Streams of visitors from all over the world, intensive business encounters with top international decision-makers, an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere and inspiration as far as the eye can see: With 44,000 visitors and 2,400 exhibitors together from 129 nations, the global textile industry was guest in Frankfurt for four days at Heimtextil 2023 and filled the exhibition halls. In numerous workshops, tours, lectures and networking formats, buyers also explored circular approaches, the important role of certificates and new applications for textile materials – and thus experienced wholly integrated sustainability at Heimtextil.
Heimtextil 2023 ended with concentrated intercontinental strength and set the course for a successful trade fair year. 44,000 buyers took advantage of the opportunity to participate in the global market for home and contract textiles and to gain a bundled overview of global textile innovations – from fibers, yarns, upholstery and decorative fabrics, functional textiles, outdoor fabrics, artificial leather and wallpapers to bed and bathroom textiles, mattresses, sleep systems, curtains and decorative cushions. The top ten exhibiting countries were China, India, Turkey, Pakistan, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France and Great Britain. The top visitor countries included Germany, Italy, Turkey, the United States, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan, India and Greece.
“Heimtextil made a powerful return to January and set all the signs for success as a barometer for the trade fair business year – with an outstanding degree of internationalization of 129 participating nations,” said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. Compared to 2020, the leading trade fair for home and contract textiles achieved an increase in the degree of internationalisation – in terms of exhibitors to 94 percent and in terms of visitors to 82 percent. There was growth on the exhibitor side compared to the pre-pandemic edition from Turkey and Pakistan. In 2023, there were also more buyers from Italy, Turkey, Spain and especially Greece.
“The outstanding internationality proves: In times of geopolitical challenges, Heimtextil is the most important place-to-be for the global home textiles industry – both for new business contacts and market opportunities as well as for the redefinition of supply chains and important cooperations to overcome production bottlenecks,” Braun continued.
New contacts and successful orders: trade show participants achieved their goals
Finally, a return to new global contacts, networking and ordering: personal encounters were at the heart of Heimtextil 2023 and were celebrated in full exhibition halls. This was also reflected in the active ordering of the visitors:
“We had a fantastic Heimtextil with many new and old contacts. We will continue to participate in Heimtextil in the future. Our customers include major European brands, but we also had visitors from the USA, Japan, South Africa and South America at our booth. Our main customers include IKEA, H&M and Jysk, among others. Our most important message is sustainability. We have received many awards for this, for example, we were named the world’s most sustainable company by UN Habitat this year. Even our stand construction is completely sustainable,” says Shafiqul Alam Selim, Managing Director Karupannya Rangpur Ltd. from Bangladesh.
According to representative surveys, 80 percent of exhibitors had already achieved their trade show goals by the third day. Satisfaction with visitor quality was also very high: 72 percent of visitors were top decision-makers.
In addition to the diverse range of high-quality volume business from Asian exhibitor nations, the focus was also on European design and retail volumes – a mix that resulted in particularly high visitor satisfaction: 92 percent of buyers achieved their trade show goals.
And yet there is movement! Sustainable transformation in the textile industry
Innovative material developments from natural raw materials such as mushrooms, plant fibers or recycled waste products provide impulses for the future of home textiles. This was clearly demonstrated by the “Future Materials Library” at Heimtextil. But also to the present applies: the majority of the global textile industry has long since set out on the path to sustainably redesigning manufacturing processes and forming strong partnerships and measures for transparent supply chains. To this end, Heimtextil exhibitors offered products, solutions or suggestions at many booths.
The opportunity for personal exchange, inspiration and more know-how was offered by an extensive and multifaceted supporting program. This included guided tours at the trade show, high-profile lectures, events and special themed areas.
“The lectures are one reason for me to come to Heimtextil. Otto Group has set itself the goal of becoming even more sustainable and making this a topic for its customers. That is an exciting and indeed important task. Therefore, in addition to the trend presentations, I am particularly interested in what is happening in terms of the circular economy and sustainability. The presentation by Caroline Till, for example, was extremely exciting, as she also made the connection to innovative materials for which there are no standards yet. Top-quality presentations like these open up important new perspectives for companies. I really pick up knowledge here,” reports Ursula Streblow, Head of Curtains & Decorations, OTTO, from Germany.
