arly in 2000, the organizers of Premiere Vision announced they were planning to launch
European Preview, a capsule version of the Paris apparel fabric show, in New York City. Skeptics
questioned their wisdom; fabric shows in New York had never worked.
Held twice a year and now in its fifth season, not only is European Preview a tremendous
success, but it has spawned four other shows, all happening at the same time. The last European
Preview featured lines from 150 exhibitors from nine European countries. More than 3,000 visitors
attended the most recent show, looking for new fabrics and new resources for the Fall 2003/Winter
A year after European Preview came to New York, the first I-TexStyle show took place. It is
a joint venture of the Italian Trade Commission, MAGIC International, PratoTrade and Sistema Moda
Italia. All of the 107 exhibitors were Italian.
A season ago, Turkish fabric companies initiated the Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition
(TFFE), featuring lines from fabric and trim exporters. It has been organized by Istanbul Textile
and Apparel Exporters Association (ITKIB).
Also picking up on the popularity of European Preview, Tencel Inc. presented fabrics from 16
Asian customers at Innovation Asia. Not to be outdone, Austria-based Lenzing AG hosted Asian
Source, an event for a group of 14 Korean fabric companies.
More than 3,000 visitors attended the most recent European Preview show, held in July in
New York City.
The success of European Preview is due in part to organization, selectivity and innovation.
The organizers are a not-for-profit group with the single goal of producing a good show. A lot goes
into presentation to give the show a unified look and to aid buyers in locating fabrics and
resources. A display of exhibitors‘ fabrics at the entrance, culled and organized into trends,
gives buyers a first look at the new season.
Exhibitors are carefully screened and selected by a peer group. Standards include quality,
creativity and service. One requirement is that the exhibitors show at a major European textile
show. According to Daniel Faure, president of Premiere Vision and European Preview, there is a
waiting list to exhibit at European Preview. “Most of our exhibitors have been showing since the
inception — there is very little turnover. We did acquire a few spaces when some of our Italian
exhibitors dropped out to go with I-TexStyle,” he said.
Another requirement is that each exhibitor must have the ability to service the American
market, either via an office in the United States, a reputable agent or the ability to follow
through from its home country.
The show is organized by fabric categories. All of the shirting fabrics are in one area.
There are separate sections for wool, silk, linen, sportswear, denim and corduroy, knits, printed
fabrics and laces.
Italian mills still have a major presence at European Preview, with about 35 exhibitors.
Many represent the top end of Italian textiles, such as silk weaver Mantero Seta; Loro Piana and
Lanificio Luigi Botto S.p.A., both woolen producers; Marioboselli Jersey S.p.A. and Jackytex S.p.A.
in knitted fabrics; Crespi I.F.T. S.r.l. in the linen sector; and prints from Miroglio S.p.A. and
Cantoni Satilai S.p.A.
Mark Templeton, who handles menswear buying, designing and product development for the Orvis
catalog, commented on the Italian cottons with water-repellent finishes, and Scottish tartans and
twills. “We did very well with kilts in our Christmas catalog. I’m looking at new patterns and
textures,” Templeton said.
Pamela Choy, vice president, merchandising and product development, DKNY City, liked the
lightweight textured fabrics at Riopele-Niki Bosch Design, a Portugal-based company noted for
high-tech fabrics. Crinkles and stretch were of special interest.
According to Peter Ackroyd, director, National Wool Textile Export Corp., United Kingdom,
there was a 45-percent increase in visitors to the show the first day. Most of the UK exhibitors
fell into the woolen sector.
Here, texture was a strong look. It ran the gamut from Shetland and Donegal tweeds to wool
seersuckers, burn-outs, dobbies and waffle weaves. Washable worsted wool twill suitings and
lighter-weight fabrics also were of note. The most popular colors were somewhat subdued with a
slightly aged look.
Sheila Marks of Bill Blass commented on texture: “There is so much innovation, mixing fibers
and colors to create novel textures and patterns. Fall 2003 will be a very exciting season.”
