In spite of rumors and difficulties, ITMA Europe is still alive after 60 years of existence. And
there will be a few novelties at ITMA 2011, which will take place in Barcelona, Spain, September
22-29. The European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, (CEMATEX), owner of the ITMA
label, and ITMA 2011 organizer, MP International Pte. Ltd., Singapore, are preparing a program that
is more versatile than ever under the theme “Master the Art of Innovation.”
Textile World Asia
‘s press time, some 1,300 exhibitors from 43 economies around the world have registered
to participate in ITMA 2011, occupying more than 100,000 net square meters of exhibit space at the
Fira de Barcelona Gran Via. About 70 percent of the exhibitors are from CEMATEX countries. Italy
represents the largest contingent, with more than 300 exhibitors; followed by Germany, more than
200; Spain, 81; and Switzerland, 66. Among non-CEMATEX countries, the three largest exhibitor
groups are India, with 115 exhibitors; Turkey, 95; and China, 77.
ITMA attendees are invited to stop by Hall 3, Booth C153 to receive complimentary copies of
Textile World Asia
Changes And Faster Rhythm
ITMA is celebrating its 60th birthday this year. It’s been a long road from the first ITMA
in 1951 in Lille, France, to the upcoming edition in Barcelona. After early venues in Lille;
Brussels; Milan; Hannover, Germany; and Basel, Switzerland, ITMA Europe was organized in Milan,
Hannover or Paris between 1971 and 1999. After holding the first three ITMAs of the new millennium
in other locations, ITMA 2015 will return to Milan
(See Table 1).
However, the “most important textile machinery exhibition,” as it is generally considered,
is under pressure for various reasons.
In 2000, CEMATEX decided to have a second ITMA in Asia, reflecting the emerging markets in
Asia and the Pacific Rim. The first and second ITMA Asias took place in Singapore in 2001 and 2005,
and after that, the show moved to Shanghai in 2008 — and it is still there. Meanwhile, OTEMAS — the
quadrennial Osaka International Textile Machinery Show organized by the Japan Textile Machinery
Association and held in Osaka, Japan, in alternation with ITMA Europe — ceased to exist; and the
biennial China International Textile Machinery Exhibition (CITME) gave up its Beijing location and
merged with ITMA Asia in 2008. Meanwhile, in competition with and in alternation with ITMA Asia,
ShanghaiTex is still taking place every odd-numbered year.
Another significant decision by CEMATEX was to organize an ITMA Asia every two years. With
this decision, the traditional sequence of having an ITMA every four years, and after that, every
two years alternating between Europe and Asia, was gone. The textile machinery industry is now
having an ITMA three years in a row: 2010 in Shanghai, 2011 in Barcelona and next year again in
Despite the pressure on exhibitors because ITMA Europe is sandwiched between two ITMA Asias
and exhibitors are expected have something brand-new to introduce at every ITMA, the European
suppliers are committed to exhibiting at the European edition, and, in general, one may say that as
long there is European production of textile machinery, the Europeans will not abandon an ITMA in
Europe, although they don’t like the idea of having three ITMAs in a row. The major comment from
several suppliers surveyed recently by TW Asia was that everyone must take return on investment
into consideration, and the visiting customers must do the same.
“No first-class supplier can afford to stay away from ITMA Europe,” said Sales &
Marketing Director Jean-Philippe Dumon of NSC nonwoven, France. “Today, ITMA has changed: Nobody is
expecting true new developments. That’s why I am pretty sure we will not see too many novelties in
Klaus Heinrichs, vice president marketing, A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG,
Germany, expressed the same opinion, and added: “Every exhibitor is also expecting new impulses
from the markets. An ITMA is not only an exhibition, but also a place for discussions. And, by all
means, ITMA Europe will survive, at least in the mid-term.”
Hermann Selker, head of marketing, Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, also doesn’t like
the idea of three ITMAs in a row. “This is too much. In spite of the faster development of new
equipment these days, ITMA is still the showcase to exhibit new highlights,” he said. “But with
such a short period of time [between shows], nobody is able to present true novelties at every
show.” With the reshaping of Trützschler, including the acquisition of Fleissner and Erko, the
Trützschler Group will now have one single booth of approximately 1,000 square meters in Barcelona.
“We are expecting a stabilization of the business,” Selker continued, “and we should not forget
that the textile industry is still the largest industry worldwide. As a European manufacturer, we
strongly support ITMA Europe, which will remain the top event for high-performance textile
Important Apparel Sector
But coming back to the present: in spite of all rumors and complaints, ITMA is still said to
be the indisputable top global marketplace and networking platform for the industry. The 60th
birthday edition will feature an expanded product index with new chapters, and also will encompass
Some years ago, the apparel manufacturing sector split away from ITMA and formed its own
exhibition, IMB — World of Fashion and Textile Processing, organized by Koelnmesse in Cologne,
Germany. There was another change when trade show organizer Messe Frankfurt attracted sponsors and
supporters away from IMB and formed Texprocess, which debuted in May 2011 alongside Techtextil in
However, the yarn and fabric-forming sectors and the apparel producers today have much more
in common than ever, considering the ongoing verticalization from yarn to finished garments —
indeed, virtually every global knitwear player is 100-percent vertically organized. For this
reason, CEMATEX is offering a more comprehensive platform reflecting apparel manufacturing’s
increasing importance. ITMA 2011’s expanded product index includes a chapter focused on
garment-making technologies and machinery.
