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Techtextil sets exhibitor and space record

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Texprocess grows in terms of space and in the most important product groups 

Frankfurt as centre for wearables and smart textiles

Techtextil and Texprocess, the sector’s leading international trade fairs will open in a few days with positive figures. From 4 to 7 May 2015 the Frankfurt am Main trade fair site will be home to a total of 1,662 exhibitors from 54 countries (2013: 1,660 exhibitors from 56 countries*). Over four days, visitors to these leading international trade fairs for technical textiles, nonwovens and the processing of textile and flexible materials will discover what the textile and apparel industry has to offer in terms of new products and processes. These include textiles for use as biomass in the sea or as artificial snow in the mountains, washable and multifunctional clothing with integrated LEDs along with digitalised cutting, sewing and ironing machines with online tracking and precise and accurate billing.

Techtextil and Texprocess offer the world’s largest range of innovative materials and cutting edge technologies. The entire textile value added chain from fibres to logistics is represented in Frankfurt. This trade fair duo has the support once again of the principal market leaders. Moreover, both trade fairs have registered an increase in the space booked compared to the previous events. They are the key drivers for the trends of the next two years,” explains Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

Techtextil and Texprocess are set to take place against a positive economic backdrop. According to a Commerzbank study, global sales of technical textiles and nonwovens are predicted to increase from the current figure of 160 billion USD to over 200 billion USD by 2018. According to the European Confederation ‘Euratex’, imports of technical textiles from non-EU countries grew by 8.6 percent in 2014, while exports grew by 6.3 percent. 

In 2014, Germany reported a significant increase in sales of nonwovens, while revenue from technical textiles declined due to the weak euro and the low oil price. “Germany is world champion in the export of technical textiles,” says Ingeborg Neumann, President of the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry (Gesamtverband t+m). “And 2014 was no exception”. “In 2014, the German sewing and garment technology sector was able to increase its turnover by almost 20 percent and growth today continues in double digits,” adds Elgar Straub, Managing Director of the VDMA Garment and Leather Technology. 

What will be Germany’s next top apparel?

The apparel of the future will be able to repel much more than just heat and water. The ‘Innovative Apparel Show’ is the new centrepiece of Texprocess and Techtextil and showcases techniques of tomorrow for the manufacture of fashion and other apparel. On each day of the trade fair four universities and fashion colleges will be in the foyer of halls 5.1/6.1 to present their futuristic designs. Apart from the catwalk, a special show in Hall 6.1 provides more information about the production processes and materials used, whilst also presenting more of the students’ creations. The highlight of the show is an audience prize that will be awarded on the last day of the trade fair. 

“The universities taking part have selected 40 inspirational designs, set to amaze in terms of the new materials and processing technologies used. One thing is already for certain: each and every one of our models is wearing a garment with winning potential,” explains Kevin Oakes, who is choreographing the Innovative Apparel Show. “Smart Textiles have a big role to play in this. Visitors coming to see our show will see, amongst other things, textiles with integrated LEDs, reflective materials, ‘green’ polyester, nonwovens in 3D structures along with garments that have been ultrasonic welded.”

Techtextil: Centre for textile innovation and smart textiles

“Wearables and smart textiles, i.e. textiles with integrated electronics and sensors, are one of the trending themes at Techtextil. These smart textiles are used for monitoring vital signs in apparel, but can also be woven into the clothing as solar cells to produce energy,” explains Detlef Braun. Apart from functional apparel, technical textiles are also used in many other, often less well-known industries. Here are three examples: natural fibres help to cultivate biomass in the open sea, whilst they are also used all the year round as a way of creating artificial snow. Textile based sensors support the stroke patient therapy, but they can also be used for the structural monitoring of wind turbines. We know carbon from the manufacture of cars and aircraft, but it can also replace the wood in parquet flooring and the steel in concrete.

Techtextil 2015 sets a new record number of exhibitors to reinforce its position as the leading international trade fair in this highly innovative sector. There will be a total of 1,389 exhibitors from 52 countries (2013: 1,330 exhibitors from 48 countries), an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the last time the event was held. Not only has a fourth day been added, but now the trade fair also has for the first time a fourth level in Hall 6.1, where exhibitors will include manufacturers of textiles for functional apparel, such as Nike IHM, a new participant in the show. Accordingly, the increase has come mainly from bookings in the product group ‘functional apparel textiles’, followed by the growth market of nonwovens. 

