When my friend, who owns a children’s apparel company, approached me to travel with her to the International Textile Expo, I quickly agreed. I was curious to see what this trade show was like in comparison to Houston’s Quilt Market. Okay okay, the fact that it was in Vegas may have influenced me…and it had to do with fabric. I mean…come on! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to go? Plus we are close enough to drive so it was a pretty cheap trip!
What? One security personnel at the entrance? It was nice to not have a complete body search before entering the show. 😉
Seriously though – the entrance tells you the difference right away. It was a much more relaxed atmosphere and also smaller. There were about 200 booths – so it wasn’t tiny by any means. The booths were set up nicely but not as elaborately as in Houston. And our registration provided us with breakfast and lunch buffets! There was a fashion show with upcoming trends, industry mixer and more. So it was worth attending for sure.
Everyone was really relaxed and super nice. I didn’t have to have appointments to sit down with the reps and we had several really great discussions with all them. Heck, I even got to try on some of the Kokka samples. 🙂 I wish I could say I normally don’t look that goofy – but my mother told me not to lie!
The sad news was that it was just a few weeks too early to really have all the new lines that will be released at Quilt Market this May. It doesn’t really bother me, since I’ll be in Pittsburgh too.
Many of the expected companies were represented: Andover, Art Gallery, Benartex, Blank, Henry Glass, Michael Miller, Oilcloth, Robert Kaufman, Seven Islands and more. (Companies not represented that I order from were Moda, Rowan (Westminster/Free Spirit) and Timless Treasures..and maybe others that I don’t remember.)
I was also in awe of the many many beautiful home decorating fabrics…and not just canvas or sateen, but beautiful embroidered fabrics for drapes, silks, leather, etc. Also bridal accessories, buttons, threads, and other notions. Yes, there was a lot to see!
We also enjoyed some of the Las Vegas hot spots. We walked the strip, watched the water show at the Bellagio, and get this….
I got to sit down and actually eat dinner. I only had to get up from the table if I had to use the bathroom….myself. Amazing. LOL 😮
Long story short: I would go again. I also think for a new person to the industry it’s a little less overwhelming – more casual. So it would be a good way to get your feet wet. I hope to go to the LA Textile Show sometime too…but I doubt I can convince my husband it’s necessary this year.
I took a few classes as well and I’ll try to compose a little info for you about what I learned….color trends, new lines, etc. etc. but I don’t want to promise anything yet. I have a lot to get done in a few short weeks – so let’s just say hopefully I’ll share more with you soon!