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PARIS — Buyers at the Texworld fabric fair here last week sought more sophisticated fabrics to stimulate sales in a tough retail environment.

“There is more demand for higher quality,” said Aruna Murarka, owner of Ventures, an Indian mill that specializes in embroideries.

Exhibitors reported brisk order writing, driven mostly by buyers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Buyers gave a solid outlook on business, with most saying they would increase the amount they spent on fabrics this season by more than 10 percent. With the dollar gaining value against the euro, buyers said the European currency factored little into their buying decision at Texworld, especially since most mills at the show priced goods in dollars.

Texworld, with 620 exhibitors, ran for four days at the CNIT complex at Le Defense, the business area west of Paris. Organizers said 18,595 people from 100 countries — including South Korea, Brazil, China and India — visited the fair, 7 percent more than last year.

About 55 percent of the visitors were from European Union countries; 15 percent were from the rest of Europe, mostly Turkey; 12 percent were from Asia and 10 percent from the Americas.

Because of the high value of the euro, Texworld has grown to become an alternative to Première Vision, the concurrent fair across town that features high-end European fabrics. Many buyers said they were scouting more sources in places such as India. Even buyers from luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton attended the fair, prospecting for possible partners.

Though many buyers continue to consider Texworld a source for basic fabrics, including cotton, cotton and linen blends, and denim, the changes underscore broader industry trends, as companies seek to boost the bottom line by finding more economical manufacturing partners.

Indian mills were among those at the fair in highest demand from high-end firms.

“We are looking for high quality from new sources in India,” said Nico Verheij, who runs a consultancy in Antwerp, Belgium. “There is more quality from India now.”

Harmeet Singh, president of Alliance Merchandising Inc., said, “Quality is going up for many Indian companies now” even if the number of Indian mills who could manufacture to top luxury standards remains a minority.

This story first appeared in the October 4, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Buyers shopping for for spring-summer and fall-winter said “subtler” embroideries attracted them.

Adrienne Landau, president of the New York fashion house of the same name, said “antique” embroidery that was “sophisticated” topped her list.

“Embroidery on a print makes the garment come alive,” she said, adding that lace mixed with prints and bold appliqués were also interesting. While she reported business “started a little slow” this year, she added that it had been “good” recently and that she would boost the amount she spent on fabrics this year by double digits over last year.

Though impressed by Texworld, Landau said she had “been buying more European textiles recently because people want better quality.”

Leanne Greenall, with Pineapple Clothing in London, which makes garments for chains like Top Shop and Selfridges, said her budget would rise by about 35 percent.

“Business has been good,” she said, adding that tweeds, houndstooth and corduroys in “strong” colors such as chocolate and ocher headed her trend list.

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