Next week, Lochcarron of Scotland along with hundreds of other textile exhibitors will make their way to London to show their new collections for 2019 at The London Textile Fair. As one of the fastest growing fairs in the textile industry, we interviewed founder, John Kelley to find out a little bit more about how the show came to be and what we can expect from this year!
1. How did the idea for a textile fair come about? Did you see a gap in the market, was there a big outcry for it?
I am a textile agent and I saw that I spent a lot of time doing pre collection appointments so
I started an exhibition with my 8 mills which attracted many clients.
2. How has the fair grown over the years?
We started in 2008 together with some other textile agents, exhibiting a mixture of mills using different halls in london.
We grew every year and in 2011 moved to the Business design centre in Islington. Exhibitors love our easy low cost, single table
layout which promotes a much friendlier environment . Today we take all available space at the BDC with a total of 475 exhibitors.
3. Do you see it expanding in the future? Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?
We are at the max at our present venue and find it hard to find another venue bigger and central. Our growth in the future
is to run the same concept in a new fair in New York January 2019.
4. You must get a lot of returning custom but do you find that there are new textile producers coming through too?
The majority of exhibitors return, in fact we get only a 2% drop out rate. Being full we try to accommodate
our waiting list in strict rotation, so there are always new textile producers joining.
5. What would you say is the most popular textile at your fair?
That’s a hard one considering 475 exhibitor showing 600 collections.
6. What should we expect from 2018 TLTF?
The fair consist of an amazing diversity of textile producers predominantly from Europe catering for all
the various sectors of the fashion industry.
This season we have a hall devoted to Sustainable fabrics which is an important for the future of textiles