner of Nano-Tex. Henderson remains as chairman of Nano-Tex. His role at Burlington is unaffected by the change.

Tice last served as president and ceo of Winterland, a supplier of licensed products such as T-shirts and other apparel. He will be based out of the company’s Emeryville, Calif., headquarters.Five executives will report to him. They are: president of North American operations Renee Hultin, president of European operations Peter Rohr, chief scientific officer David Offord, executive vice president of technical services Bill Ware and vice president of operations Craig Trumbo.

David Soane, the company’s founder, continues as a director and chair of its scientific advisory board.

Burlington describes Nano-Tex as a "virtual company." It uses nano-technology — the science of changing an object’s structure at the molecular level — to affect the way fabrics perform. Among its developments have been alterations to cotton fabrics that make them water resistant without affecting breathability, called Nano-Dry, and Nano-Pel, which can make many varieties of fabric water-and oil-repellent. The company licenses these technologies to Burlington and some of its competitors in the U.S. and abroad.

UNIFI WANTS TO KNOW: In an effort to see how apparel companies expect to change their sourcing habits in 2005, when quotas are to be dropped among the 144 World Trade Organization nations, Unifi Inc. is taking a survey of members of the American Apparel Producers Network.

The online poll, which will be open to the more than 1,000 sourcing managers and other members of the AAPN, includes questions about where companies buy their goods today and how they expect that to change in the post-quota environment. The survey is to run through Jan. 31 and Unifi officials expect to have the results tallied by March.

MOODY’S CUTS WELLMAN RATING: Credit-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service last week cut its ratings on polyester manufacturer Wellman Inc., citing continued pressure from Asian competitors in its fibers business and a tough environment in its resin business.

In a research note, Moody’s said, "Returns on Wellman’s polyester fiber business have continued to decline, primarily as a result of competition from Asian fiber manufacturers." While Wellman, based in Shrewsbury, N.J., has cut its production of commodity fibers in an effort to sell more specialty goods, the agency continued, "until market acceptance is more established, Moody’s does not believe that specialty sales will fully replace lost earnings from the core fibers business."Moody’s lowered Wellman’s senior unsecured shelf rating to (P)Baa2 from (P)Baa3 and its subordinated shelf rating to (P)Ba3 from (P)Ba1. In the first nine months of 2002, Wellman’s sales slipped 2.5 percent to $763.7 million. A hefty accounting write-off left it $197.7 million in the red, though without the write-off the company would have reported a $600,000 loss, compared with $9 million in profits a year earlier.

PANTONE’S NEW GADGET: Pantone’s Color Cue TX, a portable spectro colorimeter, makes it possible for designers to identify a color with the click of a button. The Color Cue, about6 1/2 inches long, instantly identifies the closest number and name from the cotton or paper version of the Pantone Textile Color System. It also provides formulas for reproduction in sRGB, HTML and lab values for Web and design applications.

Lisa Herbert, executive vice president of home and fashion with Pantone, said the device "drastically reduces the cost of color identification….It’s perfect to take on buying trips and eliminates the need for costly sample purchases when shopping the market."

The device, which is priced at $395, can measure the color of both hard and soft goods, and records the last 10 colors measured.

Los Angeles-based contemporary designer Trina Turk, who recently purchased a Color Cue TX, said: "I do a lot of prints, so I’m forever doing colorways. The Color Cue is great because when we work with vintage prints, we rework the colors all the time. So with this, we can just click on the colors we want to keep and it gives us the closest match."

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