In the wool sector, a new development is the blend of wool/cotton. Ottavio Crotti S.r.l.,
Italy, showed cashmere/cotton blends in jacket weights. At Ireland-based Ulster Weavers, there were
burn-outs in this blend. Carreman of France presented structured, rustic twills and herringbones.
Knitted fabrics from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland also were shown.
Texture reigns here too, with raised patterns, dimensional effects, lacy knits and embossing on
In sportswear, denim is king. There are a lot of new blends and application treatments,
including metallic patterns, flocking and plastic coating that resembles sequins. Crinkled and
pleated surfaces are another strong trend.
There were 17 companies in the printed fabric category. Romantic florals, paisleys, foulards
and patchworks were shown in almost every line.
Weisbrod-Zuerrer AG, Switzerland, showed padded layers combining satin with sheers and
quilted in paisley patterns. At Bucol of France, there were Art Nouveau brocades with lamé and
multicolored embroidery. Texture turned up at Mantero in wool/silk matelassés, crinkled sheers and
uneven printing effects.
The Spring/Summer 2004 edition of European Preview will take place January 22-23, 2003.
Presentation was a draw to the I-TexStyle show. Major directions for the season were
illustrated by Angelo Uslenghi, consultant to Moda In, a twice-yearly show in Milan, and Andrea
Dall’Olio for Prato Expo. Exhibitors’ fabrics, organized by trend, centered the show.
A lot of the same themes shown at European Preview turned up. Dall’Olio mentioned surface
effects, tweeds, hairy surfaces, new denims, metallic flocking, jacquards, paisleys, double cloths,
rustic laces, velvets and cotton for winter. Uslenghi talked about wool/cotton blends, tartan
flannel, tweed, denim, smoky finishes, astro-dyes and tie-dyes, velvet and velour, felting, marls
and mélanges, coarse and loose weaves, and rubberized and waxed surfaces.
At Lanificio Faliero Sarti & Figli S.p.A.-owned Sartimaglie, texture is subtle in men’s
suiting fabrics. Blends with mohair or alpaca are woven with slightly raised patterns. The look is
tonal and classic. There are soft flannels, double-faced brushed twills, subtle touches of sparkle,
stretch wools, wool/cotton seersuckers and cotton/cashmere knits at this firm.
Rich vintage wools with luxurious hairy finishes have a warm touch at Milior S.p.A., which
showed basics in blends of cotton/wool/elastane. Picchi S.p.A. introduced a new division called
Filopuro, showing light, clean suitings. At Lanificio Lamberto S.r.l., there are pleated
double-cloths, crinkled jacquards with a vintage look, ropy Chanel-type tweeds, mohair bouclés and
embroidered fake leathers.
Novelty knits at Lanificio Nello Gori drew a lot of attention. Long-haired shaggy fleeces
are newly patterned in swirling designs. Linea Tessile Italiana S.p.A. showed embroidered and
tie-dyed shantung wool gauze. Wool/nylon jacquards with relief surfaces are heavily brushed. There
are stretch crinkles, flocked wools and hairy bouclés here.
Turkish Fashion And Fabric Exhbition
The textile industry in Turkey represents 40 percent of the country’s total industrial
production and employs about one-fifth of the total workforce. Total exports of textiles and yarn
in the first three quarters of 2001 were more than $2 billion. Slightly more than 8 percent comes
to the United States.
TFFE listed fabrics by category, including knitted fabrics, color woven/shirtings,
denim/corduroy, lace and embroidery, wool and wool types, cotton/blends, linen, prints,
sportswear/activewear and silk/silky aspects.
Elaine Flowers, fashion director, Dillards, shopped for fabrics at all three shows. She said
the quality and service from Turkish weavers is outstanding. “We did very well with the fabric we
purchased for our private label program at this show last season,” she said.
Rasha Alomar and Diane Humes of JCPenney were impressed with the professional setup of the
show. “There are great offerings here,” said Alomar. “The suiting fabrics are of excellent quality
at realistic prices,” Humes added.