New Fibers & Yarns Chapter
In addition, there will be a new chapter dedicated to natural, man-made and technical fibers
and yarns, and ITMA 2011 exhibits will now be classified into 18 separate chapters (See Table 2).
This new chapter has received support from numerous fiber- and yarn-focused organizations around
the world, and also has generated so many booth applications that ITMA organizers have expanded the
space allocated to house all of the exhibitors.
More Events To Come
ITMA 2011 has garnered support from 144 industry organizations from 60 countries and
representing sectors throughout the textile and garment value chain, and related industry groups.
Several of these organizations have partnered with CEMATEX and scheduled or helped to organize
special events to take place prior to, alongside or as part of ITMA (See Table 3).
Focus On Sustainability
Consumer demand for eco-friendly products is increasing, and with it, support for businesses
that are committed to implementing eco-friendly processes. Sustainability is no longer just a
marketing attribute, but an essential component of a successful business. Reducing energy and water
consumption and increasing social awareness are now key expectations for the entire global textile
Many European textile machinery manufacturers have already reacted to this trend. In various
presentations to the trade press, they have shown new machinery that not only addresses
end-consumer demands, but also reduces production costs. Sustainability will be an important topic
at this year’s ITMA, not only in the Sustainable Textile Leaders Roundtable — during which speakers
will share the latest on sustainable innovations, machinery advances and trends — but also at
nearly all of the other special co-located events.
Located on Spain’s northeast Mediterranean coast, Barcelona — capital of the autonomous
community of Catalonia, and, with a population of more than 1.6 million people in the city proper
and a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.5 million, Spain’s second most populous city
after Madrid and Europe’s largest Mediterranean coastal metropolitan area — was founded before the
dawn of the Christian Era. There is evidence of human settlements dating from the Neolithic period.
Phoenician or Carthaginian traders settled there in the 3rd century BC, and the Romans established
the colony of Barcino there near the end of the 1st century BC. Over the next centuries, the city
passed from Roman to Visigothic to Moorish to Carolingian rule before gaining independence and
later being consolidated into the Kingdom of Aragon, and its name evolved to Barcinona and then to
Barjelunah and finally to Barcelona. During the Middle Ages, the city gained prestige as the
economic and political center of the Western Mediterranean region. However, subsequent political
and economic changes contributed to a decline in the city’s importance as well as its culture.
A revival of sorts took place with the rise of an industrial economy in the late 18th
century. Textile production was an important component of this industrialization, and it continues
to be important today — indeed, the vast majority of members of the Spanish Association of
Manufacturers of Textile & Garment Machinery (AMEC AMTEX) are located in Barcelona province,
and AMEC AMTEX has its headquarters in the city of Barcelona a couple of miles up the road from
Fira de Barcelona. In addition, the city has attempted more recently to become a major fashion
The Catalan region has long fostered a strong separatist identity and today still values its
regional language and culture. Although Spanish is spoken by virtually everyone in Barcelona,
Catalan is understood by about 95 percent of the population and spoken by about 75 percent.
Barcelona’s Roman origins are evident in several locations within the Barri Gòtic, the
historical center of the city. The Museu d’Història de la Ciutat de Barcelona provides access to
excavated remains of Barcino underneath the center of present-day Barcelona, and parts of the old
Roman wall are visible in newer structures including the Gothic-era Catedral de la Seu.
The strange, fanciful buildings and structures designed by turn-of-the-century architect
Antoni Gaudí, found in numerous locations around Barcelona, are major attractions for visitors to
the city. Several of them together comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the designation
“Works of Antoni Gaudí” — including the Façade of the Nativity and the Crypt at the Basílica de la
Sagrada Família, Parque Güell, Palacio Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and Casa Vicens. The site also
includes the Crypt at the Colònia Güell, an industrial estate established in nearby Santa Coloma de
Cervelló by Gaudí’s patron, textile business owner Eusebi Güell, who moved his business there from
the Barcelona area in 1890, setting up a state-of-the-art vertical textile operation — which closed
in 1973 — and provided living quarters and cultural and religious amenities for the workers.
Barcelona was also home at one time or another to 20th-century artists Joan Miró, Pablo
Picasso and Salvador Dalí. There are museums devoted to the works of Miró and Picasso, and the
Reial Cercle Artístic de Barcelona offers a private collection of works by Dalí.
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, located in the Parc de Montjuïc near Fira de
Barcelona, has a major collection of Romanesque art and other collections of Catalan art spanning
Barcelona also has a textile museum. The Museu Tèxtil i d’Indumentària offers a collection
of garments dating from the 16th century to the present; Coptic, Hispano-Arab, Gothic and
Renaissance fabrics; and collections of embroidery, lacework and printed fabrics.
Those wanting to get a taste of life in Barcelona may want to join the locals in the evening
for a stroll through the streets of the city, and sample the local cuisine and nightlife. Just
remember that dinner is served late – restaurants generally serve between 9 and 11 pm – and
partying goes on very late into the night.
Not to be missed is Barcelona’s largest festival, La Mercé – held to honor the city’s patron
saint, la Mercé, or the Virgin of Mercy – which will take place September 22-25. Events include
concerts, dancing, fireworks, parades, costumes and human towers.
There are several options for getting around Barcelona. Public transportation services
include a metro with nine lines, buses, both modern and historic tram lines, funiculars and aerial
cable cars. Fira de Barcelona Gran Via is served by Metro lines 1 and 3, and bus route 79.
Executive Editor Jürg Rupp and Textile World’s Managing Editor Janet Bealer Rodie contributed
to this report. For more information about ITMA 2011, visit