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LOS ANGELES — An uptick in business and a resurgence in domestic manufacturing as apparel companies seek sourcing options closer to home is fueling confidence for textile firms gearing up for the Los Angeles International Textile Show, set to run March 10 to 12 at the California Market Center.
The turnaround is also prompting some companies to expand. Asher Fabric Concepts in Los Angeles is opening a 500-square-foot retail outlet across from its showroom to meet demand and help small designers with their minimums.
“There’s a big shift to make things in Los Angeles,” said Hillary Kane, who works in business development at Asher Fabric Concepts. “We’re faster than China and it’s easier to return and exchange things.”
Kane noted that sales are up 17 to 20 percent compared with last year, a sentiment echoed by some of the exhibitors expected to attend the textile show, which includes firms from Los Angeles, New York, Canada, Spain and a growing contingent from Turkey and India, totaling about 250.
“In 2014, we’re already getting more requests, more calls for different fabrics, so we’re hoping to be up 15 percent to 20 percent this year,” said Behdad Noorani, president of BNB Textiles, a Los Angeles-based textile distributor. “There’s more good news out there and the economy is picking up.”
Boosting domestic resources and local production services is a growing trend for the textile show, said Oscar Rodriguez, senior trade shows manager at the California Market Center.
“It’s an opportunity we continue to see,” Rodriguez said.
Demand for fabrics and prints includes the ongoing strength in metallics. Designer Fabric Warehouse will be showcasing foil-printed metallic knits in gold and metallic jersey with foil prints for a flecked effect. The company, which is primarily offering spring 2015 options, also hopes to bring foil-printed denim in a heavily distressed style.
Metals are also big at Asher Fabric Concepts, which is bringing foil features on knits and jerseys.
Novelty yarns are another key. Alamac American Knits will offer options with gnarly, slub and mock-twist textures. The textile manufacturer will also be introducing Tencel blends, flax fibers made from polyester and Crailar, combining sustainability and drape, and French Terry with a more luxurious feel.
G&G Multitex Inc. will be introducing a three-end French Terry that exudes a more vintage look with a little stretch, in step with customer demands.
“We’re getting a good reaction with anything in textures, including pointelle,” said Kathy Fee, merchandiser at textile mill G&G Multitex.
Tropical prints and floral motifs continue to inspire. Photo-real prints will be offered at G&G Multitex. Asian flowers and blossoms are resonating with Asher Fabric customers. Florals get an update at Alexander Henry Fabrics, with a pattern inspired by Western themes using pottery and nontraditional blossoms in subdued shades of graphite and pale pink. An array of prints from Cinergy Textiles Inc., including geometrics, chevron stripes and plaids, will be showcased for spring and fall.
For designers looking for bolder looks, there will be selvedge denim in narrow widths in a variety of shades, such as superdark indigos, blacks and grays, as well as crochet sweater knits, open lacy knits with chevron patterns and some tie-dyed lace knits on display at Designer Fabric Warehouse.
“Everybody wants something eye-catching,” said Lauren Saunders, merchandise director at the company.
Newness is on the mind of Karen Kane, co-owner and chief designer of her namesake women’s apparel line, who plans to shop the show in search of sophisticated florals, metallics, chevron patterns and textured knits.
“I’m looking for cleaner prints…florals that aren’t too dramatic, not so large scale,” along with colors that aren’t “too bright,” Kane said.
She appreciates the later show date compared with last year’s run in February.
“It’s better timing,” Kane said. “When it was in February, it was too quick after finishing holiday and fall. This gives us a break.”
“We’re taking Internet retailers more seriously,” added Fee at G&G Multitex. “We’ve seen how the Internet has exploded with companies like Nasty Gal. These folks are helping drive business at the expense of private-label brands.”