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Embellishments and prints rule at Textile Forum – Fabric suppliers move up a creative gear

For this March’s Textile Forum (15-16 March 2017, One Marylebone, London), there will be an even greater choice of embellished and textured fabrics for designers looking to be inspired.

“Fabric designers have produced some of the most elaborate ranges we have seen at Textile Forum since the show was launched in 2002,” says co founder and organiser Linda Laderman.  “Suppliers have moved up a gear when it comes to creativity in texture, pattern and colour and are keen to introduce British quirkiness in design and artisanal techniques, to provide exciting collections to tempt fabric buyers.

“While there is an overall mood of optimism among the majority of exhibitors, there is no doubt that trade is going to be more difficult this year and prices have risen a little. With the decision to leave the EU and the uncertain consumer market, innovation, matched with exceptional service, are going to be the keystones for winning business.”

At Bella Tela the Koh-i-Nor diamond and the regal florals found within the British monarchy regalia have provided the inspiration for its spring/summer 18 collection. Called Ethereal, it features 100 new designs and has used traditional artisan techniques mixed with delicate laser and intricate embroidery, with colours inspired by the fragmentation of light that occurs through the stone, so includes tones found between colours of blush, rose and coral as well as a new faint heron grey and subtle golden tones.

James Hare is responding to the return of colour in bridalwear with two new pastels – spring rose and blue prism – introduced into its chantilly lace group and a rose to co ordinate with its crepe backed satin and chiffon palette. Lace continues to be strong with a new guipure featuring an intricately patterned, yet elegant, for a traditional style gown with a modern twist, available in black or white.

Michael’s Bridal Fabrics, which has also extended its range of laser cuts with 3D effects, has a guipure with laser cut panels and another with embroidery and beading. It has also introduced its first print designs, including one on silk organza and will also have some new Italian jacquards.

As more brides now realize that the back of their dress is as important as the front, Michael’s Bridal Fabrics is offering a back panel design with a crystalled/beaded motif on each shoulder area, which is linked together by several layers of looped crystal or clear beaded bands.

Best known for its plain, Pongees has recognised the importance for prints in spring 2018 and has pulled together a wide range of plain silks that are prepared for digital printing. These include crepe satins, double crepes, crepe de chines, chiffons, georgettes and habotais, twills and jerseys. It is advising designers looking to create 3D effects to use  layers of crisp organza ruffles and frills that can work alongside crumpled and rumpled, surface detail lace for an easy and relaxed mood and has also introduced more fancy fabrics, including embroideries, laces and jacquards, into the collection.

For menswear, shirtings specialist Ringhart Fabrics is again opting for Britishness with traditional Tattersall checks in updated shades, along with textured plain fabrics aimed at younger men looking for an investment piece.

On the suitings side, Holland & Sherry continues with the celebrations of its 180th anniversary, with collections for both men and women. Imperiod Gold, one of its most exclusive fabrics, woven in England, combines luxurious Mongolian cashmere and pure worsted vicuna with a dusting of 22 carat gold. Its anniversary collection features jacketing and suiting fabrics woven from Super 180s 14.5 micron yarns in worsted and woollen spun qualities available in a range of glen checks, guarded windowpanes, gun clubs and grid checks in classic colours.

A W Hainsworth, which provided the red fabric for the tunics of the British army at the battle of Waterloo, is introducing new colours based on its military heritage.

A new media partner for Textile Forum is Savile Row Style, which puts the spotlight on bespoke clothes. It also covers other upmarket topics of interest to those who shop in the Row or aspire to, and concentrates upon quality and craftsmanship in the modern world.

For further information, please contact

Amy Packham at Textile Forum

Tel: 078787  64645




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Looking into the crystal ball for fabulous fabrics

Textile Forum is celebrating its crystal – 15th year – anniversary in 2017 with its biggest spring show since the event  was launched in October 2002.

New exhibitors include companies from Holland, the UK and India and regular suppliers continue to expand and invest  in their collections so they can increase the fabrics available from stock as well as forward order, which all translates into more than 80 collections available to buyers from 15-16 March 2017 at One Marylebone from 10am to 6pm.

“Suppliers recognise that they need to work even harder to ensure buyers are excited by their collections and remain confident and upbeat, despite what may be happening on the global politics front, including the uncertainty of what Brexit means for everyone,” says Textile Forum co founder Linda Laderman. “While prices may have increased around 10-15% in some case due to fluctuations in exchange rates, business in the first quarter has been strong.”

New exhibitors include several aimed at the bridal and special occasionwear market. Among them is Dutch company  Monterossi, which will be launching its R by Rossi collection aimed at a younger market and showing it alongside it traditional collection aimed at haute couture and designers featuring  high quality laces, unique embroideries, lasercut fabrics, rhinestones etc.

Specialist embroiders Starsign Fabrics is also joining Textile Forum for the first time as is Exotica Exports, which offers silks, tulles and lace decorated with hand painting and hand embroidery.

