The upcoming editions of Yarn Expo Autumn, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics and two other international textile fairs will be brought forward this year to the end of September from their traditional October dates. As Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics moves from mid-October to the earlier date of 27 – 29 September, so too does Yarn Expo Autumn. They are also joined by the concurrent knitting fair PH Value and fashion garment fair CHIC, in what is the global textile industry’s annual sourcing summit for the autumn / winter season.

And as the fashion industry has evolved in recent years, so too has Yarn Expo’s position and importance in the market. Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd elaborated, “Fashion brands are more experienced nowadays in terms of yarn & fibre selection, and are having more impact on the look and function of the fabrics, which is flowing through to the final outcome of the garment. The need for brands to stay ahead of the latest fashion trends and textile innovations in such a competitive environment makes it vital they can source at a comprehensive event with innovative & quality suppliers, which has propelled Yarn Expo to become one of the most influential fairs on the textile calendar.”

As such, while Yarn Expo has long been the leading choice for fabrics manufacturers to source at, in recent editions it has attracted more and more brand buyers as well. Just some of the brand buyers to utilise Yarn Expo in recent years include 361°, Anta, Deckers Brands, Embry, G2000, H&M, I.T., John Lewis, K-Boxing, Li-Ning, Maurizio Baldassari, Montagut, Nike, Polartec, Ralph Lauren, River Island and Septwolves. This is in addition to the fabrics, home textiles & garment manufacturers, wholesalers and designers who regularly attend, including many who are exhibiting themselves at the concurrent fairs.

“Another trend we are noticing at Yarn Expo, which is a reflection of the overall industry itself, is the strong demand for emerging products such as fancy & specialty yarns and synthetic fibres. Last year’s autumn edition saw 55 per cent more buyers sourcing fancy yarns compared to 2016, 40 per cent more for specialty yarns and over 30 per cent for synthetic fibres,” Wen continued.

This growth is also reflected in the number of trade buyers choosing Yarn Expo as their sourcing platform in recent years: From 7,375 in the 2015 autumn edition to 17,185 from 84 countries and regions last year. This in turn is attracting more exhibitors to utilise Yarn Expo as their business platform, with 258 exhibitors in 2015 growing to 493 from 13 countries and regions last year. The size and scope of Yarn Expo’s buyer profile ensures the fair provides relevant business opportunities for all exhibitors, and feedback from participants in previous editions proves the fair’s must-attend status. Hussain Mills from Pakistan is a cotton yarn producer. “Our main reason to attend Yarn Expo is to increase our customer base, and we’ve achieved this through the fair. Yarn Expo is the key bridge for us to keep connected with Chinese and Asian buyers – it’s the best show that we cannot miss!” Nadeem Akhtar, Marketing Manager explained.

Abtex International, also from Pakistan, is a supplier of cotton, mélange and other yarns. “We have been to Yarn Expo for more than 10 years, and this is the best platform for anyone dealing in yarns. You have buyers from all over the world here, so Yarn Expo is the best fair in Asia for worldwide exposure, Mohammad Saad, Director said.

Chemtax Industrial from Hong Kong are well-known agents of fancy & polyester yarn and textile machinery. “Yarn Expo is known for its diverse visitor profile, and is a strong platform for us to enhance our presence in this market and to interact with buyers. We saw quite a lot of our existing clients and potential business partners this edition,” said Ricky Chan, Sales Manager.

Texvista International from Singapore is a supplier of a wide range of yarns. “We are here to explore the China market, but are also glad customers from Europe and America visited our booth. Many of the buyers here are at the decision-making level. This is a highly effective fair to meet Chinese buyers to learn first-hand what the market needs,” Rahul Gupta, Marketing Manager explained.

Birla Cellulose, a member of the Aditya Birla Group, has also been one of Yarn Expo’s biggest success stories. A manufacturer of cellulosic fibres, they began utilising the fair’s prominent position in the industry when they undertook their first major marketing efforts in China in 2013, successfully promoting their brand and products to leading Chinese and global players through Yarn Expo. Their initial experience proved so successful, that they now organise a Birla Pavilion at both the spring and autumn editions to showcase their own and their partner mills’ capabilities.

Sachin Malik, Senior Vice President (Sales & Marketing) shared the company’s experiences at the fair. “Yarn Expo is a very important long-term platform for Birla to be present at, to be visible to the wider textile industry, and to connect to our customers and their customers through the entire value chain. Each edition, we see more and more buyers in the fair, and more customers in the industry recognise the importance of this fair. With China being the largest market in the industry, Yarn Expo has developed into a premium event in the global textile industry calendar.