It was not only the “Trend Space” in Hall 9.0 with the integrated “Future Materials Library” and the material innovations for the interior sector shown there which was impressive. In the lead of the conception of this year’s Heimtextil Trends “Textiles Matter” was the British future agency FranklinTill with co-founder Caroline Till, member of the Heimtextil Trend Council.
With trade fair visitors’ significantly increased demand for sustainable products and solutions, the need for more transparency is also growing. This was evident, for example, in the Green Village in Hall 12.0, where interested visitors met label providers, certifiers and companies that have made an integral commitment to sustainability.
In the Green Lectures on the stage of the Green Village, certifiers, industry experts and NGOs spoke about solutions, best practices and challenges around sustainability in the contract business. The Green Tours led interested trade visitors to selected exhibitors and their sustainable product solutions.
Interior.Architecture.Hospitality specialist program impressed with innovative strength
An outstanding visitor magnet was the new Interior.Architecture.Hospitality LIBRARY. Interior designers and architects experienced curated innovative exhibitor materials up close. In guided tours, the curators of the LIBRARY explained to the international hospitality experts the innovative strength, the impressive design and the functional properties of the textiles such as “flame-retardant”, “sound-absorbing”, “light-resistant”, “antimicrobial” and “water-repellent”. A filigree and at the same time flame retardant curtain, fabrics with antibacterial effect made entirely of recycled polyester yarns or light and flowing fabrics for sound insulation represented the enormous potential and the wide functional range.
The Interior.Architecture.Hospitality DIRECTORY gave visitors an optimal overview of the numerous international exhibitors with solutions for the contract sector and allowed them to target them.
“Heimtextil 2023 was a complete success for us. Especially the quality of the visitors convinced us and we were able to meet many potential new customers. We offer a sustainable product collection with our outdoor fabrics and are pleased to present these at this year’s Heimtextil, where sustainability is emphasized,” reported Antonio Romera, Area Manager BLISS by Citel, from Spain.
Future-oriented topics, such as textile trends in hotel design or the sustainable use of high-quality materials, were discussed by experts and trade fair participants in the numerous formats of the specialist program, including the popular Interior.Architecture.Hospitality TOURS or LECTURES.
Area for fibers & yarns: Heimtextil responds to the growing market
In the new area for fibers and yarns, Heimtextil also met the growing demand for textile materials for preliminary stages. For the first time, visitors found a global range of fibers and yarns for decorative and upholstery fabrics compactly arranged in Hall 4.0. This was supplemented by exhibitors with outdoor fabrics as well as imitation leather.
“We are delighted to exhibit our products here as Reliance Industries and Heimtextil both have the common key focus area of sustainability and circularity. We are overwhelmed to receive an extraordinary response to the launch of HEXaREL – Graphane enhanced Fiberfill – specially designed to enhance high altitude performance, at Heimtextil. It has been a wonderful experience to showcase our products and be the part of world’s leading sustainable textile companies. The Heimtextil exhibition is the perfect place to witness the latest trends in the textile industry products and materials“, says Rakesh Bali, Sr. Vice President – Head Marketing at Reliance Industries Limited from India.
Up to date on the subject of sleep
For the bedding trade and retailers, Heimtextil 2023 offered an extended supporting program. In addition to the established Heimtextil Conference “Sleep & More”, Sleep Tours were offered for the first time and were very well received. Sleep coach and preventologist Markus Kamps guided interested visitors to selected exhibitors and provided exciting insights into the topic of “healthy sleep”. Among other things, the Sleep Tours took visitors to a sustainable mattress made from marine waste or a CO2-neutral fiber that is used in bedding, among other things.
At the Heimtextil Conference “Sleep & More”, experts from research, industry and design spoke about the science of sleep, sustainable trends and challenges facing the retail trade.
Exhibitors took advantage of the high internationality of Heimtextil visitors to open up new markets and strengthen their export business.
“Heimtextil is strategically crucial for us. This is where we present our new products and meet our important international customers, decision-makers and interested visitors. We will be back at Heimtextil as an exhibitor in 2024”, says Petra Schweigert, Managing Director of OBB Oberbadische Bettfedernfabrik GmbH from Germany.
“At Heimtextil we met new international contacts that are essential for our business. This trade fair has enabled us in a great way which was impossible for several years due to the pandemic. We exhibited here over four days to an attractive, international audience – from Northern Europe to Australia,” said Çağrı Ovayurt, Managing Director, L’appartement / Veritas Tekstil Konfeksiyon Pazarlama Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S from Turkey.