Among long standing exhibitors that have expanded their collections is Anbo Textiles, which has introduced a range of printed knits to complement its wovens. Other exhibitors include Holland & Sherry, Ringhart Fabrics, Solstiss, Henry Bertrand, Bernstein & Banleys, Pongees,  James Hare, Laurent Garigue, Nunoya, AW Hainsworth, Michael’s Bridal Fabrics and Bennett Silks.

Entry to Textile Forum is free for bona fide buyers; to register visit

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Compliments all round for Textile Forum

Fabulous! Inspirational! Amazing! These were just three of the words that designers used to sum up their visit to Textile Forum last week. And it was truly a fantastic show with some of the most beautiful, creative fabrics we have ever seen on display

It was the 28th Textile Forum and for those exhibitors and visitors who have been with us from the first show, they will surely have noticed just how far we have travelled- not just in terms of now being located in one of the most beautiful venues in London but in the breadth of the collections on display- but also in terms of the visitors we now attract, who come from all part of the design spectrum.

A big thanks to all our exhibitors for putting on a great show, to all our visitors for supporting a UK based event and for those of you who are reading this and have not visited then make a date to join us on 15-16 March 2017 again at One Marylebone and join our regular visitors who find something fresh each time they visit.

For a great overview of the companies and the visitors to Textile Forum, do read our show magazine, TEX which is accessible on our website.

See you in March.

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Bennett Silks wins top fabric award

Textile Forum exhibitor Bennett Silks has won the 2016 Premiere Vision Fabrics Imagination prize given to  “the boldest, most original, most amazing fabric in terms of decoration, technique, finishing, innovation and technology”.

The winning design was a transparent print on crepe satin created by Daniel Henry, whose award-winning studio produces an eponymous collection for Bennett Silks.

The design was selected from around 7000 fabrics entered by exhibitors at the September event and judged by a panel of 12 industry experts. Only six prizes are awarded to celebrate excellence in textiles and leather – three for each category.

“As the first British company to win this prestigious award we are absolutely thrilled,” says  Mike Bennett.

You can see the winning design and the full new season’s collection at October’s Textile Forum.

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Textile Forum is a one stop shop for luxury fabrics

Irrespective of currency fluctuations, uncertainly over what the future will bring since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, one thing is for sure: it is business as usual for the exhibitors participating in Textile Forum where there will be an abundance of luxurious, quality fabrics on display at One Marylebone, London, from 12-13 October 2016.

“Fabric suppliers may well have taken a hit because of the poor exchange rate, but they are still investing in their stock collections and offering even more choice of qualities for autumn/winter 2017/8 and spring 2016 ,” says Linda Laderman, co-founder and organiser Textile Forum.

This October, there will be more than 80 collections presented, including those offering  the very best woollens, silks, laces, cottons, prints and leathers,  for daywear, eveningwear, bridalwear, lingerie, childrendwear and accessories. Exhibitors have a small minimum option and many lines are stock supported. Exhibitors are from the UK and mainland Europe as well as Japan.

As well as fabrics, Textile Forum include suppliers of buttons, zips, labels and sampling and small run garment manufacturing.

There will also be a display of costumes designed by students from Nottingham Trent University.

Textile Forum is open to 10am to 6pm.

Further information and ticket registration is available at


Brexit –  viewpoints

One of the issues around Brexit is the fear that garment manufacturers who rely on the flow of east European skilled workers may have difficulty in filling a skills gap.

This is something top of mind for Jenny Holloway, who runs the Fashion Technology Academy (FTA) which has been created to train a new generation of skilled workers ensure that the UK apparel manufacturing sector continues to thrive. It is the first apparel manufacturing training academy in the country to operate alongside a live fashion and fashion studio. Set up in collaboration with Fashion Enter, itself one of the largest training providers of apprenticeships within fashion apparel manufacturing  working with employers such as, Marks & Spencer, River Island and House of Fraser.

The academy ensure students gain exposure to real “Best of British” manufacturing while training for their qualifications.

At this October’s Textile Forum we will have two UK garment manufacturers exhibiting: Plus Samples and The Sampling Unit.

Meanwhile, the UK Fashion & Textile Association says it will be working closely with the UK government to try and ensure that the news of the fashion and textile industry are an important consideration in the forthcoming negotiations over the UK’s exit from the Eu. Also pivotal in this process are discussions around the UK’s future trading agreements with both the EU and other markets.

To gain as much information about what the industry is thinking the UKFT would like businesses to complete a short questionnaire which can be accessed at :


Textile Forum’s charity partner celebrates 160 years of supporting employees in UK fashion and textiles

Last night, 16th June 2016, at The House of Lords Textile Forum’s charity partner, the Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust celebrated over 160 years of its work and outlined  plans to double the amount of children it supports by 2019.

Meg Lustman, CEO of Hobbs and chair of the trustees, called on the 100 guests to help the charity increase its awareness within the industry and reach its goal by referring families to FTCT for grants and distributing information among colleagues and staff.

