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SpinExpo Exhibitors Report Slow Business at Show

Buyers look but don't order at SpinExpo NY yarn fair.

NEW YORK — Opening Ceremony designer Emily Blickle paced the aisles of SpinExpo NY in search of novelty yarns, a soft hand-feel and something special.

This story first appeared in the August 3, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I’d like something that is chunky, but feels very light,” she said.

But even if she found it, she likely would not be buying. “I’m just looking,” Blickle said.

The sentiment permeated the show, which ended a three-day run July 21 at the Metropolitan Pavilion & Altman Building here. At the second edition of SpinExpo NY, 50 percent of the 94 exhibitors were new.

Exhibitors experienced buyers coming in for a look, but not placing too many orders. It was partly because of the show’s timing, a week after the Italian Pitti Filati fair and six weeks prior to SpinExpo Shanghai. Attendance at SpinExpo was 1,522 visitors, down slightly from 1,534 the last edition.

“People are still in the process of sourcing. They are getting swatches,” said SpinExpo director Karine Van Tassel. “In Shanghai, they are buying.”

At Kurabo Industries, agent Jim Arsham, also president of James Yarn Sales, said a lot of customers were coming in to see their new offering, Wavy Magic Light, a natural slub made using hollow yarn technology, giving it a hand-spun quality. Even though there were few orders, “I’ve met some new people,” he said.

Giovanni Ganz, representative for Yarns & Colors, said some exhibitors with whom he had spoken, primarily from Italy, did not get enough orders to make the show viable. Yarns & Colors, which manufactures in China and has two design offices in Italy, showed lightweight offerings including a wool, silk and baby alpaca blend.

“At Pitti, they told us they wanted light things,” he said.

Neutral cream, ecru and gray tones were popular. Clients visiting included Banana Republic and Talbots.

Top Line Textile Co. focused on chunky, but lightweight, mohair yarns. The firm “de-hairs” some offerings for a clean look. Argentinean company Hilanderia Capen displayed luxurious royal llama that can be blended with silk, cotton, linen or cashmere in earth tones like mauve and brown.

Australian Wool Innovation showed an updated Merino Casual collection with yarns that look like boiled wool, but are machine-washable.

“People like the natural story,” said Edwin Nazario, AWI senior vice president.

Sudwolle’s Biella Yarn division presented Soft Twist, a merino wool yarn with increased elasticity, allowing garments to retain shape for a longer period of time. Hans G. von Schuh, managing director of sales, noted that although merino prices have gone up strongly over the past year, along with the cost of several other raw materials, demand has not gone down.

“The market has to accept it,” he said. “If you need gas and the price is up, you go and get it anyway and you pay it.”