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Global textile business back in Frankfurt

Post-show report • Heimtextil Summer Special 2022

With a total of 117 participating nations, around 63,000 visitors and 2300 exhibitors, a brilliant re-launch of the international textile fairs at the Frankfurt exhibition center was achieved. Across all three events – Techtextil, Texprocess and the one-time Heimtextil Summer Special – Italy, France, Turkey, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Pakistan and the USA formed the top visitor nations. On all three business platforms, in addition to brisk order activity and high visitor quality and satisfaction, the concentrated positive energy of personal global encounters was particularly noticeable.

“The world meets again in Frankfurt. International encounters and stimulating new business returned immediately after the pandemic-related break: The textile trade fair business is back and shows its global strength. We and our global Texpertise Network, with 60 events worldwide covering the textile value chain, are looking positively to the future. At the same time, against the backdrop of global challenges, we will continue to expand our international partnerships, such as with the Conscious Fashion & Lifestyle Network in cooperation with the UN Office for Partnerships,” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board, Messe Frankfurt.

Despite ongoing travel restrictions, all three trade shows maintained their pre-pandemic level of internationality in terms of both exhibitors and visitors. In addition to European countries, Pakistan, India, Korea and the USA were also among the top visitor nations. Visitor satisfaction also remained stable at a high level for all three events, averaging 91 percent. Intensive live discussions with old and new partners, new global contacts in personal exchanges, spontaneous cooperations in direct dialog – all this was finally possible again. Buyers from all over the world took the chance of the one-time parallelism of the trade show trio for cross-networking to place orders and initiate new business.

With a global volume of nearly 1,000 billion USD and a predicted growth rate of more than 4.4 percent through 2026, the textile industry is one of the most important global industries. “The textile industry remains a high-growth market that needs face-to-face interaction. In these times of massive supply chain disruptions, we have provided the markets with our unique crossover at the most important international marketplace for product innovations along almost the entire textile value chain at exactly the right time.” said Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies.

Techtextil and Texprocess impress with diverse range of products and services

At Techtextil and Texprocess, sustainable materials and processing technologies, automation and digital processes, as well as innovations and progressive new developments were presented throughout the exhibitor range of products. Information and inspiration were provided by conference formats such as the Techtextil and Texprocess Forum.

Techtextil 2022 impressed with its internationality and user diversity. Exhibitors from twelve application areas and eleven product groups met with a broad range of visitor interest. “For SIOEN, Techtextil 2022 was a great success. We were able to meet customers from all industries and nations. They were eager to see their suppliers. In contrast to digital meetings, personal exchange plays a big role in customer meetings at trade fairs,” says Jan Mortier, Commercial Director at SIOEN Belgium.

A very high number of visitors defined Techtextil this year. This enabled exhibitors to present the new and further developments of their products of the last three years to a large audience. “At Techtextil 2022, we presented our new product ‘bluefibre’ to a broad public for the first time. The focus was on a sustainable cycle – starting with the recycled fiber, continuing with the product and ending with its recycling. Our aim was to act as a source of ideas and we succeeded in this. We were happy to meet people in person and exchange ideas with people we know,” says Stefan Kreuzer, Senior Product Developer at exhibitor Sandler, Germany.

Exhibitors at Texprocess also took the opportunity to showcase their new products internationally. Progressive approaches were recognized with the Texprocess or Techtextil Innovation Award. Paul van Bentum, Vice President and General Manager Administration at JUKI, Poland, confirms: “We were very pleased with the large number of visitors. It is nice to meet physically again. Texprocess is an important platform to gather our distributors in one place. In addition to a mix of our products and our customers’ products, we were also able to present the AW-3S automatic bobbin thread winding and feeding device, which won a Texprocess Innovation Award.”