According to Enrico Rosati, an Italian textile consultant, a lot of the Turkish textile
companies have hired Italian stylists. “They know how to play the global game,” he said. “It takes
know-how to make it happen. You don’t learn overnight what it has taken others centuries to
Many of the Turkish exhibitors are into the total package: spinning, weaving, knitting,
dyeing, finishing and garment production. Most have new facilities with the latest state-of-the-art
Gulle Tekstil San A.S., a 30-year-old company located in Istanbul, produces ring-spun and
open-end yarns for fabrics that it knits, dyes and finishes in-house. Fabrics range from single
knits, interlocks and ribs, to fleeces, velours, terry and plaited loop fabrics.
Jack Kasavi, manager, Fabric Team USA, agent for Italteks Expo Group Teksti’l San A.S.,
said, “We think of ourselves as the Miroglio of Turkey.” Italteks is completely vertical, producing
yarns through to finished garments. The fabric range runs from sheer rayon georgette to coated
stretch denim. About 15 percent of its production is sold to the United States.
Yunisan Wool Industry Corp. produces woolens and worsteds of 100-percent wool, and blends
with Lycra® and man-made fibers. It uses Australian merino wool ranging from 18.5 microns to 21.5
microns. It has an annual capacity of about 6 million meters. Its biggest export markets are the
United Kingdom, France and Spain. In the United States, customers include Gap, Banana Republic and
private labels for major stores.
Francesca De Vita, agent for BTD, said about 25 percent of its export business comes into
the United States. The mill is fully integrated. Fabrics are geared to sportswear. There are
two-faced stretch corduroys, soft finished twills, washed linens and pigment- and fiber-dyed
fabrics. Another vertical mill, Abaci Tekstil, offers immediate sampling and delivery of any order
in one to three weeks. Abaci sells blended fabrics in pant, jacket and suit weights, both printed
Naomi Campbell models an outfit made from Lenzing fiber.
Photographed by Johannes Kutzler
Tencel And Lenzing
At Innovation Asia, a showcase of Asian fabrics featuring Tencel®, Ellen Flynn, vice
president, marketing, Tencel, New York City, said, “This is one way we assist our mill partners. It
is an adjunct to our twice-yearly Global Fabric Fair, Denim workshops and other events in our New
York office. All of the fabrics are on view at our fabric library.” Flynn said currently, Tencel is
sold up and is bringing on new capacity.
Mills featured at the Tencel event are from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. All
are set up for export and produce a variety of knitted and woven fabrics in Tencel and blends for
menswear, womenswear and intimate apparel.
Shinnaigai Textile Ltd., Japan, sells knitted and woven fabrics in blends of Tencel with
acrylic, polyester or silk. There are plains, twills and double-faced fabrics for Fall.
Dobby shirtings from Shinjintex Co. Ltd. and basic bottom weights from Pang Rim Co. Ltd.,
both based in Korea, are woven in 100-percent Tencel, and in blends with other natural and man-made
Willgold Industrial Co. Ltd., Taiwan, showed Tencel blended with Lycra, linen, wool and
other natural and man-made fibers. Slubbed fabrics, prints, jacquards, denims and a variety of
weights and weaves were displayed.
Chonbang Co. Ltd. and G-Vision, both Korea-based, showed at Tencel’s Innovation Asia show
and at Lenzing’s Asian Source. Chonbang is a 50-year-old company that weaves fabrics for a wide
range of end-uses. G-Vision knits fabrics for tops and intimate apparel.
A large number of the Lenzing exhibitors showed yarns and fabrics for intimate apparel. Many
mills that exhibited are vertical, and all export a major portion of their production to Europe and
the United States, a lot in garment form.
Doer Enterprise Ltd. specializes in blended yarns for socks and sweaters. Modal® is blended
with wool, cashmere, mohair, alpaca and cotton. Tommy Hilfiger is one of its customers.
Victoria Pik, merchandise manager USA, Lenzing Specialty Fibers, said that in the United
States, Lenzing’s focus is on knitting and fabrics for the home for its fibers, Modal, Viscose® and
Lyocell®. Lenzing maintains a sales and technical services staff in North Carolina. Lenzing is sold
up and adding to its production lines.