- Special ‘Living in Space’ exhibition attracts the masses
- Textile industry shows itself from the dynamic, high-tech side
“Although we had extra personnel on our exhibition stand, visitors still had to queue on occasions. For us, the fair was fantastic”, said Dr Jan Zimmermann of Techtextil exhibitor Forster Rohner from Switzerland.
Many of the 1,789 exhibitors of Techtextil and Texprocess had similar experiences. Over 47,500 visitors (an increase of around 14 percent, 2015: 41,826) from 114 countries made their way to Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre from 9 to 12 May, to discover the most innovative products in the field of technical textiles and the latest processing technologies.
Entering the exhibition halls of the two leading trade fairs left no doubt: “Industry 4.0, smart and functional textiles and digitalisation are no longer tomorrow’s trends. Today, the textile industry is in the thick of it. If any industry is fit for the future, it’s the textile industry. Nevertheless, even in this age of digitalisation, a personal exchange of ideas and opinions is essential. Accordingly, we are delighted that so many visitors came to Techtextil and Texprocess”, explained Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. “Anyone who was not here in Frankfurt over the last four days has missed experiencing the dynamic nature of the textile industry for themselves”, added Braun.
“We expected numerous visitors before the doors opened. But that there would be so many was a great surprise. On occasions, we even had trouble in answering all inquiries”, said Sebastian Feges of Texprocess exhibitor Efka confirming the record number of visitors.
From scanning body dimensions of tomorrow’s apparel customer, via IT-aided fashion design, automatic cutting, ever faster sewing and joining, as well as embroidering innumerable parts simultaneously, to delivering the garments: at Texprocess, the degree of interaction between man and machine reached a new level.
“The garment manufacturing and textile industries set course for the future at an early stage and, during the two fairs, once again demonstrated that they rank among the most viable and progressive of sectors”, said Elgar Straub, Managing Director, VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies, conceptual partner of Texprocess, rounding off the overall impression.
On all four days, the situation was similar at Techtextil where international trade visitors jammed the exhibition halls looking for high tech textiles for use in applications such as folding textile headlights, smart knee bandages, warming or cooling fashions, not to mention garments with integrated LEDs, fire-resistant fibres, bicycle frames made of carbon and textile membranes for stadium roofs.
After Germany, the three main visitor nations at Techtextil were Italy, France and Turkey. At Texprocess, they were Italy, Romania and Portugal. Particularly striking this year: very many young professionals attended the fairs – another indication of the positive and dynamic mood in the textile sector, which is clearly on course for growth. “Techtextil and Texprocess provide the setting for a lively exchange of ideas and opinions, as well as networking between the players, especially from the industry and start-ups, as well as the research and scientific fields”, said Parliamentary Undersecretary of State Dirk Wiese of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi) during his visit to the two fairs.
The very good mood at the fair was underscored by the visitor poll on the economic climate in the sector. According to 33 percent of Texprocess visitors (2015: 26 percent), the current economic situation can be described as good. In the case of Techtextil visitors, the figure was even higher with 42 percent holding this opinion (2015: 32 percent). To these figures must be added the outstanding ratings given to the two events. Thus, 96 percent of Techtextil visitors said they were very pleased with the results of their visit to the fair. In the case of Texprocess visitors, the figure was even higher: 97 percent.
Also very well received were the numerous special exhibitions and events, which offered insights into the whole textile value chain and highlighted the synergistic effects between the two fairs. Opened by ESA astronaut Dr Reinhold Ewald, the space-travel oriented exhibition, ‘Living in Space’ attracted numerous visitors with features such as a virtual-reality journey to Mars, materials for use in space and a ‘Space Habitat’ designed by star architect Ben van Berkel. There was thunderous applause for the ‘Innovative Apparel Show’, which drew packed crowds to the foyer of Halls 5.1 / 6.1 with a display of high-tech textiles live on the catwalk several times throughout the fair. Showing a complete textile production line in operation, the ‘Digital Textile Micro Factory’ was praised as having been a complete success.
The next Techtextil and Texprocess will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 17 May 2019.