The 26th edition of Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles concluded on August 26, 2020, following a successful three-day run at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). It was Messe Frankfurt’s first event to take place in Shanghai in 2020 following disruptions from the pandemic. Amid the challenges presented by the pandemic, this year’s fair provided a vital opportunity for the international home and contract textile industries to source and reconnect through virtual and in-person meetings. Offering a comprehensive range of home and commercial textile products, the fair welcomed over 600 exhibitors and attracted more than 25,000 trade buyers.
Speaking as the fair concluded, Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd commented: “Intertextile has always been dedicated to providing an ideal platform for the international home textile industry and we are delighted to continue to do so during these unprecedented, challenging times. In view of the current global travel restrictions, this year’s fair offered a series of digital tools in addition to the traditional exhibition, allowing the fair to reach as wide an audience as possible. We are glad that this new format was highly recognised by the participating exhibitors and buyers alike.”
“Whilst economic activity in China is progressively recovering and domestic consumption continues to grow, the country’s exports are taking longer to rebound,” Ms Wen added. “One of the main objectives of this year’s fair was to connect domestic and international suppliers and buyers who are eager to make personal contacts and get back to business. As evidenced by feedback from numerous exhibitors and visitors, the fair has been able to help and support the industry’s recovery, so we are delighted with the results.”
Online business matching platform connected worldwide companies
In view of the current international travel restrictions, this year’s fair launched a brand new online business matching platform, which connected around 200 buyers from over 50 countries and regions to 60 exhibitors. The platform introduced multiple new functions, such as live-stream product presentations and a real-time chat platform to better facilitate business exchanges between suppliers and buyers from around the world. One exhibitor participating in the platform was Suzhou Roufang Textile Technology Co Ltd. “Yesterday we had a live-stream product presentation, which attracted around 200 buyers. The online platform is useful for us as we could showcase our new products and design concepts to overseas buyers, and let them know that we are still here to serve them,” the company’s Business Manager Ms Yu Qian Ru explained.
Mr Azam Osman, Manager of the Factory Depot (Pty) Ltd from South Africa expressed his satisfaction about the online platform: “I am glad that the fair provided the online business matching service where I have seen a lot of quality furniture and decorative fabric exhibitors. I’m interested in connecting with them.” Another buyer, Ms Elena Freyuk from Ziptown Trading Inc. said: “I am pleased that the fair offered both live-stream and video recording product presentations as I was unable to watch the live presentation due to time difference. The services were very thoughtful!”
A source of inspiration for the industry
To ensure fairgoers can discover the latest design and industry trends and insights, this year’s fringe programme presented a series of high quality events, covering the industry’s hottest topics. Some of the highlights included the 2021 Intertextile Trend Forum, which was led by Shen Lei, the Chinese representative of the Intertextile International Lifestyle Trend Committee. The forum brought together five prominent Chinese designers including Ben Chen, Ben Wu, Meng Ye, Paul Pang and Xie Ke, who presented an in-depth interpretation of the theme of 2021 Intertextile Trends, “BOUND”. Other events included Ride the Storm – Home Textile Digital Printing Forum, Tmall Seminar on industry digitalisation, Furniture & Home Textile Direct Negotiation Event and more.
Exhibitors expressed their satisfaction with this year’s fair
“We decided to exhibit at Intertextile because we depend on this fair to promote our new products. This fair provided a much-needed business platform for the industry as many trade shows were cancelled in the first half of the year. The pandemic has brought great changes to the market trends as well. For instance, customers are now focusing more on their health and safety, so products with anti-bacterial properties are becoming increasingly popular.”
Mr Gerry Xue, Head of Home Segment, China Textile, Lenzing Fibers (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Austria
“We’ve been exhibiting at Intertextile since 2015. This fair is a prominent trade event in the industry and even the most important one in China, so we continue to exhibit here. We are pleased that the fair can attract such a high visitor flow despite the COVID-19 impact. We were able to meet existing clients and new buyers, and their quality is excellent too.”
Mr Yiyun Tao, Deputy General Manager, Global Textile Alliance (Hangzhou) Co Ltd, China
“The fact that this year’s fair continues to take place despite the challenges presented by the pandemic is very helpful to the industry. As a long-term partner of the fair, we fully support this decision. Although the pandemic has impacted our business, we are optimistic about the future as the demand for home textile products has always been steady, and we believe everything will return to normal soon. We also participated in the online business matching platform which is very useful for us too.”
Mr Jian Wang, General Manager, Beijing Designers to JIA Home Decoration Articles Co Ltd, China
“We are a design studio and our target clients include textile brands and manufacturers. Our contemporary collections featuring abstract, geometric patterns, as well as earthy, textured designs are very popular among our customers this year. As the Spring Edition in March was postponed, the August fair is a valuable opportunity for the industry, including manufacturers, editors and design studios like us to showcase our latest collections.”
Ms Scarlett Lu, Design Director, Ranger Art Design (Hangzhou) Co Ltd, China
“I came to this fair to find new developments, new marketing ideas, interesting filling and fabric composition blends. It’s quite promising for the bedding segment in general, and I was able to find a couple of really good and useful suppliers. This year I was pleased to see some trends at Intertextile. I’m happy to see quite a number of Chinese companies cooperating with the inventors, and becoming innovation leaders.”
Ms Elena Salsera, Quality Director, China Branch General Manager, Togas Group, USA
“Our company is specialised in interior upholstery, and we came to this fair with a goal to gain a better understanding of the upcoming design trends and the current market conditions. We also visited some of our long-term partners to see their new collections. Many global trade shows were cancelled or postponed early this year due to the pandemic, but Intertextile 2020 was able to take place as scheduled and attract quality exhibitors, which helped us understand the market trends and customers’ needs.”
Ms Wang Yan, Business Manager, Shanghai Mou Deng Interior Design Co Ltd, China
“Intertextile and I have been working together for six years. Over the years, we have built a strong relationship. For the 2021 Intertextile Trend Forum, I invited five renowned designers, including Ben Chen, Ben Wu, Meng Ye, Paul Pang and Xie Ke to share their own thoughts on the concept of “BOUND”. Every designer has his own interpretation, which I think is a lovely thing. Events like this allow me to meet old friends and make new friends. It’s a precious thing, particularly in these times.”
Mr Shen Lei, Founder and Chief of The Interior Architects Design, China
Additional hygiene precautions were in place onsite
As trade fair co-organisers, Messe Frankfurt’s number one priority always remains the health and safety of fairgoers. To maintain a clean and hygienic environment for visitors and exhibitors to meet in, the fair implemented extra measures this edition. These included real-name registration, onsite temperature checks, frequent sterilisation of public areas and distancing measures for forum / seminar audiences, amongst others.
The next Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles is the Spring Edition held from March 10 – 12, 2021, concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics and Yarn Expo Spring.
Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Home Textile Association (CHTA).