By  on March 15, 1994

NEW YORK -- An exhibitor lineup that will include more heavy hitters from the U.S. plus an increased roster of foreign suppliers is expected to add muscle to the fifth edition of the International Fashion Fabric Exhibition here next week.

Three of the top U.S. apparel fabric suppliers -- Greenwood Mills, Springs Industries and Texfi Industries -- along with Cranston Print Works Co. and Horizon Textiles, two of the leading fabric converters, will join an exhibitor list that has swelled to 320 firms, almost 50 percent more than the 220 that exhibited in October.

The three-day show of fabrics, trimmings and services begins March 22 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Jonathan Larkin, president of the show's sponsor, The Larkin Group, said signing those firms "is indicative of the pull this show has begun to have.

"Two years ago, most people were cynical regarding how big the show could become," Larkin said. "We think we've proven those people wrong."

Greenwood's appearance marks the first time a major denim producer has showcased its goods at the show. Although Cone Mills, a key denim maker, did begin participating at IFFE last October, it featured fabrics from its NorthPointe sportswear fabrics division and plans to do so again next week.

William Coffee, Greenwood's international marketing director, said the company decided to get involved in the IFFE "to see if it's worthwhile."

"We talked to the people at Cone, and they said they developed some good leads when they took part in October," Coffee said. "We understand there are going to be quite a few international customers coming, and that may lead to some increased export business."

Coffee said Greenwood is highlighting its entire denim collection, including a new group of chambrays made from Tencel along with a collection of ring-spun products.

Larkin said the IFFE is expecting about 8,000 buyers, including 1,000 from overseas. October's IFFE drew about 6,800.

Among the international resources that will make their debut are Texil Fibra of Italy; Indigo Yarn Co. and John England Textiles, both from London; Schoelle Textile of Switzerland; Pratex, from Spain; Arvind International, from India; Polysindo, from Indonesia, and King Wei of Taiwan.

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