As the global apparel fabrics and accessories industry prepares to gather in Shanghai this October for Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – including suppliers from 25-plus countries and trade buyers from around 100 countries – exhibitors are gearing up for yet another edition of strong results. Occurring towards the end of the autumn/winter sourcing period, buyers come to the fair well informed of next season’s trends, and are in a unique position to be able to make their purchasing decisions from the around 4,500 exhibitors that will be present.
The figures back this up: 84 per cent of buyers attending the 2016 Autumn Edition had some responsibility for purchasing decisions, while 89 per cent were satisfied with meeting their objective of placing orders for the next season. Many buyers also attend the fair to discover new products and innovations, making Intertextile an ideal platform to release new collections and products – 39 per cent said they attended to source new items and innovations.
And with all the changes going on both in national economies and the apparel fabrics and accessories industry, the number of trade buyers sourcing at the fair – around 70,000 – and their diversity – some 100 countries – presents an unrivalled opportunity for exhibitors to find new markets, or double-down on existing ones. This diversity is further shown in buyers’ product sourcing preferences at the fair. Last year, buyers’ main area of sourcing interest for all of the eight main fabric product categories was between 11 per cent and 38 per cent, reflecting a relatively even spread across all types of fabrics.
Functional lab teems with innovative products
While Intertextile Shanghai is well-known for its exhibitor and product breadth, buyers in the know also use it as a sourcing platform for the latest functional apparel fabric innovations. The fair’s Functional Lab – which will feature around 50 exhibitors this edition – is the centre of innovation at Intertextile, featuring a wide selection of innovative yarns & fibres, fabrics, accessories, finishes & coatings, membranes and more, particularly for athleisure, sports and outdoor wear, as well as lingerie. Buyers looking for eco-friendly options can find plenty to choose from in this zone as well. Just a few of the highlights are presented here.
Aquafil: This Italian firm will showcase its Dryarn® fibre at the fair; what they claim is the lightest fibre in the natural world. According to the company, a garment made of Dryarn® will weigh 32 per cent less than an equivalent garment made of wool, and 34 per cent less than one of polyester. Moreover, it offers high levels of thermal comfort and breathability which makes it ideal for a wide range of uses including fashion, and sports and outdoor wear.
Vetex: Belgium’s Vetex, specialists in coatings and laminations for various textiles, won an award at the recent Techtextil fair in Frankfurt for their ecologically-friendly solution to replace dimethyl formamide (DMF) as a solvent in PU coatings. At Intertextile Shanghai, they will present their seam seal tapes which are fixed to shoes, garments and outdoor products through a unique hot air process (seam sealing), an innovative technology that ensures they retain their specific properties during the manufacturing process. They will also showcase their laminates for the medical industry at the fair.
The Chemours Company: They will showcase their Teflon EcoElite™ durable water repellent (DWR) at the fair which is a highly sustainable, renewably sourced, non-fluorinated treatment for fabrics. It contains 63 per cent renewably sourced content, is up to three times more durable than existing non-fluorinated repellents, and has high water repellency for at least 30 washes.
Unifi Textile: As well as showcasing their Repreve® brand of fibres made from 100 per cent recycled materials, including post-consumer water bottles and pre-consumer waste, the company will also release an updated version of its Sorbtek®moisture-wicking and thermal-regulation fibre at the fair.
Expanded Taiwan pavilion inside functional lab
As one of the industry’s powerhouses when it comes to innovation, the Taiwan exhibitors will be out in force in the Functional Lab. In addition to the expanded Taiwan Pavilion inside the Functional Lab (hall 5.2), a number of innovative products will also be on offer in the main Taiwan Pavilion in hall 6.2. Here’s a sampling of what to expect from Taiwanese exhibitors at the fair:
Singtex: This company has products ideal for garment producers with customers who are eco-conscious coffee drinkers. Their BIOTECTM range includes S.Café® AIRNESTTM insulation foam and S.Café® AIRMEMTM membrane, which are made from coffee oil extracted from used coffee grounds, as well as S.Café® sefiaTM, a natural functional fabric made from lyocell and S.Café® yarns.
Kong You Industrial: This exhibitor will feature a new technology at the fair: A waterproof, microporous PU membrane with enhanced breathability due a special four-way stretch technology employed during the melt extrusion process of the knitted fabric and PU membrane.
Sheng Ye: They will showcase their new generation, eco-friendly, lightweight composite fabric. This fabric also contains a special high-tech film with pores that are extremely small and have an irregular curved arrangement, giving it a high permeability and resistance to water pressure. PFC-free, it is also biodegradable. This fabric is suited to outdoor wear and outdoor supplies.
Superwill: Combining speciality yarns and a special knitting process, this supplier has developed a ‘gradient’ fabric with a thickness that decreases from top to bottom. This design allows the fabric to be tailored to different garments, for example a shirt could be thicker at the top for added UV protection, and thinner at the bottom for increased breathability; while a pair of leggings could be thicker at the top for enhanced body shaping and thinner at the bottom for ease-of-movement.
Paltex: They will showcase a range of 15D ripstop nylon fabrics with a new digital printing process which enhances the soft-touch of the fabric.
Far Eastern New Century: This polyester manufacturer will present its new TopDry® Zero Yarn at the fair, PFC-free polyester with superior durable water repellency (DWR).
Achievetex: They will feature their Greenlon® Recycle + Dope nylon woven textiles made from dope-dyed yarn. Their eco-friendly production process reduces water wastage by 65 per cent, CO2 emissions by 70 and chemical usage by 85 per cent.
In addition to Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, three other textile fairs are held concurrently: Yarn Expo Autumn (hall 5.1), CHIC (halls 2 & 3) and PH Value (hall 3).