TALKING TURKEY: The International Textile and Apparel Sourcing Exhibition will be held March 8-10 at the CNR International Exhibition Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Organized by Istanbul Trade Fairs, the show will bring together more than 300 textile, fabric, yarn, accessories and apparel manufacturers. Representatives said they expect the show to attract 30,000 visitors from 52 countries.

SKINPRINTS IN CHINA: Leather and suede print and design company Skinprints Inc., announced that it has opened a factory in China to increase production and reduce costs. “Owning the factory and managing production enables us to cost-effectively and closely monitor the pace, quality and quantity of production, as well as protect the exclusivity of our customers’ designs,” said Bart Coopersmith, vice president of the New York-based company, which will begin production at the new factory in April. To insure quick delivery to customers, samples will continue to be produced in New York.

GOING SOLO: Anthony Vecchione, former vice president of sales at J.P. Doumak, has opened his own agency, Da Solo (Italian for “On My Own”). The new office will be the exclusive U.S. agent for the three Italian mills he represented during his eight-year tenure at J.P. Doumak: Ones, Crespi and Reggiani.

“I’m thrilled to have my own operation,” said Vecchione. “I’m so grateful for the experience I gained in the last eight years and am very excited to bring that knowledge to my own business.”

NATURAL PITCH: Hemp Textiles International Corp. of Bellingham, Wash., has developed a blend of two ancient fibers, hemp and yak down, for its fall line. The collection, branded Cantiyac, is made of 85 percent Cantiva hemp fibers and 15 percent yak down.

“Since humans have woven textiles for clothing, they have worn these two fibers,” said Yitzac Goldstein, president. “Cantiyac blends those enduring, environmentally sustainable raw materials together.”

Yak fibers come from animals raised in the high plateaus and steep mountains of Central Asia; hemp plants are grown in 29 countries around the world. Finishes on the collection range from soft sueded surfaces to melange piece-dyed effects.

“The strength and stability of hemp, and the warmth and suppleness of yak, make for a beautiful and easy care fall apparel fabric,” added Nancy Williams, vice president of design and development.

THE LOOK OF LEATHER: Clarino, a division of Japan’s Kuraray Co. Ltd., has launched an artificial leather branded Parcassio. Developed along with SamDuk Industrial, a Korean tannery, Clarino claimed that Parcassio’s multilayered microfiber construction should provide superior strength, uniform thickness and dimensional stability to natural leather. Its surface treatment is made with a thin coating of dyeable polyurethane film that is acceptable for use in traditional leather tanning methods. Additionally, in comparison testing done by the firm, Parcassio was found to be more breathable and water resistant than leather, as well as being mildew-free, 30 percent lighter than leather and more durable.

RELIEF CONTRIBUTION: Olmetex, a textile mill based in Como, Italy, plans to donate 2.5 percent of its total U.S. sales for 2002 to aid the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“After doing business in the U.S. for over 25 years, they felt that this is how they could give back,” noted George Wells of European Textile Trading Corp., the mill’s U.S. agent. The charity that will receive the money is yet to be determined.

SPRING COLORS: In a new color forecast, Pantone said its palette for spring-summer 2003 evokes balance and freedom. “The colors really reflect a need for a sense of balance to the growing dichotomy in our lives,” said Tod Shulman, director of marketing for the Pantone Textile Color System. “This sense of balance comes with a freestyle approach to color. According to the forecast, the focus for the season will be on palettes that do indeed balance each other out, being either distinctly loud or quiet, dramatic or understated. These are groups that work well on their own or create surprises when combined with each other.”

The planner is made up of a total of eight palettes, called Karma, Understanding, Sagesse, Essence, Absolute, Carnal, Vigour and Glee. The first five fit into a group that features monochromatic and tonally expressive hues that are intended to evoke peace, spirituality and calm. Colors in this group include pearl blue, raffia, granite green, cinnamon, chocolate brown, pale pink and pale taupe. The second group, represented by the last three palettes, features more vibrant hues such as spice, lime green and spicy orange that suggest pleasure, indulgence and worldliness.