The diverse range of technical textile and nonwoven applications and products is spread across Techtextil’s eleven product groups and twelve application areas. They include materials for construction, architecture and interior furnishing (Buildtech, Hometech), sports and protective apparel (Sporttech, Protech), industry in general (Indutech), medical technology (Medtech) along with automotive and aerospace (Mobiltech).

The share of international exhibitors at Techtextil stands at 69 percent which is higher than that for the last event (2013: 67 percent). The number of exhibitors from Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, China and the Czech Republic has also increased. In fact, a total of 15 countries (2013: 13 countries) have booked national pavilions: Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the USA. The new pavilions are Switzerland and Tunisia.

Techtextil offers a wide programme of events including the 18th Techtextil Symposium with around 40 expert lectures. The 13th Techtextil Innovation Award recognises eight outstanding developments in the sector, while the student competition ‘Textile Structures for New Building’ also takes place for the 13th time. This competition awards a prize to ideas for the use of textiles in building. One of the entries to win favour with the judges this year was a project from Hungary in which the material reacts visually to acoustic noise and electrical voltage. Special shows provide the opportunity for visitors and exhibitors to see all the winning projects. 

Texprocess: Cutting-edge technologies from the market leaders

The development trend for Texprocess is likewise positive: this is the third time this leading international trade fair for the processing of textile and flexible materials has been held and all the leading market players are present once again. With a large number of stands having increased in size, Texprocess has grown in terms of space. Amongst the 273 exhibitors (2013: 270 excepting ‘Source It’) are many well-known returning exhibitors along with a large number of new exhibitors, including for the first time, Epson Deutschland, the manufacturer of textile printing machines.

“Texprocess covers the entire processing chain of textile production – from design and cutting, to sewing and embroidery, from knitting to value adding processes such as textile finishing and printing. It shows new machines and processes, including fully IT supported, cutting, sewing, embroidery and ironing technologies. Our visitors will also be amazed by new 3D scanners and cloud-based production systems,” adds Detlef Braun. This reflects how the industrial processing of textiles and flexible materials such as leather has become more digitalised and automatised since 2013.

The areas with the highest number of exhibitors – design, sewing and jointing technology, fixing, furnishing and finishing – have seen a significant increase in stand size. In addition, more companies from Brazil, Great Britain, Italy, Taiwan and Turkey have registered for Texprocess 2015. The most important exhibitor nations apart from Germany continue to be China, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey and USA. 

The Texprocess concept has been adapted to the needs of exhibitors and visitors. This year the former ‘Source It’ area has been replaced by a separate product group. “The focus of the ‘Source It’ area used to be the technical possibilities of the manufacturing countries and production companies. Since up to 10 collections a year are now being produced, trade fairs that take place every two years are not as attractive as annual trade fairs or others that are even held biannually. It is no surprise, therefore, that state funding in these manufacturing countries tends to concentrate on trade fairs that take place several times each year and which are more in line with their current capacities. We stage Apparel Sourcing in New York and Paris a total of four times a year and they are very successful and growing sourcing platforms,” explains Olaf Schmidt, Messe Frankfurt’s Vice President of Textiles & Textile Technologies.

Texprocess offers a broad complementary programme of events. The Texprocess Forum in Hall 5.0 is free to attend and invites experts from the apparel industry to provide up to date information on themes currently trending in the sector, including ‘Industrie 4.0‘, sustainability and new strategies for quality management, sourcing and logistics. The IT market place, IT@Texprocess, in Hall 4.0 is where companies present their new IT solutions for the apparel industry, while the Texprocess Campus features ideas of the new generation from leading universities. In addition, the Texprocess Innovation Award will be presented for the third time by the trade fair. The jury has singled out four new product/process developments. The award ceremony for the Texprocess Innovation Award and the Techtextil Innovation Award takes place on 4 May 2015 in Hall 4.2, Room Dimension.

Further information, photographic and video material can be found in the space for journalists on the Internet pages of

www.techtextil.com and www.texprocess.com

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €550* million in sales and employing more than 2200* people worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 120* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.

Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.

The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.

For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com

* preliminary numbers (2014)

Lydia Mageean Lydia Mageean has been part of the WhichPLM team for over six years now. She has a creative and media background, and is responsible for maintaining and updating our website content, liaising with advertisers, working on special projects like the Annual Review, and more.Joining mid-2013 as our Online Editor, she has since become WhichPLM’s Editor. In addition to taking on writing and interviewing responsibilities, Lydia has also become the primary point of contact for news, events, features and other aspects of our ever-growing online content library and tools.