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PARIS — A new boutique textile fair showcasing Japanese textile manufacturers is setting up shop ahead of Première Vision.
This story first appeared in the September 16, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Eight Japanese mills have joined forces for J-Tex, a mini textiles salon organized by the Osaka Textile Resource Center. The event is due to run this Wednesday to Friday at Servcorp in the Edouard VII Center.
Mills exhibiting include Anono Pile Co., Fujitex Inc. and Toa-Knit Co. The companies hope to draw greater attention from the European market by holding the exhibition ahead of the larger Première Vision textile trade show that takes place next week.
During a press conference held earlier this month, Yutaka Ikeda, president of Yugen Corp., underlined the role played by the exhibiting firms in the “renaissance” of the Japanese textile industry. The mills fuse traditional Japanese textile production with newer technologies, said Ikeda. However, this combination of old and new has become a hindrance for the companies on home turf, he said.
“The government considers it important for Japan to conserve unique and authentic practices, but it is difficult in the Japanese market with Chinese competition,” said Ikeda, explaining the J-Tex mills are loathe to completely abandon their traditional practices to keep up with their competitors and are instead trying to find new business abroad.
Several of the J-Tex companies also maintain ecologically friendly approaches in production. Minami Corp. produces a recycled cashmere, for example. Though Ikeda said the primary goal was to establish relationships within the fashion retail industry, the mills are also targeting the home decoration market. Takahashi Textiles Corp., which has produced fabrics for Judo uniforms in the past, hopes to find wider use for the strong and resistant nature of its textiles.