Textile Forum will continue to play its part by once again providing space alongside the busy refreshment area at the October exhibition for FTCT to promote the charity’s work.

Among the guests at the reception were  Steve Rowe (Marks & Spencer), Liza Webb (Jaeger), MPs, representatives from trade organisations including UKFT and the British Fashion Council, as well as beneficiaries.

Additional information about FTCT can be found at

Picture caption: Meg Lustman (CEO Hobbs and chair of the FTCT trustees), Jenny Holloway, director, Fashion Enter, Linda Laderman, co founder Textile Forum, and Jill Haines, marketing manager, FTCT

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Record visitors and exhibitors to March show

The March Textile Forum was our best spring show – with more than 75 collections on show over two floors – and a record number of visitors for the first event in the year. There was the usual broad spread of visitors – independent designers, those working for major manufacturers and brands, tailors, the designers and seamstresses from the costume departments of leading theatre, opera and ballet companies, bridalwear specialists, lingerie experts, and next generation designers – the list goes on.

While the majority of visitors were UK based the number of international visitors increased with representation from Israel, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia adding to the mix.

Among the visitors were potential exhibitors for the autumn event which will be staged from 12-13 October 2016 again at One Marylebone, so signs are extremely positive for an even bigger event then.

“Textile Forum has become a key sourcing event in the fashion designer’s diary with a strong identity: an exhibition that showcases top quality, luxury fabrics, available in small minimums. We have not waivered from these criteria and our goal is to continually increase the range of fabrics and trimmings available to further inspire and delight creatives,” says event director Amy Packham.

“The ‘personal’ touches we provide to our exhibitors and visitors means that we have forged a very close relationship with our customers and will continue to provide a great experience for them over the two days of the event. Our magazine TEX, available online here ( maintains the connection between the two shows.”

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Happy 20th, Michael

Congratulations to Michael’s Bridal Fabrics celebrating its 20th anniversary this May – and its 21st appearance at Textile Forum. This family business was started by Michael Bristow and Kim his sister-in-law and since then more family members and friends have been drawn into the fold. Michael’s wife Lynn, who joined 17 years ago, and his son Barry, who came into the business about 11 years ago aged 18, are among the staff of 17. The business, which was run from home for the first few years, now operates from 5,000 sq ft premises acquired in 2012.

There are two aspects of the business that Michael  believes have contributed to its success: the breadth of its collection, which he claims is one of the largest offered in Europe, and the personal attention afforded to each of its 1,000-plus customers.

From offering a cut length service on basic plain bridal fabrics, the collection has been constantly extended to include fabrics for wedding guests. The range now consists of more than 350 laces, plus silks, brocades and embroidered and beaded fabrics, some 350 edgings and motifs and 1,000 buckles, clasps, brooches and pearl/crystal brooches. On plain fabrics more than 600 colours are offered across some 100 qualities.

As far as customer service is concerned, Michael takes a very personal approach.“Either Barry or myself have the contact with our customers; we don’t employ reps or agents. However, we would not be able to spend so much time visiting customers or meeting them at trade fairs, if it was not for the back up from our wonderful staff.”

Michael’s Bridal Fabrics now exports to more than 30 countries, including Australia, which Barry visits each year. For the first time, it will exhibit at the Nordic Bridal Fair in Malmo and The Baltic Fashion and Textiles Fair in Latvia.


Textile Forum March – Doors open soon!

Textile Forum is just around the corner

London is really the greatest fashion capital in the world, British Fashion Council chairman Natalie Massenet declared at  London Fashion Week last week – and great fashion is made up of the creative use of fabric.

At next month’s Textile Forum there will be more than 70 collections of fabrics on show – woven, knitted, plain, printed – from leading suppliers from the UK, Continental Europe, the USA, Japan and Thailand.

To maintain their position in the global marketplace, these suppliers continue to invest in the people and processes that together deliver innovative fabrics season on season.

“Textile Forum is unique in that our suppliers are geared up to provide the swatches, sample lengths and low minimums that our visitors need,” says Linda Laderman, co founder. “And that is a requirement from individual designers as well as the larger companies. With its central location, buyers from the multiples and the stores are also attracted by the opportunity to see a great selection in one place just a few minutes journey from their offices.”

Textile Forum continues to work with suppliers who are innovative: and this season among the first time exhibitors is Offset Warehouse, with its range of ethical fabrics, including collections produced from banana stalks; we also have a “world first”, with a  Scottish merino wool blended with silk from Holland & Sherry; advancements in digital printing will be found at  exhibitors such as R A Smart, Forest Digital, alongside the artistry of embroiders from Hand & Lock.

As part of its support for next generation designers, Textile Forum will once again hold a briefing session for students on the morning of the Thursday 10 March; further information is available from event director,

We also continue our support of the Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust which is sponsoring our refreshments; to raise funds for the charity there will be a raffle for a designer bag.

Textile Forum is open from 10am to 6pm on Wednesday and Thursday 9 and 10 March 2016.

To avoid the queues, register today –