avr cover story 01/2019

“We see a sector which is growing”

Leading trade fair Techtextil, featuring the latest trends, heading for record number of exhibitors. Focusing on the city of the future and sustainability, the coming Techtextil (May 14-17 in Frankfurt am Main) will provide ‘textile’ answers to major questions of our time: How shall we live in future? And how are we to do it in a sustainable way?

Techtextil
Source: Khalil & Freunde für Messe Frankfurt

Lutz Walter, Director Innovation and Skills at EURATEX said at the start of January at the international press conference of Techtextil, the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens, and Texprocess, its affiliated event for the processing of textile and flexible materials: “We see a
sector which is growing”.

The figures support Walter’s pronouncement: if in 2009 total sales revenues for the European textile and clothing industry (including nonwovens) stood at 155 billion euros, in 2017 it rose to over 180 billion euros. A satisfactory recovery after the fall in sales during 2008-2009 when, as a consequence of the
international financial crisis, revenues declined by 21 percent in one year.
This continued growth is also felt at Messe Frankfurt – with some 50 textile events on four continents. Now the world’s market leader in textile fairs. In 2018 alone some 22,000 exhibitors and 520,000 trade visitors flowed to
its events world-wide. It looks as if 2019 will likewise be a good year: “Some four months prior to opening, Techtextil is almost booked up and is once more exceeding the rate of bookings for the previous event at the same point in time”, says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles and Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt. “This also applies for Texprocess.”

Textile solutions for megacities

Techtextil
Source: Khalil & Freunde für Messe Frankfurt
According to the United Nations, by 2050 two thirds of all people will be living in great cities. By 2030 there will already be 43 cities in the world each with more than ten million inhabitants. The era of megacities is about to arrive. So Techtextil is devoting a subject area of its own to this megatrend, in the shape of “Urban Living – City of the Future”, designed in collaboration with “Creative Holland”, the Dutch creative industries. Whether it is a question of new demands for living, the supply of food, health facilities, or clothing with smart functions – textiles will likely play a major role in everyday life in the city of the future.

Making sustainability visible

Techtextil
Source: Khalil & Freunde für Messe Frankfurt
Sustainability will also be particularly in the focus at the coming Techtextil and Texprocess. For the first time strategies to this effect will be made visible in the form of products, materials and research results. Accordingly the Techtextil Innovation Award, which is to be presented again for outstanding work in technical textiles, nonwoven fabrics and functional clothing textiles in the categories of Research, New Materials, Products and Technologies, will take account for the first time of applications and new developments in the field of sustainability. The prize will be presented for the fifteenth time to Techtextil exhibitors and non-exhibiting companies, institutes, universities, polytechnics or individuals.

New forum encouraging exchange of information and experience

Messe Frankfurt will in addition be presenting a completely new format for talks, discussions and interactive facilities, in the shape of the Techtextil Forum: this forum, which can be visited free of charge and will be taking place for the first time in an exhibition hall (4.1), replaces the Techtextil Symposium. Leading international experts will be speaking in the following thematic blocs: Sustainability, Digital Transformation, Smart Textiles, Urban Textiles, Composites and Technical Textiles in Medical Technology.

At the Texprocess Forum, taking place at the same time, there will also be a thematic bloc devoted exclusively to every aspect of sustainability in the textile and fashion industry, in the shape of an offshoot of Fashionsustain, Messe Frankfurt‘s conference on sustainable textile innovations.    

In 2017, Techtextil saw 33,670 visitors from 104 countries and 1,477 exhibitors from 55 countries. In addition, 7,091 guests visited both Texprocess and Techtextil. Both fairs jointly welcomed 1,789 exhibitors from 66 countries and more than 47,500 visitors from 114 countries.

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