Sustainable companies with progressive and sustainable fibers, yarns and fabrics, as well as new processes, cutting technologies, water-saving dyeing processes or innovative processing technologies were once again labeled within the framework of Sustainability@Techtextil and Sustainability@Texprocess after successful examination by an independent international expert group. Among them was Texprocess exhibitor EPSON. “At Texprocess 2022, we experienced a high level of buying interest from customers. The visitors on site were interested in doing business. We met many international customers, such as from South Africa or Australia. In cooperation with partner companies such as DMIx or the German Fashion Institute, we were able to present workflows from color selection to the end product – such as printed skis – for the first time,” reports Achim Bukmakowski, Head of Sales, Commercial & Industrial Printing CEE and DACH at EPSON, Germany.

Elgar Straub, Managing Director of VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies (TFL), draws an optimistic conclusion from this year’s Texprocess: “Thanks in particular to the many high-calibre and international visitors, the mood was positive all round – despite current uncertainties and the resulting cautious expectations of Texprocess exhibitors in the run-up to the fair. Nevertheless, personal exchanges at the fair once again made it clear that, precisely because the textile world is currently undergoing rapid change, there is an immense need for investment in technology. Automation, sustainability and flexibility are the most important key words here.”

Experience Techtextil and Texprocess digitally

For the first time, Techtextil and Texprocess were also held virtually. In the Digital Extension platform, exhibitors presented themselves digitally and thus extended their presence at the trade fair. As early as 13 June 2022, visitors were able to benefit from many offers of the Digital Extension and optimally prepare their visit to the trade fair. The digital platform of Techtextil and Texprocess will be available until July 8, 2022 enabling Messe Frankfurt’s conference formats, such as the Techtextil and Texprocess forums, to still be accessed.

Heimtextil Summer Special: expectations of special edition exceeded

Due to the cancellation of the regular Heimtextil in January due to the pandemic, the international trade fair was held this year as a one-time Summer Special parallel to Techtextil & Texprocess at the request of the industry. “This was our first Heimtextil and we are very satisfied. In 2023, we would like to double our stand area. We had many new contacts, especially international, from France and Arab countries, but also from Germany. Only the German specialized trade was missing. Actually, I was an opponent of the one-time June date, but I am pleasantly surprised. We even had many business deals during the fair,” says Rüdiger Speicher, sales manager at Teppiche Lalee oHG.

Turkish exhibitor Barine Tekstil was also satisfied and is already planning for the next Heimtextil, which will then fall on the original January date again. “Even though it was not crowded, we had many new contacts in the first three days. We are satisfied and will be back in January 2023,” said Gamze Karakaya, sales manager at Barine Tekstil.

Wholesalers from Europe and overseas also found first-class contacts for their volume business. It became clear: the leading international trade fair for home and contract textiles, which this year was held for one time only in the summer at the request of the industry, has already succeeded in returning to the international stage even with a smaller summer range. Visitors were delighted to finally experience and order home and household textiles in person again – from contract, decorative and upholstery fabrics to functional textiles and end products for textile furnishings, textile design and bedding.

Sustainability as a clear focus of Heimtextil

The Heimtextil Summer Special was trend-setting with its clear focus on sustainability. A wide range of products – from fibers made from PET bottles and fair trade natural materials to textile products with QR codes for tracking the entire production process – enabled visitors to experience the megatrend of sustainability in its entirety. Linen in combination with other natural fibers such as hemp and wool as well as bed linen made of cotton coated with cork were also part of the green global product portfolio. In this context, the daily Green Tours with insights into recyclable textiles were also well received.

Fresh impulses were provided by the Heimtextil Trends for the industry. The Trend Space put the spotlight on unusual approaches to avoiding waste and economic imbalances. Other crowd-pleasers were the Green Village with reliable certificates as well as the Heimtextil Conference “Sleep & More” on the mega-topic of sleep and the sustainable hotel industry, and as well the range of lectures and guided tours as part of Interior.Architecture.Hospitality.

The next Heimtextil will take place from January 10 to 13, 2023. The next Techtextil and Texprocess will be held from April 23 to 26, 2024.

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