ATLANTA — More home furnishings companies are participating in the Bobbin show as they realize it is yet another untapped market.
Though the show traditionally is known for its apparel fabrics and textile- related goods, more home furnishings companies are realizing they can reach new customers there, said Dot Grimshaw, director of Bobbin’s textile division.
“More and more people are using the Bobbin show as a central place to do business,” Grimshaw said.
The Bobbin show will have more than 899 companies exhibiting textiles, trimmings and other textile-related offerings. About 150 fabric suppliers will exhibit at the Bobbin show.
“I think more and more people are coming when they’re seeing every machine you need for sewing, pressing, cutting and spreading. It’s all there at the Bobbin show,” Grimshaw said. “And exhibitors are moving from apparel into other markets.”
The show continues to attract a growing number of home furnishings-related exhibitors, particularly in the Fabric Connection portion of the show, she said.
One of the home furnishings companies exhibiting at the Fabric Connection is Regal Fabrics, a tapestry manufacturer based in Danvers, Mass.
Steven A. Kahan, president of Regal, said the company was attracted to the show because it wanted to reach a customer it typically does not see at the home furnishings shows.
“It’s a risk, and we decided to take the risk to see if it’s a market for us,” Kahan said. “We’re looking to do things everyone else isn’t.”
He added, “We just want to stay one step ahead of the competition.”
Grimshaw said as more home furnishings become more fashion-oriented, home furnishings companies are also looking to apparel fabrics for inspiration.
“The home furnishings market has become so glamorized in the last few years that shoppers are looking for different kinds of hands in the home,” she said. “And they’re finding them in the apparel fabrics.”
The Fabric Connection is a separate part of the show that exhibits both apparel and home furnishings fabrics. About 29 home furnishings companies will exhibit in the Fabric Connection, now in its third year.
Part of the Fabric Connection will feature the 1994 Design Inspiration Fashion Show. Exhibitors contribute fabric samples that are then used for apparel by fashion designers. Participating designers include Alexander Julian, Liz Claiborne, Donna Karan and Cynthia Rowley.
Grimshaw said she expected some of Regal’s tapestries to come down the runway during the Design Inspiration Fashion Show.
“He sent the fabrics for the fashion show and then we sent them up to New York,” Grimshaw said. “The designers in New York went nuts. We’re going to see that tapestry come down the runway.”
Other home furnishings companies participating in the Bobbin show include Joshua L. Bailey and Co., Inc., Bayeux Fabrics, Inc., Dorma Mills, Jest Textiles, Milliken and Texfi Industries.