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Lace dominates UK show

Textile Forum was held in the UK, March 14 to 15. This is a fashion fabric trade show. Exhibitors and buyers sought to tap into a flourishing high-end textile scene and an increasing appetite for newness.

More than 100 collections were on show at the exhibition, which attracted top companies and high-quality designers. This was up from 70 at the October edition.

There was an uptick in visitors compared with previous editions. While some bemoaned the dominance of students, dressmakers, designers, buyers and manufacturers from small businesses and start-ups dominated the mix, which suited the ambitions of the brands.

There was an overwhelming London-based attendance. International visitors were almost non-existent. UK manufacturers met and networked with others in their sector.

Intricate lace and floral embroidery were the standout approaches from the event, while shimmering materials and delicate detailing also found a place on many stands. Stripes were also reported to be popular with buyers – a move away from the current catwalk infatuation with plaid and checked styles.

Lots of UK designers were looking for small minimums. This gives designers more flexibility, so they don’t end up with too much fabric.

Future editions of the show will increase the focus on ethical and sustainable fabrics.