For new buyers, seasoned buyers or soon-to-be buyers, there’s little in the way of textiles that can’t be found at Texworld USA in New York City, co-located with Apparelsourcing USA.
On day two of the shows taking place July 12-14, attendees looking for all level of goods—from mass market basics to mid-tier to high end—perused pavilions and vendors from all over the world.
Making its debut at this show, the Korea Pavilion trend booth featured more than 90 samples from 44 companies hand-picked by the Korean government to highlight the country’s capabilities, in addition to the companies’ individual booths.
Touting Korea’s fast service and high technical prowess, Helen Oh, exhibition and convention coordinator for the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), said more than half of the buyers she has met with say, despite a slightly higher cost than other Asian nations, Korean product consistently proves high quality.
“Korean manufacturers are very eager to satisfy buyers, they are very honest and hard working,” KOTRA exhibition manager Jiwon Kim added.
The latest advancements in technology have kept suppliers like PriMode Co. at the forefront of buyers’ minds, and on Wednesday the company showcased its newest developments in yarn dye French terry and crinkle jersey, among others.
“Korean companies have the good technology to develop fast and bring in new textiles and trends,” PriMode manager Kelly Kim said.
Today, suppliers have to be more than just fabric purveyors—buyers want their input on styles and trends, too.
So that’s what PriMode offers. Along with textiles, buyers can benefit from the company’s up-to-date trend research and style suggestions.
With the global economy in the state it’s in, Kim said more and more brands in the mid-tier and high end market are starting to offer lower-cost lines to new customers. And since most don’t yet know the lower-end market and can’t afford to hire an entirely new team to focus solely on developing their mass market lines, they are leaning on PriMode for their expertise and for knowledge of what’s selling the most to other mass market customers.
“Before, buyers gave their market point or trend research to us, but it wasn’t working, so we have to study and research trends the same as the company’s research and development team,” Kim said.
Over at the Lenzing Pavilion, a staple and highlight of the Texworld USA show, vendors brought their best in novelty knits, technical fabrics and new ways to use modal.
For Design Knit, a U.S. manufacturer of novelty knitwear, texture was key. Consumers came to peruse the company’s chunky ribs, multicolor French terry and double sided fabrics with plaid on one face and stripes on the other.
“It’s all about really interesting textural fabrics,” Design Knit sales rep Jennifer Mehranvary said.
People N’ Nature Co., a Korean manufacturer making fabric from modal and TENCEL blends that undergoes a thoughtful and long wash process to achieve desired hands and vintage-style appearances, showcased its newest modal with pigment dye and an enzyme wash that yields a not only light and soft, but eco-friendly and moisture wicking fabric.
At Korea’s Samil Spinning Co., also part of the Lenzing Pavilion, the highlight of the day was its DrySil new age performance spun yarn, which offers moisture management and softness, and is more durable than poly/rayon and poly/cotton blends.
With near-shoring and cost-saving top of mind for many attendees, the Mexico and Pakistan pavilions were a staple at Apparelsourcing.
Giga Fitness, a Jalisco, Mexico-based active and swimwear manufacturer, had all form of functional fitness garments on display, and company director general Maribel Ochoa said business has ticked up in recent years thanks to the increasing athleisure trend and the need to make closer to home to be faster to market.
Giga goods are made with fabrics from Italy, Spain, Colombia and Brazil.
“For us, quality is the first point,” Ochoa said.
Meca, another Mexico-based manufacturer, has also capitalized on the quick-to-market trend. The intimate apparel company can turn product for existing customers in just 14 days from purchase order to the buyer’s distribution center.
Heading to Pakistan, where costs remain among the most competitive in the world, Ole Group had men’s and women’s activewear on display from its own brand Maestro, which has been picked up by fitness clubs in Europe.
Part of what makes Pakistan’s—and Ole’s—product so special, managing director Imran Sharif said, is the cotton.
“Cotton of Pakistan is a local product and it’s one of the best in the world after Egypt. Plus, at Ole, we have a low minimum order quantity because we are a medium-size factory,” he said. “And the price is very, very competitive.”
Pakistani manufacturers are also increasingly tapping into more eco-friendly offerings, like Vinco Textiles, a sock manufacturer who has been using regenerated yarns for six years to make socks. Using the recycled yarns as raw material mean the socks are as much as 40 to 50 percent cheaper than those made from standard yarns.
“We are the cheapest market for all of the world at this time for cotton socks,” Vinco Textiles director Waqar Ahmed said.